Gibraltar Gardens

Gibraltar WalkGibraltar Walk (left).  This road had a small entrance to Gibraltar Gardens through a pub

“not a night passed without the drunken screams and violent fights of the human animals who had long ceased to live the decent industrious life of working folk” Arthur Harding writing about Gibraltar Gardens


Gibraltar Gardens was a cul de sac consisting of three three-story tenement houses and many cottages. The tenement houses were exceptionally dilapidated and once again Arthur was living in dire poverty. There were no gas lamps installed on the streets except for one dim light that the police rigged up at the entrance. The vague darkness was always filled by fights and screams, and the inhabitants of the tenement houses were given a ‘wide berth’ by the police. In Arthur’s words “the inhabitants of these filthy dens had sunk beneath the terrible burden of poverty”.

The family had moved there after a brief spell in Queen’s Buildings, where more respectable working class people lived. Arthur was in Borstal most of the time they were in Queen’s Buildings, and returned to find that the family had not been paying rent due to his mother’s frivolous spending on alcohol and were thus thrown out.

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