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KS4 Geography: A New Day (1959)

Introduce new towns with a quick trip to Glenrothes, near Glasgow.

Main image of KS4 Geography: A New Day (1959)
Author Poppy Simpson, BFI
TopicNew Towns
Key WordsRural/urban fringe, green belts, overspill
Curriculum links NC KS3 Geography 6g
 GCSE Geography: Settlements, managing rural/urban change

A public information film about life in Glenrothes , a new town near Glasgow, which was built in the 1950s.

To cope with the post-war housing shortage and crumbling conditions of older public housing stock in the Glasgow, three new towns were built, East Kilbride, Cumbernauld and Glenrothes, followed later by Livingstone. Glenrothes was established in 1949, and was the second of Scotland's new towns. This short extract offers a great way of introducing new towns, thinking about the reasons why they are built, their layout and the impact on the community. It's also a good starting point for comparingthe new towns built in the post-war era with the new towns being developed today.



Watch the clip through without any introduction or contextualisation. Ask students to note down everything they learn from the extract about the development of new towns.

Review the information in the extract through a few brief questions:

  • Where was Glenrothes built?
  • What kind of space was needed?
  • Why was Glenrothes built?
  • Who was Glenrothes built for?
  • What does Glenrothes look like? How would students describe the architecture and layout?
  • What kinds of things did planners have to take into account in developing the town - ie. accommodation for all generations/churches for people of different faith etc?

Now encourage students to think about what they could infer from the film:

  • How might the building of new towns benefit a local economy?
  • What kinds of problems might new towns cause?
  • How might new towns impact on a sense of community?
  • Who might oppose the building of new towns?

Some more ideas

  • Use this extract along with Cumbernauld, Town for Tomorrow (1970) to explore the differences between new towns built in the post-war period and new towns being developed today.
  • Challenge students to research into life in Glenrothes today - what is the town's population, how has it developed, what are the key industries etc? What can they learn about the evolution of new towns based on the extract and their research?
Video Clips
Extract (3:29)

Related Films and TV programmes

Thumbnail image of Cumbernauld, Town For Tomorrow (1970)Cumbernauld, Town For Tomorrow (1970)

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Thumbnail image of New Day (1959)New Day (1959)

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See also

Thumbnail image of KS4 Geography: Glasgow - a case study 3KS4 Geography: Glasgow - a case study 3

3 of 4: slum clearance, redevelopment and re-housing