Glasgow’s Merchant City is a construct. Before the wave of post-1980s regeneration, nobody knew the city centre district by that name. With its new identity, it was branded as a destination for a fashionable crowd in search of boutiques, restaurants and wine bars.
The merchants themselves were already commemorated in the road signs: Ingram Street after tobacco lord Archibald Ingram; Buchanan Street after plantation owner Andrew Buchanan; Glassford Street after John Glassford, the most successful of the tobacco traders.
Merchant City advertising campaigns did not dwell on how these men built their wealth. That job has been taken on by writer and director Adura Onashile who, working with the National Theatre of Scotland, has built an app-based walking tour that compels us to remember. [READ MORE]