|The A to Z of Scottish Places: Gazetteer C|
The A to Z of Scottish Places: C
C is for...
Developed forty years from a tiny village to a brand "new town", Cumbernauld won architectural awards the world over for its innovative design. The town centre featured shops and homes above a delivery and access network of roads. While the concept was perhaps ground-breaking and the homes in the outlying districts welcome for their use of space, wood and parkland (as opposed to the overcrowded and rundown parts of Glasgow from where most of the new community sprung), the centre is now one of the least attractive in the country. There are some efforts being made to rectify this. Cumbernauld gave the country another first, the roundabout, a circular road junction which is now common-place but which at first gave travellers to any of the new towns an easy way to get lost...
An important Clyde ship-building town, Clydebank has a "modern" name, coined in the 19th century. The liners Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth I & II were launched here although little of this ship-building heritage remains in the town today. During the second world war the town was severely bombed and by the end of the conflict only eight houses had survived intact. The american company Singer set up a factory in Clydebank in 1882 and this remained for a hundred years, giving employment to generations of families. The town centre has recently been redeveloped to include shopping and sports centres where the old factories had been. The world famous pop-group Wet Wet Wet began their career in Clydebank.
Two major industries flourished and built the town of Coatbridge which became a burgh in 1885. The first was coal and with the opening of the Monklands Canal an efficient route to Glasgow was established. The second was ironstone. The local deposits were worked until 1870. The name Coatbridge comes from the bridge built in 1800 near the older settlement of Cotts. Local attractions include the Summerlee Industrial Heritage Park which has working exhibits of the town's former iron and steel processes, and Drumpellier Country Park.