At first, some called it nothing more than a publicity stunt.
But when 60’s coroner Frankie Vaughan stood up at Easter House and asked the gangs to lay down their arms, he began decades of valuable community work that continues to this day.
It was the summer of ’68, and the streets of Glasgow’s East End were in turmoil.
The youth were being wounded in the group’s battles, which had dire consequences and tarnished the image of the entire region.
Our sister newspaper, The Herald, noted in an article written several years later: Rule. Even, the arrival of an unexpected peacemaker – entertainer Frankie Vaughan, who is known for his high kick. Stage With his mediation skills, he offered to go to Glasgow and talk to the gang leaders.
He looked like an unexpected hero. Frankie was an easy-to-listen singer who performed regularly in all major British theaters – becoming the first British singer to perform in Las Vegas. It broke home records at Cabaret in Copacabana, New York, and reached number two hits, the Tower of Strength and the Garden of Eden.
But the group was no stranger to the boy, who grew up on the streets of Liverpool and has been working for many years to provide better opportunities for young people through British boys’ clubs.
“Against the backdrop of suspicions and accusations of seeking publicity, Frankie turned to the city and circled the gangs,” The Herald reported.
“There was also support from the Scottish Office and powerful allies of the Glasgow Corporation. It even invited some gang members for further discussions in Blackpool where they were appearing over the summer.
In fact, four local gang leaders went to Blackpool with Van for a successful ‘peace conference’. Frankie hosted a fundraising gala – not a gang show – at the Glasgow Theater, and the Easter House Project was born. With the help of commercial sponsors and the military, a community youth club was set up at the center of the housing scheme to offer young people an alternative to street fighting.
On July 13, 1968, senior police officers and the Scottish Under-Secretary of State, Norman Buchanan, urged Easter House residents to keep the vacant ground area clean between 7pm and 8pm “so that weapons could have a chance.” Can be given. ”
Frankie met with gang leaders in his home area, telling the Evening Times: “I think I can do something good because the boys like me and respect me and know that I just I’m not a good doer. ”
On Saturday morning, the young men on vacation handed over a cache of weapons to a social worker who was the liaison between Van and the gangs. The weapons included three 12-inch daggers and a hatchet.
At the time of the amnesty, three unarmed weapons were handed over. The housewives later complained that their sons raided their kitchens for knives so they could take pictures with Frankie.
The Evening Times reported that this was “at least a start”, and that work could now begin on the second phase of the project, the building of the ‘Gang Hut’ Center at Easter House. Pollock’s Labor MP, Hugh Brown, who witnessed the amnesty, said he thought it had made real progress, and would submit a report to Mr Bokan.
At the time, Frankie was a huge star in the UK, so his high profile tour was a big boost for the region.
The Evening Times reported that the singer’s intervention, and the harsh words uttered in the Glasgow High Court, are said to have taken part in the quiet opening weekend of the Glasgow Festival, which City Police may remember.
Frankie’s visit was just part of the story. But the singer kept in touch with development and visited the area regularly until his death in September 1999.
* Were you there when Frankie came to Easter House? Contact Times Past to share your memories and photos.