I SPREAD the map flat on the kitchen table, smoothing away any creases. My eyes seek out familiar landmarks: railway lines, parish boundaries, a smattering of houses in the hamlets and villages that will eventually grow into towns with new-build estates around their fringes.

I trace a finger over the names of coal pits and collieries long since gone: Thankerton, Hattonrigg, Lawmuir, Woodhall, Legbrannock. I feel a pang of loss for an industry that, although already dying out before I was born, is an indelible part of my heritage.

I upped sticks from Glasgow to Lanarkshire 18 months ago. Yet, it is only in the past eight weeks – during lockdown – that I've had a chance to properly explore my surroundings.

The map, a reproduction of the Ordnance Survey 1896 edition, was acquired by my late father many years ago and kept neatly folded in its dust cover. My mother kindly popped it in an envelope with a handful of local history books.

My maternal family hail from North Lanarkshire, although I grew up in West Lothian. I'm curious to learn more about my roots. The landscape here is comfortingly familiar, yet also largely alien, my memories enshrined in the sepia-hued tint of childhood visits to my grandmother's house.

When heading out for my daily Government-permitted exercise, I keep a close eye as I walk, keen to discover new gems or catch a glimpse of forgotten places with sentimental meaning.

Such as Colville's, the steelworks and supply yard at Mossend, where my late grandfather worked. Formerly a butcher's assistant, he got a job at Colville's after returning from the Second World War and attended night school to train as a planning engineer.

Colville's was nationalised in 1967, becoming part of the defunct British Steel Corporation. Today, the site lies empty, its remaining buildings and derelict land advertised on the website of a commercial property agent.

I walk on. My mother often talks fondly of enjoying bar meals at The Shieling, a former pub in Mossend on the road between Bellshill and Holytown. These days the building is part of a used car dealership.

In a previous incarnation it was called the Woodend Hotel. Later, I realise its macabre significance: it was here the 1950s serial killer Peter Manuel – known as the Beast of Birkenshaw – spent stolen banknotes that, crucially, would link him to one of his murder victims.

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On another afternoon, I skirt around the edges of Eurocentral, navigating the sprawling labyrinth of roads, trying to imagine what it looked like before large swathes of farmland and countryside were sacrificed to make way for the gargantuan industrial estate.

I watch deer and rabbits moving between the trees in a sliver of woodland. As I walk back, tracing my earlier path, I realise that it's all beginning to feel a lot like home.