THE last time Mrs Mary Galloway had to change home, it was during the Clydebank Blitz. Now here she was, 20 years later, and not getting any younger, and swearing that she was not going to move for anyone.

Mrs Galloway, a 76-year-old widow, lived in a single-room, ground-floor home in South Portland Street, in the Gorbals.

She was defiant in the face of the actions of her landlord, a butcher,

The man kept live hens in part of the shop-cum-house where Mrs Galloway had her tiny room, and she thought his attempt to raise her rent by 24s 6d a week was merely another move to get her out so that he could keep more hens.

“I’ve offered to pay 10s a week instead of the 5s 6d rent I’ve paid all along, but he won’t take it”, she said. “He hasn’t asked anything for eight weeks – I’ve got the £4 lying aside whenever he decides to have it.”

Against a background noise of clucking hens, she said that she had not been outside for three years. Neighbours and their children got the messages for her; her pension was collected by a local window-cleaner.

“I’m not going out – I know what would happen if I did leave this room. I’d come back to find it locked against me. I’ve made up my mind I’m not going to move out, and nothing or no-one is going to put me out”.

The Gorbals MP, Alice Cullen, was aware of the situation. Mrs Galloway said a sanitary inspector visited the shop section of the house every week.

The landlord was not eager to discuss the affair. “Where would she get a room for 10s?” he asked. “I want 30s for it”.

Across in Paisley, a few months later, another show of defiance was taking place (main image). Taxi-driver Jack Buchanan settled into his armchair in the town’s County Square and said: “Here I stay”.

The Evening Times reported that Jack planned to sit on the pavement day and night until the town council reconsidered its decision to evict him for running a radio-cab business from his house.

He had arrived shortly after 8am with his 18-year-old son in one of his own taxis and, dressed in a heavy overcoat and scarf, made himself comfortable.

His placards caught the eye of passersby, to whom he gave leaflets, but by 8.30am he had collected only one signature for a petition he planned to deliver to councillors.

The town council planned to evict him from his home because, the paper reported, he had refused to take down a radio mast fitted to the building, which was used to run his small taxi business.

Apart from the aerial, it was council policy that no private business could be carried on from a council house.

One of Mr Buchanan’s placards claimed that many other people ran a business from their home.

Another declared, in an apparent nod to the old Cole Porter song, Let’s Do It: “Shopkeepers do it, taxi owners do it, even town councillors and Co-op undertakers do it. Good luck to them! But why shouldn’t Jack Buchanan do it”.

“I think I will manage it for about a week”, Mr Buchanan said of his protest. “It’s very cold, but it is a thing which has to be done”.

Read more: Herald Diary