Presentation on theme: "Many Itailians came to Scotland in the late 1800s to escape famine and corruption in their homeland The first settlers were known as Ciociari from the."— Presentation transcript:
Many Itailians came to Scotland in the late 1800s to escape famine and corruption in their homeland The first settlers were known as Ciociari from the Ciociaria region located in southern Lazio.Ciociaria
Around WWI a sizeable Italian community, over 4,000 began to emerge in Scotland, with Glasgow housing the third largest community in Great Britain. Many left their families behind initially with a view to bringing them over once a job and housing had been secured. This was halted with the introduction of the Aliens Order Act which limited the number of immigrants to the U.K.
Italians tended to set up carts selling ice creams
Many times when the chap would be going round the streets with the barrow they'd get a couple of youths coming up and making a bit of fun because the man couldn't speak English. They'd go up pretending they were going to buy something and when the Italian chap lifted the lid they'd throw bundles of stones or something into the freezer. These boys were only doing it as a prank, you see, but for the Italian man it was a loss of a lot of money because they'd wasted his goods. These vendors were often abused and treated poorly working sometimes working 12 hour days for up to eight years without a day off. The frustrations caused by this lifestyle are confirmed in Dominic Crolla's memories:
By 1904, the carts had given way to cafes. The number of cafes in Glasgow alone had doubled from the previous year. This grew to 336 ice cream shops the following year. It was at this time that Italian population in Scotland began to stabilise at around 5000.
The cafes were famous for their ice cream (especially with raspberry sauce- known as a hokey pokey) the raspberry was the Tallys Blood and their ginger ale. Which they made themselves in the shops. (later naming all fizzy juice Ginger)
The cafes became popular with the temperance movement (banning of alcohol) because they didnt sell alcohol Many people would go there instead of the pub. Also, young people would gather there. Many thought this was a good alternative to a debauched way of life (pub, gambling etc)
But the cafes were used as a scapegoat for all the evils of society. Young girls were seen smoking because Italians didnt mind girls smoking so sold them cigarettes Young people were seen dancing to harmonica music outside the shops But worst of all they opened on a Sunday!
From reports of the investigations into the ice cream cafes. Cross-examined, witness added that he had seen the boys and girls kissing and smoking and cuddling away at each other...Detective Young, Northern Division, stated that he had known many little girls when about twelve or thirteen years of age who had since been before the Magistrates, and were now prostitutes. The boys who had accompanied them as girls were now living off them, and were going out acting as their bullies at night. Q. Do you ask us to believe that the downfall of these women was due to ice-cream shops? A. I believe it is.
In a stern time Ice Cream was exotic and therefore taboo. It continued to be attacked for all sorts of things! Gambling! Encouraging debauchery! Encouraging moral discord!
So along comes WWII and Italy joins to fight with the Germans. (they switched sides and ended up fighting with the allies later on!) Moussolinis influence was strong and many Italian Scots sympathised with the Fascists And any Italians living anywhere in Britain became the bad guy as well.
UK Prime Minister, Winston Churchill himself suspected a 'Fifth Column' of enemy nationals living in the UK and famously declared that they should 'Collar the lot!' In June 1940 men with Italian heritage were rounded up and shipped out to Canada, Australia, Beauly, Tomintoul and Huntly!
There was no logic behind who was imprisoned: One of the Italian internees taken (who later died aboard the Andora Star) was Silvestro d'Ambrosio, a confectioner and restaurateur from Hamilton. Unbelievably, Silvestro had lived in Scotland for 42 years, had one son in the British, and another in the Canadian Army.
The wives, mothers, children and the elderly were left to fend for themselves during this time. All remaining members of the family chipped in to keep the businesses going One Scots Italian Remembers: My great-aunt and her sister in law ran their shop for the duration of the War. This despite the fact that their husbands were interned and the husbands brother and family had escaped to Italy. In addition, at one point the business was taken over by the army for use as a hospital.
Andora Star The Arandora Star set sail with the following passengers: Officers & Crew 174 Military Guard 200 German Interned Males 479 German POW 86 Italian Interned Males 734 July 2 nd 1940 she was torpedoed from a German submarine off the Irish coast.
A Canadian destroyer HMCS St. Laurent and later the HMS Walker arrived to help, but sadly too late. Many had drowned, caught in the oily scum lost from the ship.
Of the 734 Italians on board 486 died Of the 479 Germans on board 175 died The Blue Star Cruise Line never used the name Arandora for another of their boats.
After the war cafes continued to modernise
The children of these families went away to University and College
Eventually the Italians became assimilated into Scottish Culture
And now other nationalities have become the new immigrants taking the Italians place
And so ironically, for all the hardship and persecution they endured, the Italians are now regarded fondly for their influence on Scotland and seen as part of Scottish society.
"Where is the Tally's that I knew so well? That wee corner shoppie where they used to sell, Hot peas, a McCallum, ice cream in a poke, You knew they were Tallys the minute the spoke."