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Tongland (gang area): Wikis

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Tongland could also refer to a village in Dumfries and Galloway
Tongland graffiti in the Calton area of Glasgow. Photo taken 2004 by John Fleming

Tongland was (and sometimes still is) a local nickname for the area of Calton, Glasgow controlled in the 1960s by a violent Scottish teenage gang called the Tongs.

Tongland appears in Gillies MacKinnon's 1995 movie Small Faces, set in the 1960s.[1]. The Tongs' and other gangs' power over the area and their decline in the 1970s is described in Janey Godley's 2005 autobiography Handstands in the Dark.[2]

The phrase and widespread local graffiti "Tongs Ya Bass" arguably became Glasgow’s unofficial motto in the Sixties and Seventies.[3] The word "bass" was not an abbreviation of "bastard", but a corruption of the ancient Scottish Gaelic expression for "battle and die".[3]

References


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