Welcome to my wee blog. This is all very new to me but as my mother used to say:

"You might as well be oot the world as oot the fashion" - so here goes...


The new book charts the lives of Sam Johnstone from Gartsherrie and Maria Riley from Glenboig. The young couple elope in the first book, THE LAWS OF GARTSHERRIE, due to the religious prejudice they experience in Coatbridge.

Sam and Maria’s journey takes them to Australia but Scotland still figures large in the tale. While the book charts the adventures of the Johnstone family in Melbourne, what is happening in the lives of their relatives and friends in Gartsherrie and Glenboig is relayed through letters.

The timeframe of the new book is from 1917 until just after the end of the Second World War, a period in history which saw many changes in the lives of working people. And, it is also a time which many people are currently researching while tracing their family tree.

In the1960’s there was a wave of families who emigrated to Australia from Coatbridge to make a new life for themselves, they were known as ‘The Ten Pound Poms’. During this period many people from all over Lanarkshire who worked in heavy industry emigrated, or had no option but to move to other parts of the United Kingdom such as; Corby, Port Talbot and London. This diaspora left for an entirely different reason, economic.

In 1967 ‘The Works’, Bairds & Scottish Steel, finally closed its gates for the last time, this effectively changed the landscape of Coatbridge and particularly Gartsherrie. The remaining Rows, Gartsherrie Institute and all the buildings on the site of ‘The Works’ were gradually demolished, removing the heart from the community,

It would be such a shame if the lives of the people who made up these vibrant and hard working communities were forgotten. These were folks who lived against the backdrop of two world wars, women‘s suffrage and world wide depressions. Alexandra Morris firmly believes their story deserves to be told.

In the first two books the main aim of the author was to write about ordinary people, how they would have lived during the years of heavy industry and the issues that were of importance to them. ESCAPE FROM GARTSHERRIE moves further afield but while the locations in much of the third book are often far removed from Coatbridge, the ‘Scottishness’ is retained and as with the earlier books the plot covers the gamut of human emotions from laughter to tears.

All three books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions; Follow this link.