Glasgow West End

1820 Risings

2020 saw the bi-centenary of the 1820 Radical Risings in Scotland - a series of demonstrations by working people against poor wages, high taxes on essential food items, and lack of political franchise.

Although limited in time and space, some regard it as a watershed moment in British history, yet it’s barely known in Scotland let alone anywhere else.

During 2019, members of Glasgow West-End, Paisley & District, Falkirk, and Perth U3As worked on a project researching these events. We had planned to hold a free public event in April 2020 to showcase our findings but, due to the pandemic, were unable to do so.

We therefore posted some of our research on this page if you would be interested in reading it. Most of us are enthusiastic amateur researchers and we chose topics that were of personal interest to us. This means that there will be gaps in what we have found out about this period of history. This might lead you to carry out your own research.

We also produced a dramatic performance of the events. If you would like to listen to it you'll find it on You'll also find a 'video' version on

Before you listen or watch the performance, you should read the director's story of the challenging circumstances in which it was made. You'll find 'The Story of our Lockdown Podcast’ in the list of presentations on this page. Below you'll also find a lockdown photo-shopped photograph of the cast!

(the 1825 panoramic landscape of Paisley is by J H Clark, courtesy of the British Museum under a Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) license).

(Click on the pigeon to contact one of the project coordinating team )