Coatbridge (Gaelic: Drochaid a' Chòta) is a working class Lanarkshire town set in the central Lowlands of Scotland. The first settlement of Coatbridge stretches back to the stone age era. The town was founded proper in the 12th century when the locality was donated to the Monks of Newbattle Abbey. During the last years of the 18th century the area began to develop into an industrial powerhouse. The town was a major Scottish centre for iron works and coal mining and had an enormous influx of immigrants in the 19th century. However the heavy industries linked to coal and iron have long vanished from the town with the last iron work in the town closing in the 1960's. Coatbridge today is known as a working class town anchored to neighbouring Glasgow. The town has also been notably described as “uniquely populated largely by people of Irish descent”.
The population of Coatbridge is 41,170 making it the 2nd largest town in the North Lanarkshire area. This is a significant decrease from the historical high over 50'000 in the 1960s.
Des Dillon is an internationally acclaimed award-winning writer. He was born in Coatbridge and studied English Literature at Strathclyde University before becoming a teacher. He was Writer-in-Residence at Castlemilk from 1998-2000. He is a poet, short story writer, novelist, dramatist, broadcaster, screen writer, and scriptwriter for TV, stage and radio. His books have been published in the USA, India, Russia, Sweden, in Catalan, French and Spanish. His poetry has been anthologised internationally. His latest award was The Lion and Unicorn prize for the best of Irish and British literature in the Russian Language (2007). Des lives in Galloway with his wife and dogs.
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