Corby - England
Corby is certainly not the only place in England to which considerable numbers of Scots emigrated. But there was a major catalyst in the early 1930s when Stewarts Steel from Glasgow resolved to establish their joint enterprise with Midlands based Lloyds in Corby during the early 1930s. Several thousand swiftly came south from Aberdeen and Glasgow. And again in the decades immediately after the Second World War growth in steel making, and Corby's designation as a 'new' town, brought many more. Not so long ago more than half the townsfolk were Scottish or descended from Scots. As such Corby represented a fine example of the diaspora. The original community of just over 1000 was almost in the 20th century's growth and development lost but never forgotten. It's making a comeback amongst 'auld' Corby where there is now a new Heritage Centre.
With the active support of Stewarts and Lloyds Recreation and Welfare Club all things Scottish were honoured - pipe bands, dancing and Highland Gatherings. St Andrew's then St Ninian Churches of Scotland and Our Lady of Walsingham were established. The stories of those who made the journey south to find work, one all the way on a bicycle, are legendary against a backdrop of industrial imagination that created the grandest steel works in a rural community that had been drag mining iron ore since before the Romans came to Northamptonshire. The town's most spectacular project - PLUTO / Pipe-Line-Under-The-Ocean, Project 99 - saw petrol supplies flow in a Corby steel pipe across the Channel floor immediately after the DDay Landings in 1944.
Not surprisingly, the incoming Scots founded their own members' co-operative, The Grampian Club, which has flourished for the past 40 years as a home from home. The accents in the bars are purest Glaswegian and Aberdonian, and the Pipes and Drums and the Dancers meet every week. And then there's the Burns Society too. The Club readily played host to The Prestonpans Tapestry as panel images were collated and stitchers recruited.
Like The Pans, where we lost our pits in the 60s, it was Corby's turn in the 70s to lose its steel works - although there is still some small production. But the 'new town' has continued to grow and developed with migrant Scots lending the strongest hand.