City of Gangs reveals the history of Glasgow’s gangsters, their gangs, the young women who lived with and sometimes fought alongside them, and the gang culture in which they thrived. The figure on the cover of City of Gangs is Billy Fullerton, one time leader of the Brigton Billy Boys. Contrary to local legend, Fullerton did not found the Billy Boys. By his own account – as told to a Scottish weekly paper during the early 1930s – the Billy Boys recruited him by offering ‘protection’ after he was targeted by members of another gang while working as a cinema attendant in Glasgow’s East End. Writing as ‘Bill Fulton’, Fullerton described his rise through the ranks of the Billy Boys, his feuds with rival gangsters and his struggle to leave the gang after he vowed to ‘go straight’ for the sake of his wife and children. Fullerton’s story is told anew in City of Gangs alongside stories of lesser known gang members such as George Stankovitch. Dubbed the Don Quixote of the East End, Stankie was murdered by members of his own gang – the Savoy Arcadians – after he became ‘too friendly’ with their arch enemies, the Billy Boys. In Glasgow, the trial of Stankovitch’s killers in 1936 momentarily eclipsed the abdication of King Edward VIII.
When I ran about with the Cumbie we had the She Cumbie they where the Lasses and they would take our Blades into the Dancing because at that time the Bouncers didn’t search the Girls.