Singer Lulu uncovers sectarian scandal in her family’s past

Lulu was appearing on the BBC show Who Do You Think Are. Picture: Contributed
Lulu was appearing on the BBC show Who Do You Think Are. Picture: Contributed
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Singer Lulu has revealed the sectarian scandal in her family’s past and how her grandparents fought to be together despite Glasgow’s religious divide.

The Scot, 68, discovered secrets of her family’s past in an episode of Who Do You Think You Are? to be shown this month.

She discovers how the bigotry that blighted Glasgow’s East End in the 1920s almost forced her grandparents apart in a tale likened to “Glasgow’s answer to Romeo and Juliet”.

Granddad Hugh was a jailbird from a Catholic family in Townhead, while wife Helen’s family was strongly involved with the Protestant Orange Order in Bridgeton.

Hugh’s family saved to send him to live in America to keep him from Helen, only him to work his passage home a few months later.

Lulu discovers how her grandparents married against the will of both sets of parents in a non-religious ceremony, following the birth of their second child, and went on to have five more including Lulu’s mother Elizabeth.

Lulu says: “I imagine the families absolutely refused to allow them to get married but they couldn’t keep them apart.”

The singer also talks about needing to discover why her mother –the middle child of seven to Hugh and Helen – was given away to be brought up by another family.