Deborah Orr (1962–2019) was a Scottish journalist who worked for The Guardian, The Independent, and the New Statesman, among other publications. From 1993 to 1998, she was the first woman editor of Guardian Weekend magazine. Her memoir, Motherwell, was published posthumously in the UK in 2020. (February 2020)

NYR DAILY

Made in Lanarkshire, Scotland

The former British Steel works at Ravenscraig in Motherwell being demolished by controlled explosion, Lanarkshire, Scotland, 1996

Back in the 1970s, things had seemed optimistic: Motherwell was a place with a future. There was little doubt that better times lay ahead, that we were valued, the people of this fortunate country, and that everything would work out fine. And we lived in this great country, Scotland, the great River Clyde on our doorstep. Yet, in Motherwell, all was not well with my mother. Failure to be Scottish in Lanarkshire was a problem for my mum, just as failure to be English had been a failure for my dad in Essex. And in both places, I was a chimerical beast, an oddity.