Ardrossan Harbour

on Oct 22, 2017

The origin of the harbour of Ardrossan lies in the vision of Hugh, the twelfth Earl of Eglinton, who was a man of great energy. Not only did he rebuild the family home of Eglinton Castle but on July 31, 1806, he was responsible for the laying by William Blair, Master Mason, of the foundation stone of the harbour and wet dock to be connected by canal to Paisley and Glasgow. The town of Ardrossan grew up around the project. Earl Hugh died on December 15, 1819 but the Eglinton family continued the project. The estimated cost for the harbour was £40,000 with and anticipated 10% annual return on capital, but costs mushroomed to £100,000 and expected revenues were never realized. The canal made its way from Glasgow as far as Johnstone before the competing project of deepening the Clyde in the new age of the steamboat sucked up all the interest and capital. Nevertheless, Ardrossan was in an...

Cove Pier

on Oct 11, 2017

Feuing at the Roseneath village of Cove began around 1850 and shortly thereafter a Mr M‘Ilroy, one of the early feuars approached the Duke of Argyll for permission to erect a pier. Permission was duly granted with the provision that the pier could be purchased by the Duke at any time at a fair market value. The pier was duly constructed and opened in 1852, attracting steamers from the Lochgoil and Holy Loch service and serving as a focal point to encourage additional feuing in the vicinity. An early engraving from around 1870 Despite its close proximity to Kilcreggan, Cove pier continued to attract sufficient business through the collection of pier dues to sustain its annual lease. The main steamers calling on a regular service were the Holy Loch boats though there was also excursion traffic. “Kilcreggan—An Alarming Occurrence at Cove Pier. —Two men narrowly escaped with their lives at...

Glen Sannox of 1925

on Sep 16, 2017

The Rock magazine of March 1925 records: “The name of an old and popular Clyde steamer has been revived in the Glen Sannox, which was launched on 24th February. The new ship which was built for the London, Midland & Scottish Railway Company, for their Clyde services, is 250 feet long by 30 feet broad by 10 feet 6 inches to the main deck, and she will be fitted with three Parsons’ independent steam turbines, each driving a separate shaft with one propeller, capable of developing a speed of about 20¾ knots. The Glen Sannox is, in many respects, similar to the Duchess of Argyll, which has proved such a successful unit of the L.M.S. fleet, and which many people maintain is the most graceful craft on the Clyde. At the request of the owners, there was no formal ceremony at the launch, but as the vessel left the ways she was gracefully named by Miss Rosamund Denny, the youthful daughter...

Canadian Pacific Steamships on the Clyde

on Sep 4, 2017

The ships of the Canadian Pacific Line were well known on the Clyde, transporting Scots to and from Canada. The company also had deeper ties, coming to the shipyards on the river for many of the fine vessels for their Atlantic and Pacific routes as well as those for coastal and lake services. What follows in this article is a brief photographic record of many of the fine ships both on the Clyde and at other locations. It is by no means comprehensive in its coverage of Company. The Canadian Pacific Railway was completed in 1886. In 1891, the Pacific Mail contract was awarded to the Canadian Pacific Railway and they had three liners built by Vickers Naval Construction and Armament Co., at Barrow for the service from Vancouver to Japan, China and Hong Kong. The first of the three vessels was named Empress of Japan and she was followed by her sisters the Empress of China and the Empress of...

Yachts

on Aug 24, 2017

The early days of organized yachting on the Clyde date to the formation of the Northern Yacht Club at Rothesay in 1824. Almost immediately, the club hosted an annual regatta, initially alternating between Belfast Lough and the Clyde. The club gained a Royal Charter in 1830, becoming the Royal Northern Yacht Club. A glance at the Glasgow and sporting newspapers in late summer in the 1830s and 1840s reveals the intense interest in the “Clyde Regatta” and the yacht races. In the 1838 regatta held at Gourock at the end of July in the 25 tonner class Matthew Perston’s Wave, built by Robert Steele at Greenock in 1834, found success over James Smith’s Amethyst and James Macnair’s revolutionary Cyclops that was iron hulled to water line and built in 1836. Robert Kerr’s Falcon was fourth while Andrew Wauchope’s Nancy did not finish. Smaller yachts in the 10 tonner class featured a contest...

Glasgow Docks

on Aug 5, 2017

A brief timeline The early efforts to deepen the River Clyde for navigation relied on the construction of groynes or jetties into the river to constrain the channel and use the natural scouring and deepening effect of the tides and the river flow. The effect was enhanced by joining the ends of the jetties by stone walls. By the middle of the 1830s the channel was deep enough to allow coastal steamers access to the Broomielaw but the narrowness of the channel was a major limitation to the development of Glasgow as a port. Compounding the problems was the expansion of industry on the reclaimed land lining the banks of the river. By 1840, the harbour extended from the Broomielaw Bridge encompassing the Broomielaw though Anderson on the north bank and Windmillcroft on the south bank. The steamboat quay was situated at the western end of the harbour on the north bank where there was a...

Renfrew Ferry

on Jul 10, 2017

Marlin Ford, about five miles down the Clyde from the center of Glasgow allowed people and livestock to wade across the river when the tide was low. For those who had more urgent business or were unwilling to get their feet wet, there was also a ferry and the rights ferry were granted to the burgh of Renfrew from the time of the charter making Renfrew a Royal Burgh in 1614. The land on both sides of the river was part of Renfrewshire. The land to the south of the ferry formed King’s Inch and in 1760, the tobacco lord, Alexander Spiers acquire the ground on which he built his Elderslie Estate. It was Spier’s son, Archibald, who approached the Renfrew Town Council with a plan to re-site the ferry about half a mile downstream at the outflow of the Pudzeoch burn. Public access through the estate to the original ferry inn would be curtailed and the estate would furnish a new ferry boat,...

Rothesay Dock

on Jul 4, 2017

When the Clyde Navigation Trust projected a need for a new dock to handle increased coal and mineral traffic in 1898, it chose a site downriver at Clydebank, next to the shipyard of Messrs J. & G. Thomson. The primary need was good rail access and the area was served by both the North British and the Caledonian Railways. The site itself was a difficult one for an engineering works as it was reclaimed land but by sinking a novel system of concrete monoliths, the dock foundations were quickly prepared and dredgers moved in to excavate the dock. It was decided that the dock cranes and hoists should be powered by electricity rather than the hydraulic power used in the docks in Glasgow. This was the first extensive use of electricity for a dock in the country. Early in 1907, the dock was sufficiently well advanced that it could be opened for traffic and the opening ceremony was...