Text Box: Home | About My City | Links | Interesting facts | My City
Text Box:

For all your Glasgow links


About My City

Text Box: Links

Interesting facts

My City

Text Box: mycityglasgow.co.uk
Text Box: To contact us: email mycityglasgow@yahoo.co.uk
Text Box: Webmaster : Liz  Smith
Text Box: Garden Festival 1988
Text Box: Glasgow in the 1980s
Text Box: Wallace the Fire Dog
Text Box: Glasgow Cross

Neglected City

Humane Society

The Clyde

Text Box: Transport Museum
Text Box: Riverside Museum
Text Box: John Smith Bookshop
Text Box: Glasgow Gems
Text Box: The Fancy Fair
Text Box: The River Clyde

In January 2010 something happened which I don’t ever remember seeing before in my lifetime—parts of the Clyde in the city centre froze over.  It wasn’t just the seagulls that were surprised!!  We took some pictures from the North and South sides of the Jamaica Street Bridge and some of them are reproduced here. 


In my opinion, every child of the Clyde should attend at least one launch in their life.  As a schoolchild, I was outside the gates of John Brown’s Yard when the QE2 was launched, but I don’t think that really counts!  So, in October 2009, I was lucky to get a ticket to the launch of a warship, which seems to be mostly what is built on the Clyde these days; the great cruise ships being constructed elsewhere.  The ship was named ‘Defender’ and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of the launch. The  great chains and blocks of wood you see in the old films of launches are long gone, in favour of cables and such.  Here are some pictures taken that day.

Carlton Place

The Clyde made Glasgow …..

And Glasgow made the Clyde

Text Box: Jamaica Street Bridge

This picture on the left shows the south bank of the river in the City Centre.  The beautiful row of buildings is Carlton Place, a Georgian Terrace.  More information can be found here -


Text Box: North Bank City Centre

The picture of the North bank looks towards the Jamaica Street Bridge and you can just make out the Custom House building, built in 1840.  This building is for sale and looking for a new use.  Let’s hope it doesn’t end up on my Neglected City page...

Custom House Quay

Custom House

Text Box: Defender

A wee problem with the launch !


Launch programme

The venue for the entertainment and arrival of the launch party and officials was the famous Waverley paddle steamer


Text Box: Defender afloat
Text Box: Completing manoeuvres

Courtesy of Bob Wright

Of course, the Clyde has always been famous for shipbuilding.  Some of the best known cruise ships of the past were built on the Clyde—the most famous, perhaps, being the ‘Queens’.  First there was the Queen Mary(1936), then the Queen Elizabeth(1940) and then the QE2(1968)—the launch I attended, but didn’t actually see!  These were all built by the equally famous John Brown’s shipyard, in Clydebank. 

The Blitz

The industry that went on in Clydebank (not just the shipbuilding) was no doubt the reason for the terrible bombing raids on the nights of 13th—15th March 1941.  Although Glasgow was also a target that night, the devastation wreaked in Clydebank meant that the raids were forever after known as the ‘Clydebank Blitz’.  Read more about that here..                                  More to be found....

There are lots more sites about this subject.

The other main yards on the Clyde, and I include some of the more recent ones, too, were:-

Yarrow’s, Scott’s, Lithgow’s, Fairfield’s, Upper Clyde (UCS), Kvaerner, Alexander Stephen’s, A & J Inglis’s, Connell’s, Harland & Wolff, Barclay Curle’s, Ferguson’s, Govan Shipbuilders.  This is by no means an exhaustive list and I’m sure I will be reminded of others!


They didn’t just build Liners, but the ships needed for cargo, safety, holiday transport, security and war.  The photographs accompanying this section are used by kind permission of Bob Wright, who is involved in the museum for the preservation of fire engines and associated equipment (see my ‘Places to Visit’ page), and also has a great interest in ships of the Clyde.

Text Box: QE2
Text Box: P. S. Jeannie Deans

Clydebank Blitz

You may not be aware that there were submarines being built on the Clyde during the First World War.  One such was the submarine numbered K13, which did, unfortunately, prove to be unlucky.  Built at Fairfields, she failed in trials on the Gareloch and 32 lives were lost. 

K13 submarine

Text Box: K13 memorial
Elder Park

Another disaster on the Clyde was the sinking of the Daphne on her launch in 1883, when 124 lives were lost.  She was built at Stephen’s Linthouse yard. The disaster led to better ship planning and design.

The Daphne

Text Box: Daphne memorial in Elder Park, Govan

Queen Mary

Queen Elizabeth


In February 2010, there was a possibility that the hundreds of years old link provided by the Renfrew Ferry at Yoker/Renfrew would be discontinued due to the need to find cost savings.  A water-bus was  trialled at the crossing and we all waited to see the outcome.


Promises were made that some form of crossing at this point would be available.  The vehicle ferry was discontinued some time ago, only foot passengers and cyclists could make the roughly 10 minute crossing.  Some years ago, the ferry was operated by chains which ran across the river—that was also discontinued, but the remnants of the workings can (barely) be seen still. 









One of the old ferries is now used as a music and events venue in Glasgow.



 March/April 2010


A new, smaller, ferry now plies the river between Yoker and Renfrew.


It can take about a dozen passengers and I believe that at least one cycle is allowed on board.  We shall have to see if this smaller vessel is viable in the long run, as regards weather and passenger numbers.  The fare has gone up slightly.  The service is just as frequent as before at the moment—as our U.S. cousins say—’Use it or lose it!’


This link takes you to a site with lots more information about the Renfrew Ferry.

Text Box: Old vehicular ferry

Renfrew Ferry

Text Box: Halfway across
Text Box: Ferry leaving Renfrew

Looking West

If you are interested in reading more about the Clyde or the ships and steamers of the Clyde, then click HERE to see a list of some of the books available on the subject.

Text Box: The new ferry
Text Box: The new ferry