River Clyde, Glasgow
Like many cities, Glasgow is built on the two sides of a river, in this case the River Clyde. Its hard to believe, when you look at the river now, that until the late 1700s it was so shallow people could wade across it! Thanks to work to deepen and canalise it large ships were then able to come right up into the city centre. There is a saying that goes "The Clyde made Glasgow, and Glasgow made the Clyde". The river has long been known for its ship building although not so much now as it used to be.
Coursing through the heart of Glasgow is the River Clyde. Upstream at the Falls of Clyde its power once turned the cotton mills of innovative New Lanark. Reaching Glasgow it slowed and widened. People here used to wade across its muddy depth. Being tidal though gave the opportunity to deepen and canalise its channel to enabled ships to steam into the city. While ‘The Clyde made Glasgow, Glasgow also made the Clyde’. This river became mother of 90% of all the world’s metal ships in 1900.
The ‘Tobacco Lords’ laid the foundation to this tale. They imported tobacco into Glasgow from the American Colonies and sold it within Scotland and onwards to England and France. They amassed huge wealth by shrewd dealing. While English traders paid in cash Scottish traders seizing the opportunity to also provide the industrial goods the growers needed. By so doing ships were laden both outward and inward bound. This trade ended with the American War of Independence in 1775, which ended Britain’s stranglehold on the trade.
Banks, insurance companies, lawyers and industries multiplied in Glasgow in the tobacco years. Combined with Scottish reserves of coal, iron, steel, cheap labour and its supporting colleges and universities, the city powered into dramatic growth.
The banks of the Clyde sprouted wharves and giant cranes, and resounded to the rattle of rivet guns. Huge engine works turned out ships engines and locomotives for the world’s railways. ‘Clyde Built’ became the badge of excellence. Skills grew, confidence grew, and compliancy grew. The Clyde industrialists felt that no one could challenge their dominant position. How wrong could they be? From leaders they became followers. In the face of the power of trades to protect their skills industries found it difficult to adjust and adapt. Two world Wars caused an explosion in orders but the seeds of decline were ever-present. Political interference in merging shipbuilding yards failed to halt the decline.
The last great commercial ship built was the QE2. Nowadays the Clyde shipbuilders are specialist naval builders. Two giant aircraft carriers are now on the slipways.
The banks of the Clyde now once again bristle with cranes but this time employed in producing innovative office blocks and homes needed in a city reborn as a business and a holiday centre.
As for the River Clyde it just rolls on regardless of whether it is deep, shallow, narrow or wide and it has been all four due to Glasgow manipulating its passage to the sea to meet the city’s needs.
Makes the liffey look like a wee burn this river ,mother of 90% of all the worlds metal ships in 1900 ,is a historical maritime live story. We took the cruise from under central station to the Braehead centre on the outskirts of REnfrew.
The guide was a mine of information.
Docks,ship yards and present day operations were all historically accounted for in an often humerous way, the accent is thick but fun and our arrival at Braehead led us onto another adventure with its shops and activitiy centres,including the worlds biggest indoor sky centre
A truly great day with something for all the family.
For those who are intersted in the industrial heritage of the River Clyde, have a look at www.clydewaterfrontheritage.com. You'll also find interesting places to visit along the Clyde and surrounding areas.
Go and hung around this famous river,talk to her make friends with this interesting river and she will tell you many amazing stories.
I wanted to stay and chat with her longer but I had to hurry had a VT meeting to attend.
But I told her,one day soon I will come again and talk with you all day..
Three of the best things to see in Scotland are in this park. The park itself is very beautiful, in truth spectacularly so.
The fountain in the park,see photo, near the duck pond celebrates the first city in the world over million people to have engineers pump fresh water from the mountains to the city, and a big engineers conference to show world how to do it.
Nearby is a statue given to the city by president Kennedy.
Also a fantastic skating park.
OK, so I got the idea here, but it was a very nice thinkg to do, I recommend it to everyone.
When I was at the Cathedral I walked to the river Clyde and decided I would walk to the SECC, where I had to be the next day so I wanted to explore a bit. It was a lovely walk. Most of the time you can walk a bit away from the roads so it feels like you're all by yourself a little bit. It's very enjoyable and passes a lot of lovely bridges I liked to walk under them...
I think it also took me about 1h30.
The River Clyde flows from its source in the "Lead Hills" area of lowland Scotland to its mouth near Glasgow at the Firth of Clyde, where it flows into the North channel of the Irish Sea. The Clyde Valley near New Lanark is particularly fertile, and home to many tomato greenhouses and garden centres, as well as being a magnet for tourists. The Clyde is also well-known for its shipbuilding which has declined in recent years, but saw the launch of such well-known ocean liners as the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth 2. It has a total length of about 106 miles (176 km), making it Scotland's third longest river.
The views of the river clyde at night around the city centre are just breat taking when at night all the bridges lights are turned on.
The "Pride of the Clyde" runs from outside the Scottish Maritime Museum at Braehead to Jamaica Wharf in the city centre, along the River Clyde. Its makes a change from getting the bus into the city centre. We parked at Braehead and took the ferry service so we could spend part of the day in the city centre. There was a commentary and tickets cost £5 for an adult return.
I've heard that they plan to add more stops in the future, possibly including the Science Centre and another shopping centre that is planned on the other side of the Clyde.
The Tall Ship at Glasgow Harbour is open all year and offers the chance to explore one of the last remaining Clydebuilt sailing ships, the s.v. Glenlee (1896). Exhibitions, events, activities for children, a nautical souvenir shop and cafe are all on offer.