Development plans for John Brown shipyard in Clydebank

Hi,

Thought you would be interested in seeing this, plans to build yuppie flats on the site of the yard of John Brown & Co. the Lusitania, Aquitania, HMS Hood, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, Royal Yacht Britannia, and QE2's birth place. It looks as though they are going to build on the slip way. It's a bit like the Titanic Quarter development in Belfast. I hope they stop short of filling in the fitting out basin.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/2402169.stm
 
I was at the site of the Shipyard at the weekend when I was at my parents for Christmas. Sure enough, the shipyard has been completely flattened: not a single building remains standing! All that remains is the large 1905 William Arrol & Co. crane. Presumably they will be repainting it before they build the flats as it is badly rusted and looks totally derelict.

It is a shame as when I last saw the yard in 2001 and 2002, much of it still remained including the drawing offices and many of the cranes which could be seen in photos of ships being built as far back as the Lusitania's building in 1906/7! As you went in the gate, there were cobble stones with tram tracks on the ground and a row of Victorian terrace houses that gave the place a kind of village appearance that couldn't have changed much during the time all the great ships were built. I think these buildings would have housed the yard's managerial offices. I wonder why they weren't listed given their significance to the history of the local area?

However, when I visited in 2001 the guy in the security booth gave me the impression they didn't get many people asking to see the spot where the Queen Mary was built. Clydebank is not a convential tourist destination, notwithstanding it being on one of the main routes to Loch Lomond and the Firth of Clyde which is one of the most outstandingly beautiful parts of Scotland and which provides the stunning backdrop to photos of the Queen Mary and the Lusitania leaving the river for the open sea.

Still, in a few years any die hard ship buff will be able to own a home right on the spot where many of the most famous ships in all history were conceived, designed and constructed. If that happens, maybe they'll be a clamour for a bigger museum and more intersting things to do in Clydebank apart from the mega bowl and the multiplex cinema. Maybe I'll retire there in 2047...
 

Noel F. Jones

Active Member
May 14, 2002
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Thank you for that, Stuart.

It looks like it's going the usual way of most ex-industrial acreage in the UK, viz.: "260 homes set for Denny site"....

http://icdunbartonshire.icnetwork.co.uk/news/lennoxnews/tm_objectid=15045857%26method=full%26siteid=78846-name_page.html

I doubt the developers will preserve the platers' shop or any suchlike. I note even the adjacent distillery site is now up for grabs.

It is to be hoped that the Denny towing tank, with its dedication to William Froude on the old Glasgow Road gable end, is still extant as a visitable museum piece?

Noel