A Travellerspoint blog

Where I grew up.

My parents - proud Bankies. - Clydebank

My parents - proud Bankies. - Clydebank

Clydebank - The Town where I Grew Up.

My parents house in the snow. - Clydebank

My parents house in the snow. - Clydebank

I grew up in a town called Clydebank. Clydebank is not a touristy place; it does not have much in the way of sights, but I am writing it a page, because it is where I am from. It seems a shame to write about all these exotic places and have nothing to say about your own town. In making this page I have 2 problems :1/ as I said, not many sights; 2/ I don't know much about Clydebank's history. Well, I cannot do much about 1, but I have been researching 2 and I've found out I knew more than I thought I did and that Clydebank's history is actually quite interesting.

The earliest references I could find mentioned Druid stones with cup and ring markings. Someone wrote about searching for one of these, then finding to her surprise it was buried under the ground. She wondered why. I could have told her...........

As a child I grew up on a fairly non-­descript housing scheme called Faifley, but Faifley did have one redeeming feature. It was right next to some beautiful countryside. I often went walking round the Cochno Road or over the knowes (moors) to Craigton. Sometimes we would go on one of the three remaining old estates on the Cochno Road: Cochno, Edinbarnet and Auchnocraig. Once when I was playing on Auchnacraig Estate, my mum told me, "You are playing right on top of the Druid Stone." Of course, I immediately wanted to see it. "You can't," said my mum. "They reburied it to keep the vandals off it." On­-line I found this reference:

'Evidence of man's prehistoric settlement in the area (Faifley) was found at Auchnacraig in 1887 when the Reverend James Harvey discovered the Druid (or Cochno) Stone. This sandstone rock, some 60 feet in diameter has, possibly, the finest "cup and ring" carvings in existence.'

My other memories of Auchnacraig, apart from its stunning displays of rhododendrons and bluebells, was my mum telling me that during the First World War, when the men were away fighting, her mother became a postwoman and delivered to Auchnacraig Estate. She had to place the mail onto a silver platter that the butler brought for this purpose. Sadly, Auchnacraig House has long since been demolished; the estate is now park land.

Other early history refers to the Ancient Romans. Part of the Antonine Wall passed through here. There was also a fort. Not much remains however, just a few stones from the wall. The outline of the fort is only really visible from the air.

The oldest parts of Clydebank seem to be Duntocher and Hardgate. These villages were built next to the Duntocher Burn (stream) and the inhabitants worked in the textile mills there. As a child I used to play on the remains of an old ruined mill by the burn sometimes. Not sure if it is even still there. Here is some information I found on­line:

Faifley's first industries were attracted to the area by the opportunity to harness the water­power provided by the Loch Humphrey Burn and the Cochno Burn. A waulk mill(mentioned in charters of 1643) and a dye works were in existence when William Dunn (1760–1849) purchased the Faifley Cotton Spinning Co in 1811. Dunn had four large cotton mills on the burn and introduced the first steam engines at Faifley by 1836, at which time he was employing 1,400 workers. The American Civil War resulted in a collapse of Britain's cotton trade with the USA in the 1860s and led to the closure of all but one of the mills.

Most of the land where Clydebank now stands was farmland and much of it was owned by the Hamilton family who lived on Cochno Estate on the Cochno Road. Their estate house still stands and is now part of a vet school owned by the University of Glasgow. I remember going on the estate as a child and being fascinated by the little fenced off graveyard hidden among trees on a little hill there. It contained only three graves: the grave of Claude Hamilton, Henrietta Anne Bruce ­ his wife, and their infant daughters. The slopes around the graveyard were covered in bright yellow daffodils. I think this visit caused me to love daffodils, history and old graveyards!!!! I, of course, wanted to know everything about the people buried there, but at the time could find out nothing. There's actually quite a bit of information on line, however. Here is some:

'The most valuable lands near Faifley were the estates of Cochno, Edinbarnet (Edinbarnet Estate is now a care home for the elderly) and Law. Prior to the Reformation they were, like many Kilpatrick properties, transferred from the ownership of Paisley Abbey to the Hamilton family. Andrew Hamilton, Governor of Dumbarton Castle and Provost of Glasgow, acquired Cochno in 1550 but lost it after siding with Queen Mary at the battle of Langside in 1568. By 1592 the Crown had restored the estates to the Hamiltons. The present house was built in 1757 with additions in 1842.' And from the Cochno Estate website this:

'The information above (about the Hamilton family lineage) was very kindly supplied by Elizabeth Hamilton. Elizabeth was born in 1917 and stayed in Cochno House. She left when she was five to go and live at Polmaise Castle. Elizabeth Hamilton taught watercolours and weaving at The Glasgow School of Art. In April 2002 she presented one of her watercolour paintings to Cochno House where it takes pride of place above the fireplace in the first floor living room. Elizabeth Hamilton's grandfather (Claud Hamilton), his second wife Hon. Henrietta Anne Bruce and two of their children, Nora and Anne Henrietta were originally buried in a small graveyard, sheltered in a wood on Cochno Estate.'

So where did the town come from?

Clydebank is a famous ship building town. I knew that. It is where they built the QE2, the Queen Mary and many more, but the whole town apart from a few little villages (Hardgate, Duntocher, Dalmuir) owes its existence to the ship yards. That I did not know. Here's what I found on­-line to explain how it happened:

J&G Thomson.

'Two brothers — James and George Thomson founded the engineering and shipbuilding company J&G Thomson. The brothers founded the Clyde Bank Foundry in Anderston in 1847. George Thomson died in 1866, followed in 1870 by his brother James. They were succeeded by the sons of their elder brother, also called James and George Thomson. Faced with the compulsory purchase of their shipyard by the Clyde Navigation Trust (which wanted the land to construct the new Princes' Dock), they established a new Clyde Bank Iron Shipyard further downriver at the Barns o' Clyde, near the village of Dalmuir, in 1871. This site at the confluence of the tributary River Cart with the River Clyde allowed very large ships to be launched. The brothers soon moved their iron foundry and engineering works to the same site. Despite intermittent financial difficulties the company developed a reputation based on engineering quality and innovation. The rapid growth of the shipyard and its ancillary works, and the building of housing for the workers, resulted in the formation of a new town which took its name from that of the shipyard which gave birth to it — Clydebank. Prior to the building of Clydebank workers were shipped in to Thompson's Yard on a daily basis. This was inconvenient, so J and G Thompson leased the land around the shipyard to build homes for their workers. They leased it from Grace Hamilton of Cochno Estate.'

Clydebank was born. But the shipbuilding industry is at the mercy of the times. In 1899 the steelmaker John Brown and Company of Sheffield bought J&G Thomson's Clydebank yard for £923,255 3s 3d. John Brown's Yard was responsible for the building of the Queen Elizabeth, the QE2, the Queen Mary, the Royal Yacht, Britannia and many more. During the handover of Hong Kong the royal yacht was in Hong Kong Harbour. When I told my mum, I'd seen it, she said: "That's nothing, I've actually been on it." Turns out due to many family members working on it, she, along with many others, got to visit it, before it was launched from John Browns.

But all this industry brought about the town's destruction, too. On the nights of the 13th and 14th March 1941 Clydebank was blitzed by the German Luftwaffe. Here's what I found on­-line:

'As a result of the raids on the nights of 13 and 14 March 1941, the town(of Clydebank) was largely destroyed and it suffered the worst destruction and civilian loss of life in all of Scotland. 528 people died, 617 people were seriously injured, and hundreds more were injured by blast debris. Out of approximately 12,000 houses, only seven remained undamaged — with 4,000 completely destroyed and 4,500 severely damaged. Over 35,000 people were made homeless.'

My parents lived through the blitz. They survived in the air raid shelters but their homes were destroyed. Amazingly none of my family members died. Following the blitz my mum was evacuated to Renton, my dad to Cardross. They were both 10 years old during the blitz.

There are no major sights in Clydebank, but I have listed one or two places of interest below.

The Forth And Clyde Canal.

The Forth and Clyde Canal flows through the centre of Clydebank. There is a pleasant walkway along it and it is quite a pleasant place for a stroll. Occasionally you can see boats or barges gliding along it.

The Forth And Clyde Canal

The Forth And Clyde Canal

Clydebank Town Hall.

Clydebank town hall was built in 1902. It is now a Category B listed building. It was designed by John Miller. This building has a clock tower, a war memorial and a museum about Clydebank's history. The town hall survived the Clydebank blitz. It is located on Dumbarton Road.

Clydebank Town Hall

Clydebank Town Hall

Clydebank Town Hall

Clydebank Town Hall

Clydebank Museum.

This is a pleasant, friendly museum located inside the town hall. The entrance to it is on Hall Street. Part of the museum deals with the history of Clydebank's Singer Sewing Machine Factory. This was once a major employer in the town. Both my parents and 2 of my grandparents worked here. Singers has long since been demolished. Sadly they also demolished its famous clock tower in 1963. At one time this was a local meeting point and icon. I love the photo of the girls carrying the massive clock hand. The museum also deals with the history of ship building in Clydebank. During my visit there was an exhibition of the works of artist John Lowry Morrison JoLoMo who used to live in Clydebank. The museum is free entry and has a cafe, shop and garden, too.

Clydebank Museum

Clydebank Museum

Clydebank Museum

Clydebank Museum

Clydebank Museum

Clydebank Museum

The hand of the Singer's clock, Clydebank Museum

The hand of the Singer's clock, Clydebank Museum

Clydebank Museum

Clydebank Museum

The Library.

The library is next to the town hall on Dumbarton Road. It is an attractive old building and downstairs it has some old photos of the Clydebank area. At the entrance there is a stain glass window showing Singers clock, the Titan crane and ships.

The Library

The Library

The Library

The Library

Solidarity Square.

This square faces onto the town hall. It is a square linking Clydebank with Poland. Both places relied on industry and opposed the authorities through striking. There is also a plaque here commemorating a Polish ship that helped defend Clydebank during the blitz.

Solidarity Square

Solidarity Square

Solidarity Square

Solidarity Square

Solidarity Square

Solidarity Square

Houses Above The Park Bar.

This tenement block is on Dumbarton Road on the corner of Agamemon Street. I think it is a listed building. It has a small turret and interesting carvings. One of them links to Clydebank's ship building past.

Houses Above The Park Bar

Houses Above The Park Bar

Houses Above The Park Bar

Houses Above The Park Bar

The Beardmore Sculpture.

Beardmore was at one time a well­-known ship building firm in Clydebank. Their elaborate metal sculpture commemorates Clydebank's ship building past. It is worth taking a look at if you happen to be in the area.

The Beardmore Sculpture

The Beardmore Sculpture

The Titan Crane.

The Titan Crane was once part of John Brown's Ship Building. It was kept after the closure of the site. Now you can go up it for spectacular Clyde views. I have not gone up it yet, but believe you can see a long way from the top.The Titan Crane

The Titan Crane

The Titan Crane

The Titan Crane

The Clyde.

When I was a child you could not see the River Clyde in Clydebank as its banks were lined with industry, mainly ship building yards. That's all gone and now you can stroll along the Clyde Walkway enjoying the riverside views.

The Clyde

The Clyde

The Clyde

The Clyde

Dalmuir Public Park.

I frequently moan about things in Britain, but one thing we definitely do an outstanding job of is our parks. Well­ kept, colourful, free, facilities for children, lots of space, greenery. When travelling overseas, I have paid to go into parks that were not a patch on a British public park, for example, in Burma. Dalmuir Public Park was somewhere I loved to visit as a child. The area used to be filled with paper mills along the stream. Now it is a park complete with duck pond, waterfall, the forget-­me­-not boat, (It was covered in forget­-me-­nots when I was a child, now it has other flowers). It also has a monument to a young man who died trying to save a young child who had crawled onto the nearby railway line. The monument used to be in bronze but that was sadly stolen, then replaced. There's a lovely old fountain and now there is a monument to the Singer's clock.

Dalmuir Public Park

Dalmuir Public Park

Dalmuir Public Park

Dalmuir Public Park

Dalmuir Public Park

Dalmuir Public Park

Dalmuir Public Park

Dalmuir Public Park

Dalmuir Public Park

Dalmuir Public Park

The High Park.

This may have another official name, but everyone calls it the High Park. It is basically a big grassy hill with good views, including views over the town, views of the Old Kilpatrick Hills and views towards Erskine Bridge.

The High Park

The High Park

The High Park

The High Park

The High Park

The High Park

The High Park

The High Park

Clydebank Blitz Memorial.

On the nights of the 13th and 14th March 1941 Clydebank was blitzed by the German Luftwaffe. As a result of these raids the town of Clydebank was largely destroyed. 528 people died, 617 people were seriously injured, and hundreds more were injured by blast debris. Out of approximately 12,000 houses, only seven remained undamaged — with 4,000 completely destroyed and 4,500 severely damaged. Over 35,000 people were made homeless. This terrible tragedy is commemorated in Old Dalnottar Cemetery by a plaque.

Clydebank Blitz Memorial.

Clydebank Blitz Memorial.

Clydebank Blitz Memorial.

Clydebank Blitz Memorial.

Auchentoschan Distiliary.

I am not a whisky fan. I only drink it laced with hot water if I have the cold or a flu, but Clydebank has its own whisky distillery open to the public for tours. Auchentoshan boasts that its whisky is triple distilled.

Auchentoschan Distiliary

Auchentoschan Distiliary

Auchentoschan Distiliary

Auchentoschan Distiliary

McGonagles: Fish and Chips on the Canal.

McMonagles restaurant is a boat moored on the Forth and Clyde Canal in the centre of Clydebank next to the Clyde Shopping Centre. It is a fully licensed restaurant which specializes in fish and chips and has a seating capacity of 80. On the water side it even has a "Sail Thro" take away for passing boats and barges.

McGonagles Restaurant. - Clydebank

McGonagles Restaurant. - Clydebank

Golf and Bowling.

These are both popular sports in Scotland. Clydebank has many bowling greens and two golf courses. Golf is a sport open to all here, unlike in Hong Kong where I now live. There it is a sport of the rich with golf course membership fees that are through the roof and very few public courses.

I grew up in a town called Clydebank. As a child I would often be taken for day trips to Helensburgh or Balloch or Dumbarton during the summer months. These are all on direct train lines from Glasgow lines that pass through Clydebank and so were very easily accessible for us.

Helensburgh.

Walk Along The Waterfront.

Walk Along The Waterfront.

I have been visiting Helensburgh throughout my whole life. In my childhood it was a place we would be taken to on sunny summer days. For us as children it was a trip to the seaside, though really it is situated on the Firth of Clyde. We enjoyed everything. The trip on the train had a series of regular highlights: watch out for our granda's garden, the Erskine Bridge, the ship wrecks at Bowling, Dumbarton Rock, Dumbuck Quarry, the terror of going through the pitch blackness of Dumbarton Tunnel, the shores at Cardross. We would arrive armed with buckets and spades and the rocky, seaweed covered, long, narrow beach seemed like paradise to us, as did the icy dark waters of the River Clyde. There were the baths, the putting green, the pier with its shows, and walks along the waterfront. There was fish and chips devoured from a newspaper while fighting off the screeching gulls. If we were good, later there would be ice-cream cones. The trip on the train home was spent trying to spot rabbits and seeing who could get most before sinking into sleep from all the fresh air and exercise.

Nowadays Helensburgh has changed in some ways and stayed the same in others. We go there for the day frequently when we are back in Scotland. We eat a business man's lunch in the Ruby Chinese Restaurant. We still walk along the waterfront. Sometimes in the sun, sometimes in howling winds, sometimes in driving rain. We have a look in the shops every second one a charity shop, we have a walk along the pier. The Waverley calls in here and it used to be where you caught the ferry to Gourock or Kilcreggan. Sadly this service was discontinued in 2012. Occasionally we visit Hermitage Park or Hill House. I have always associated Helensburgh with John Logie Baird who invented the television and Henry Bell who introduced a successful passenger steamboat service along the River Clyde. He is buried in Rhu. I was surprised to learn that W.H. Auden and Cecil Day Lewis used to teach in a secondary school here.

Here are some things to do in Helensburgh:

Walk Along The Waterfront.

Walk Along The Waterfront.

Walk Along The Waterfront.

The roads at Helensburgh were dug up for a very long time, but fortunately they are now finished. It is pleasant to walk along the walkway on the edge of the River Clyde at Helensburgh. On one side of you there is the river, on the other a long stretch of grass. You will find a statue to John Logie Baird, the inventor of television, here. There are lots of places to sit and look out over the water. This is very pleasant on a warm day, though these are sadly rare. It is also nice to sit in the beer garden of the Commodore Hotel enjoying a pleasant meal or drink.

Getting To Helensburgh By Train.

Getting To Helensburgh By Train.

The Waverley

We were delighted to see the Waverley Passenger Steamer pulling into the end of Helensburgh Pier on our last visit. This steamer takes its name from the Sir Walter Scott novel. The Waverley is the last seagoing passenger paddle steamer in the world. She was built in 1946. Originally she used to sail from Craigendoran near Helensburgh to Arrochar on Loch Long. This continued until 1973. The Waverley is now owned by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society. She has been restored to her 1947 appearance. She sails to many places such as Arran, Dunoon, Rothesay, Kilcreggan in Scotland. She also tours further afield in the UK. Apparently the Waverley featured in the 2011 film Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

The Waverley

The Waverley

The Waverley

The Waverley

The Waverley

The Waverley

Colquhoun Square.

This square is near the waterfront and not far from the station. It has recently been quite nicely done up. There are plenty of places to sit outside on a warm day. Helensburgh Parish Church is located here. This church was formed by the union of the congregations of Park Church and St Andrew’s Kirk.

Colquhoun Square

Colquhoun Square

Hill House.

To get to Hill House, exit the station and turn right. You will be walking away from the waterfront. You have to walk quite far up a steep hill. You will pass Hermitage Park and Helensburgh High Station. Hill House was created by world famous architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. He designed most of the furniture and fittings within Hill House, while his wife, Margaret Macdonald, designed many of the textiles used in the curtains, sofas, bedding etc. Hill House has been restored to look as it did in 1904. At that time Glasgow publisher Walter Blackie lived here with his family. Hill House is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland. Hill House is set in beautiful flowering gardens.

Hill House

Hill House

Hill House

Hill House

Hermitage Park.

If you exit Helensburgh station and turn right, you will come to a busy main road. Go left on this road and you'll end up at the River Clyde, go right and its a short walk to Hermitage Park. Hermitage Park is a pleasant place for a stroll. It has among other things a swing park for children and an attractive war memorial.

Hermitage Park

Hermitage Park

Hermitage Park

Hermitage Park

Hermitage Park

Hermitage Park

Hermitage Park

Hermitage Park

John Logie Baird Statue.

John Logie Baird was born in Helensburgh in August 1888. He was an engineer and is most famous for having invented the television. There is a statue of him on the waterfront at Helensburgh. Logie Baird died in Bexhill on Sea in East Sussex in 1946. He is buried in Helensburgh Cemetery. Logie Baird experienced the greatest honour of all in Helensburgh, he even has a pub named after him.

John Logie Baird Statue.

John Logie Baird Statue.

John Logie Baird Statue.

John Logie Baird Statue.

The Henry Bell Monument.

Another monument on the waterfront at Helensburgh is the Henry Bell Monument. Henry Bell was born in April 1767. In 1808 Bell and his wife moved to Helensburgh. They bought the public baths and a hotel. Bell's wife managed these businesses, while Bell focussed on his dream of building a steamboat. He built the paddle steamer PS Comet and used it to start Europe's first commercially viable passenger steamboat service on the River Clyde in 1812. The Comet sailed between Glasgow and Greenock. Henry Bell died in November 1830

The Henry Bell Monument.

The Henry Bell Monument.

The Ruby Chinese Restaurant: A Family Tradition.

It has become a family tradition every time we go home that my dad always takes us to the Ruby Chinese Restaurant in Helensburgh for a business man's lunch. He says this cancels out all birthdays and Christmases he has missed while we are in Hong Kong. The food is good and the business man's lunch is good value. I generally have chicken mushroom soup, followed by chicken curry and fried rice. My dad and husband both love the vanilla ice-cream on the lunch deal, but I usually have the Chinese tea or a coffee to finish with instead. The restaurant is licensed and we always have draught sunlik beer with our meal. Service is friendly and efficient.

A Family Tradition.

A Family Tradition.

A Family Tradition.

A Family Tradition.

A Family Tradition.

A Family Tradition.

Balloch.

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

The word Balloch comes from the Gaelic word Bealach meaning mountain pass. Balloch is situated on the River Leven and at the southern end of Loch Lomond. You can walk to the loch from Balloch and Balloch is also a starting point for cruises on the loch. I have done these cruises many times, but not recently. One of the new developments at Balloch are the Lomond Shores. This area has shops, loch views, the sealife centre and is home to the Maid of the Loch. The Maid of the Loch is a paddle steamer. I have been on it when I was a child. Sadly it fell into a state of disrepair, but is currently being restored. Being creatures of habit when we visit Balloch we generally have lunch in the lovely Balloch Hotel and then stroll along the River Leven to Loch Lomond. On the way we pass by Balloch Castle perched on its hill.

The River Leven.

The River Leven flows from the southern end of Loch Lomond to the River Clyde at Dumbarton. The river is short, only about six miles long, but it is fast flowing. It is crossed by nine different bridges. At Balloch the River Leven is filled with boats which will be used on nearby Loch Lomond. It is also the starting point for cruises on the loch.

The River Leven

The River Leven

The River Leven

The River Leven

The River Leven

The River Leven

Balloch Castle.

Balloch Castle stands perched on a hill overlooking Loch Lomond. Balloch Castle was built by the earls of Lennox around 1238. This castle was later demolished and replaced by others. The present castle was built around 1809 for John Buchanan of Ardoch, a wealthy Glasgow merchant, by London based architect Robert Lugar.The castle is currently owned by West Dumbartonshire Council. It is derelict and although it is an A listed building, it is on the buildings at risk register. The building has been undergoing repairs since 2014.

Balloch Castle

Balloch Castle

Balloch Castle

Balloch Castle

Loch Lomond.

Loch Lomond is a freshwater loch. It is 24 miles long and varies in width between 0.75 miles and 5 miles. It is surrounded by mountains and is a very beautiful place. There are more than thirty islands within the loch. Loch Lomond, along with Loch Ness, is one of Scotland's most famous lochs. This is in part due to the famous song about it.

By yon bonnie banks and by yon bonnie braes,
Where the sun shines bright on Loch Lomond,
Where me and my true love were ever wont to gae,
In the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

Chorus:
O ye'll take the high road, and I'll take the low road,
And I'll be in Scotland afore ye,
Where me and my true love will never meet again,
On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.

'Twas there that we parted, in by yon shady glen,
On the steep, steep side of Ben Lomond,
Where, deep in purple hue, the highland hills we view,
And the moon coming out in the gloaming.

Chorus

The wee birdies sing and the wild flowers spring,
And in sunshine waters lie sleeping.
But the broken heart it kens, nae second spring again,
Though the waeful may cease frae their greeting.

Chorus

No-one really knows the origin of the song, but one theory is it was written by a Jacobite soldier awaiting execution. Apparently captured soldiers who were brothers or close friends were often told one of them was to be executed and the other set free, but they had to decide themselves which one was which. The executed one would return to Scotland on the low road and the free one over the hills on the high road. The idea of the low road to Scotland came from a belief that the fairies transported the souls of dead Scots back to their homeland under the ground.

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond

Cruises on Loch Lomond.

One popular thing to do in Balloch is to take a cruise on Loch Lomond. I have done this many times, but not recently. Cruises from Balloch are run by Sweeny's Cruises and can be booked from the kiosk next to the bridge over the River Leven. The cruises are on board The Astina, The Silver Marlin, Lomond Duchess and The Silver Dolphin. They depart from near the kiosk. Most of them only operate in the summer season. There are different types of cruises: experience cruises, sunset cruises, island cruises.

Cruises on Loch Lomond

Cruises on Loch Lomond

Cruises on Loch Lomond

Cruises on Loch Lomond

Balloch House Hotel.

When we visit Balloch in the summer, we always eat in the Balloch House Hotel. This is especially enjoyable on a sunny day when you can sit out in the hotel beer garden. This visit my dad had an excellent fish and chips here, I had an excellent chicken and leek pie and my husband had an excellent bacon and brie melt. The Balloch House is an old hotel. It was built in the early 18th Century. It has had a number of famous visitors including; Hans Christian Anderson in 1847 and the Empress Eugenie, wife of Louis Napolean Bonaparte's nephew in 1860. Address: Balloch Rd, Balloch, Dunbartonshire , Balloch, G83 8LQ,

Lovely Meal, Lovely Setting

Lovely Meal, Lovely Setting

Lovely Meal, Lovely Setting

Lovely Meal, Lovely Setting


Dumbarton.

Dumbarton Castle.

I was born in Dumbarton and return there now and again. If you are using Glasgow as a base during your holiday, there are several interesting day trips you could do. One is to take the train to Dumbarton East Station using the low level trains at either Glasgow Central or Queens Street Station. From the station walk to Dumbarton Rock, a dormant volcano with a ruined castle. For around six hundred years Dumbarton was the centre of the ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde. Dumbarton Castle is situated on a large rock near the confluence of the River Leven and the River Clyde. This rock was originally known as the Rock of the Clyde. Later it was called by the Gaelic name Dun Breatann or Fortress of the Britons. Dumbarton comes from this word. In the Middle Ages, Dumbarton Rock was home to a royal castle. This castle was built by Alexander II around 1220 to protect his kingdom from the Norwegians. They occupied much of Scotland until 1263 when they were defeated at The Battle of Largs and driven out. In 1305 when Scotland was fighting against England, William Wallace is believed to have been held prisoner here for a brief period. From here he was taken to London for execution. The Wallace Tower at the castle is named after him. King David II and Mary Queen of Scots both sought shelter at Dumbarton Castle during their troubled reigns. After the Middle Ages Dumbarton Castle became a garrison fortress. Most of the present remains date from this time. The castle last saw military action during the Second World War. From the top of Dumbarton Rock there are spectacular views over Dumbarton and the River Clyde.

Dumbarton Rock And Castle

Dumbarton Rock And Castle

Dumbarton Rock And Castle

Dumbarton Rock And Castle

Dumbarton Rock And Castle

Dumbarton Rock And Castle

Dumbarton Rock And Castle

Dumbarton Rock And Castle

The River Clyde

The River Clyde

The River Clyde

The River Clyde

Posted by irenevt 05:09 Archived in Scotland

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Comments

My most enduring memories of Clydebank were the amazing number of pubs in the town, and as a bus driver it was my onerous task to drive all the wobbly patrons home on a Friday night after the shipyard workers got paid.

The PS Waverley is still around, it spends its winter laid up berthed in the River Clyde near the city centre for essential maintenance before its next summer excursion season.

by Bennytheball

Hi Benny,

Hope all good with you. I remember pubs closed early when I was a child and my mum would get more and more panicky if we were ever out in Clydebank near closing time as our bus home would be filled with drunks.
All the best, Irene

by irenevt

The late-night buses were indeed full of drunks, I still vividly remember one tragic incident when I was driving one of the old Leyland double deckers with open door at the rear, passing the "Dry dock pub" just before the railway bridge, a man came down the stairs just as I was approaching the bus stop he leaped off the platform too soon while the bus was still moving and collided with a lamp post, he died instantly with a shattered skull, very messy and very sad.

by Bennytheball

Oh dear, how horrible! I suppose the only consolation would be he wouldn't even have known what happened. Must have been very distressing for you and your passengers as well.

by irenevt

Some memories seem to last forever, I have many from my twenty years as a Glasgow city bus driver and they are as vivid today as when they occurred, this one is from 1975 when the number 11 bus terminus was at Cunard Street, Clydebank.

It was a hot summer day and my conductor and I were standing behind the bus enjoying some sunshine and fresh air, suddenly a woman started screaming for help, leaning out of a tenement window, My conductor and I rushed upstairs to see if we could assist, what greeted us was a man lying on the floor in a pool of blood, and his hysterical wife sitting beside him. I ran downstairs and phoned 999 for an ambulance and police who arrived quite quickly and took charge of the situation. Apparently the man was a serial drunk and wife beater and had started to beat up his wife who grabbed a bread knife and stuck it in his chest to protect herself from further injury, he bled to death on the floor before the ambulance arrived.

A year later her murder case came up in court and my conductor and I were called as witnesses, but the case kept being put back for three weeks, so we signed off each day and adjourned to Lang's bar and spent the afternoon playing pool, eventually the case came up and we gave our evidence, during this time we were still being paid by the Corporation and receiving expenses from the court, a nice little earner, but eventually the Corporation found out and made the necessary deductions from our pay!

The woman was found guilty of manslaughter but only received a suspended sentence of two years, because there had been no premeditation involved, but she had to move out of Clydebank because the dead man had evil brothers who threatened to kill her. My conductor and I resumed work duties, after enjoying an unexpected refreshing break.

I still remember her name, it was Greenshields, ever heard of her?

by Bennytheball

Hi Benny, No I haven't heard of her. My parents might have known her. I'm glad she did not go to prison. I don't have much sympathy for men who beat up their wives.

I can reminisce about Scotland well here at the moment due to the weather. Its been raining nearly non-stop for weeks.

by irenevt

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