Greenock in old picture postcards volume 2

Greenock in old picture postcards volume 2

:   John F. Anderson
:   Inverclyde
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-1527-8
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Greenock in old picture postcards volume 2'

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Greenock has previously been known by various other names. In early Acts ofParliament the name was printed as Grinock, Greenhok, Grinok, Greenhake, Greinnock and Greinock. It was known as Grenock in the Presbytery records. Sin ce 1700 it has been known by its present name. Greenock became a Burgh of Barony as a re sult of a Charter of 1635 which was confirmed by the Scats Parliament in 1641 to Iohn Schawand his wife Helen Houston. This resulted in the holding of a weekly market and two annual fairs. Another Royal Charter was granted in 1676 and ratified by Parliament in 1681 in favour of Iohn Schawand his san Sir Iohn Schaw. This Charter conferred various privileges on Iohn Schawand his san as Barons of Greenock and on its citizens, ofbuying and selling wine, brandy and other items of foreign trade. It also gave the Baron power to elect bailies and other officers. A third Charter dated 30 Ianuary 1741 gave to feuars and sub-feuars power to meet annually and choose nine managers of the public funds arising from a voluntary assessment up on all malt ground by them at Sir Iohn Schaw's mill at Wester Greenock. It is thought that the first town managers were Iohn Anderson, Iohn Hood, Iohn Hyndman, Robert Donald, Iames Watt (father ofthe inventor), Alexander Drummond and Gabriel Mathie. The Baron Bailie had the

right of sitting and voting with the managers and of calling, convening and presiding at all meetings.

Sir Iohn Schaw granted two additional Charters in 175 1 , the second continuing in force until the Reform Act of 1832. This Act resulted in the burgh being virtually independent of the Superior and it conferred on its inhabitants the power to elect and remave their municipal rulers. As a result of the Reform Act of 1832 Greenock became a Parliamentary Burgh with the right to return one Member of Parliament. RobertWallace of Kelly was elected as the M.P. for Greenock in that year and held the seat until 1845. He was descended from the Wallaces of Elderslie and also the Scottish patriot Sir William Wallace.

Shipbuilding was previously of great importanee in Greenock. This began in the eighteenth century when Iohn Scott commeneed his business in 1711 at the site of the Westburn East Yard. The 'Creenock' was the first square-rigged vessel to be built in the area. She was launched from the shore at the bottom of Charles Street in 1764. The 'Prince of Wales' was the first warship which was built by Scott's in 1806. Caird and Co., who were founded in 1840, were one ofthe pioneers in metal shipbuilding. The firm of Robert Steele and Co. became wellknown because of their building of tea clippers in the late

185 Os. The most important period in the development of the shipbuilding industry in Greenock was from 1875 to 1914.

There were over sixty shipbuilding firms which were based in Greenock. These included Scott-Lithgow, Harland and Wolff, George Brown and Co., William Simons and McMillan and Hunter. The yards where shipbuilding taak place were as follows: Garvel Yard, Cartsdyke East Yard, Cartsdyke Mid Yard, Westburn West Yard and Bay of Quick Yard. By the early 1880s iron-working was taking place in six locations for the production of boilers, steam-engines, locomotives and iron steam vessels. The anc hors and chain-cables were made at two separate firms. Sugar-refining was an activity in which Greenock excelled. The process of sugar-refining began in the town in 1765 when the first sugar-hause was built by merchants from Glasgow in Sugarhause Lane. At that time the West Indies were the only souree of cane sugar and in 1813 a total of 13 ships arrived at Greenock with cane. A year later 71 vessels sailed to Greenock from the Leeward Islands and 21 vessels from Jamaica. By the decade 18421852 the sugar refineries in Greenock were the largest in the United Kingdom outside London.There were 700 men employed in the trade in 1843 and production amounted to 50,000 tons. This figure had increased to 250,000 tons by 1872 when there were 14large refineries. The introduetion of sugar beet to Britain in 1858 resulted in very serious problems for the industry in

Greenock. Imports afbeet sugar from the Continent amounted to 40,000 tons in 1873. Many refineries did close but in 1902, as a re sult ofthe Brussels Convention, imports of beet sugar were controlled. Two sugar refineries remained in the town by 1959. The production from these refineries was more than the fourteen refineries which existed in 1872. In 1959 less than a thousand people were employed in the industry. Most ofthe workforce were men, although warnen were also employed. Bulk-handling equipment which had been installed at the JamesWatt Dock greatly facilitated the movement ofthe raw sugar which was imported from the West Indies, Cuba and Australia.

The opening of the railway to Greenock in 1 841 was a major development in the tewn's history. The first station at Greenock was near the Customhouse Quay and steamer connections were soon introduced. Harbour lines were laid in 1842 mainly for mineral traffic and the result was a considerable increase in the export of coal which by 1861 amounted to 98,966 tons. In 1864 this had increased to 150, 140 tons.

A second railway line was built through Greenock on a high level in order to reach Wemyss Bay and was opened in 1865. Another railway line was soon opened from Kilmacolm. This line emerged from a long tunnel which was built under the town. A tunnel was later built to conneet with Fort Matilda underneath the West End, but it was not until 1889 that the railway line reached Gourock. The

main purpose of this expansion of the railway was to provide connections with the steamer services to the towns on the Clyde Coast. In addition to the pier at Customhause Quay, there was Prince's Pier, then further piers at Gourock, Wemyss Bay and Fairlie.

An important business in Greenock was the Clyde Pottery. The Clyde Pottery Company was established by Iames and Andrew Muir in 1816. They ran the business until 1841. Andrew Muir Jr. leased the company to new owners in that year, wh en the Clyde Pottery joined with the Ladyburn Pottery which was run by Thomas Shirley. The firm traded under the name Thomas Shirley and Co. wh en the business failed. It was taken over by a group of Greenock businessmen who established the business as a joint-stock company. The firm became known as The Clyde Pottery Company Limited. This period of ownership lasted from 1857 to 1863. The business was known as The Clyde Pottery Company from 1863-1900. In 1900 it on ce again became a limited liability company. The Clyde Pottery Company Limited ceased production in 1905 because of a trade recession and a de cline in the standard of its products.

In 1809 Greenock Infirmary was opened with the Sheriff Court opening six years later. The first gasworks in the town were erected in 1829. It was in 1861 when the Greenock Philosophical Society was founded. The members of the first School Board were elected in 1 873. The Ferguson Eye Infirmary was opened in 1 880. The cancern

in the town for those in need is also evident with the opening ofthe House of Refuge in 1853, the Greenock Ragged School in 1858 and the Smithson Poorhause and Asylum in 1 879.

Greenock still maintains aspects of its maritime past as cruise-liners regularly berth at the Ocean Terminal. In the summer of 1999 Greenock was one ofthe ports of call in the Cutty SarkTall Ships' Race. In this volume there are illustrations of a wide variety of vessels. Greenock pos se ss es many buildings ofhistoric interest, same of which are to be found in this volume. There is also a wide variety of views which represent different aspects of life in Greenock in the early decades of the twentieth century. As a new millennium dawns it is important that Greenock's considerable achievements in past centuries should not be forgotten. The 21 st century will hopefully bring new opportunities to Greenock and these will doubtless be seized by its citizens as readily as previous generations responded to the opportunities of their time.

'Comte de Smet de Naeyer'.

1/2 This vessel, a fullrigged Belgian training ship, capsized at the quay in the Iarnes Watt Dock on Ihursday 20 October

1904. Ihe assistant harbour-master was the only person who was injured in this incident. He was struck on the head by a part of a top-gallant mast which had been braken. One of the reasons given for the accident was the fact that there was prabably a defect in the ship's steam pumps. Ihe ballast tanks did not fill simultaneously and as a result the starboard tank became heavier than the other on the port side. The ship inclined to starboard as a result of this situation and came to rest in the position seen here.

The other view shows the ship after she had been righted. Ihis 3,000 ton vessel was launched fram the Greenock yard of the Grangemouth and Greenock Doekyard Company on 11 October 1904. She was 270 feet by 41 feet by 21 feet and was fitted with ballast tanks which had a combined capacity of 1,200 tons. A contemporary newspaper report pointed out that it was fortunate that the ship fell the way she did. If she had turned over on the other side, her masts would have hit the P. and 0. steamer 'Peninsular' which was lying directly opposite and wh ere many men were working. This report also suggested that as a re sult ofbeing righted 'Comte de Smet de Naeyer' would be taken into dry dock for examination.



H.M.S. 'Argyll'.

3 This vessel was launched on 3 March 1904.The keel ofH.M.S. 'Argyll' was laid in September 1902 by Admiral May during a visit to Scott and Cernpany's yard. H.M.S. 'Argyll' was one of the six armoured cruis ers of the County Class. The contract for this vessel required suitable berthage and crane accommodation which was unavailable in the usual fitting-out harbour at Greenock. Negotiations were undertaken to supply these requirements within Scott and Company's yard with the result that a large fitting-out basin was built and completed by Messrs. Morrison and Mason, contractors. The fitting-out basin was opened on the same day as

H.M.S. 'Argyll' was launched. There were a total of 400 invited guests who came to the launch at which the religious service was conducted by Rev.

T.E Johnstone of St. Paul's Church, Greenock. H.M.S.

'Argyll' was officially named by Mrs. Campbell, wife of Mr. ]. Campbell, Convener of Argyllshire. On the day of the launch large crowds came to the yard in order to view the proceedings. A contempor-

ary newspaper report described H.M.S. 'Argyll' as follows: 'The huge vessel as she lay on the stocks was a perfect picture of grace and strength and admiration of her fine lines was general.'


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Royal NavalVolunteer Reserve.

4 About sixty men from the Greenoek eompanies of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve under the eommand of Lieutenant Hugh Miller left the Central Station in special earriages attaehed to the 8.34 p.m. train on 1 ]uly 1905 in order to join H.M.S. 'Resolution' at Portsmouth. It was reported that the men presented a smart appearanee when they were drawn up in the station. They reeeived a great sendoff from a large erowd whieh had gathered and were eheered by them as the train moved out of the

station. The Greenoek eompanies joined with others from Glasgow and Dundee before travelling south. The entire eompany was under the eommand of Lieutenant Glenny. These men

ny the fleet during part of the fortheoming naval manoeuvres.

were ra undergo special training for about a fortnight on board H.M.S. 'Resolution", the flagship of Rear-Admiral H.B.G. Graham. It was expeeted that they would aeeompa-

Royal Naval Torpedo Factory.

5 A tram is seen passing the Royal N aval Torpedo Factory at the beginning of the First World War. A horse and cart can be seen nearby but there is no sign of any motor vehicles. The original buildings, opened in

1 91 0, were built of freestane from Gourock Quarries. The main factory building consisted of one storey and extended to about 6,000 yards.There were also two main workshops which were large one-storey buildings. In addition, there were offices, the testing house, the experimental cell, pickling

tanks, tradesmen's shops and a search-room. The War office property at Fort Matilda was wh ere the torpedoes were stored. Special arrangements were made for transporting the torpe-

does to a jetty for shipment. There was also a subway which connected the factory to Fort Matilda. At the end of the First World War in 1918 all the other torpedo factories in the

country were closed. However, it was not until 1921 when the sum of 00,000 was granted by Parliament for the redeployment of the Greenock torpedo factory.


Franciscan Convent.

6 This is the Convent of the Franciscans of the Immaculate Conception which is located at this imposing West End villa. An interesting architectural feature here is the design ofthe upper-storey windows which provide a contrast with those on the ground floor. This convent is to be found at 12 Madeira Street. Ir is opposite Greenock Academy.

Custom House Quay.

7 This is a scene from the first decade of the twentieth century with sailing ships and more modern vessels berthed at the quay. The cast-iron dock and light tower dominates the quay. It was erected in

1 868. A top- hatted gentleman accompanied by a child can be seen looking onto the river. A horse is also visible to the left of the dock tower. At that time horses were used extensively to haul heavy loads on wagons and carts.

Prince's Pier.

8 The 'Mars' is seen berthed at Prince's Pier in this pre- First World War scene. She was built by Iohn Brown and Co., Clydebank in 1 902. The 'Mars' was launched on 14 March 1902. She was built for the Glasgow and South Western Railway. She began her service on the Prince's Pier ra Ormidale route via Rothesay and the Kyles of Bute. The 'Mars' could carry 1,291 passengers. This paddle steamer had small paddle wheels, the purpose of which was to reduce wear and te ar on the machinery. She was not very fast, but was designed for general service on the Lower Firth, where seaworthiness was more important than speed. The 'Mars' became a popular

steamer for cruises and excursions. At the beginning of the First World War she was requisitioned for naval duties and renamed H.M.S. 'Marsa' . She sank in 1918 after colliding with a des-

troyer at Harwich. There was also a previous paddle steamer named 'Mars'. She was built in 1844, but sank off Largs in 1 855. This steamer was one of those which escorted the Royal

Yacht when Queen Victoria visited the Clyde in 1847.

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