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19 September 2014
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Regeneration of the Glasgow
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GlasgowThe Clyde’s shipbuilding industries, ports and docks played a major part in the development of Glasgow from the early 1800s up to the mid 1940s.

Regeneration of Glasgow - Factsheet

  • James Watt, one of the pioneers of the steam engine, supervised the channelling of nineteen miles of the Clyde to enable ships to reach the docks at Glasgow. The transformation of the river heralded Glasgow's 'golden age' of shipbuilding and heavy industry. The Clyde yards built ships of all sizes, helping to put Glasgow on the international map as the 'second city of the Empire' in the 19th century. John Brown's yard in Clydebank built three of the world's most famous liners: the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Elizabeth II (QE2). From 1870 until the start of World War I, Glasgow produced an estimated 20 per cent of the world's ships.

  • Glasgow also built around a quarter of all the locomotives in use anywhere in the world. The locomotives were exported by ship all over the world, and a massive crane, able to lift 175 tons, was built in 1931 on Stobcross Quay for the job of loading them onto ships. This crane, once known as the Stobcross Crane, is now known as the Finnieston Crane. It's still in use today and is one of Glasgow's best know landmarks.

  • In 1987, the area now known as Pacific Quay, on the south bank of the river near Govan, was redeveloped for the Glasgow Garden Festival. The old docks were cleared and the ground was planted with thousands of shrubs, trees and plants. The top soil was obtained from dredging operations on the river.

  • Bell's Bridge, linking the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre and its car parks on the north bank of the Clyde, was built to be the major thoroughfare for pedestrians going to the Garden Festival. Engineers sank piles into the river Armadillobed to support this new swing bridge which had to allow ships to pass to and from the upper reaches of the river. The Garden Festival was a major success and when it closed in September 1988 over three million people had visited the site. The SECC and the new Armadillo, inspired by the Sydney Opera House, were built on land reclaimed from the former Queen's Dock.

  • The whole area is once again a centre of regeneration in the 21st century. Pacific Quay is home to the Glasgow Science Centre, the first iMax cinema in Scotland, and BBC Scotland will relocate there in 2004.

    Follow the link below for more information on the many interesting places to visit on Clydeside today.

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