Glasgow & West Scotland

Historic sailing ship to return home

Falls of Clyde Image copyright Alison Thewliss

A Clyde-built ship is to return home after years spent as a visitor attraction in Hawaii.

Built in 1878 in Port Glasgow, the Falls of Clyde is currently moored in Honolulu harbour.

A group campaigning to bring the ship back to Scotland said it had agreed a deal with a Dutch company to collect it in February next year.

The plan is to restore the Falls of Clyde and use it as an education and training vessel.

The Save Falls of Clyde campaign hopes a mooring can be secured in Greenock near to where it was built.

The Falls of Clyde transported sugar from Hawaii to America's west coast during the early part of its life before being converted into a bulk oil tanker.

Welcome flotilla

The plan is for the Falls of Clyde to be transported by a heavy lift ship, leaving Honolulu in February and arriving back in the Clyde in April where it will be greeted by a flotilla of small boats.

The ship, the first of eight iron-hulled, four-masted vessels built by Russell and Company for the Falls Line, was named after a series of waterfalls in Lanarkshire.

Image copyright SaveFallsofClyde
Image caption The ship, currently in Honolulu harbour, has fallen into a poor state of repair

It the late 1960s the ship returned to Hawaii where it had spent much of its working life, and where it was hoped it would be fully restored.

However, it is now in a poor state of repair, and in 2008 it was suggested the ship might have to be scuttled.

Later that year, the ship's long-time owner, the Bishop Museum, agreed to sell it to a non-profit group which wanted to restore it.

The Save Falls of Clyde campaign to return the ship to Scotland was formally launched in 2016.

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