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Visit Port Glasgow Timber Ponds, Scotland

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Today's blog theme is the unique timber ponds at Port Glasgow. However, before focusing on this piece of history, will first discuss other topics, viz:

Swan Image: An opportunity taken this morning. Swans can be aggressive or shy, so I was pleased to get close to this specimen on the Clyde.

Glasgow Weather: Dry and relatively warm with temperature at plus 6 or 8 centigrade. Most of the snow and ice has gone.

Tour Bookings: Quite busy. Interestingly, received an enquiry for a small group tour following a personal recommendation from guests dating back to a tour which I provided in 2007.

Blogging: Received favourable comment on details of a local war memorial posted to my Glasgow Ancestry blog. Have plans to post information on another war memorial- a task which takes considerable time due to the extensive lists of casualties. Today, I posted information on Motion family history obtained from an 1852 grave stone in Port Glasgow.

Port Glasgow Timber Ponds: This morning I motored down to Port Glasgow to explore a unique part of Scotland's industrial history. From time to time I provide day tours from cruise ships moored at Greenock and when driving along the A8 road have always been intrigued by the rows of wooden poles sticking out of the River Clyde between Langbank and Port Glasgow. Having researched the matter, it transpires that the wooden poles date from the 18th century when shipbuilding on the Clyde began in earnest in turn triggering a huge demand for timber. The timber was imported from North America in specially designed vessels fitted with bow doors. The imported wood was discharged into the Clyde and stored in the timber ponds until need for ship construction. The seawater environment both seasoned and preserved the logs. This timber trade declined due to a combination of (a) dredging of the Clyde which provided a deep water access to Glasgow and (b) switch from wooded to iron ship construction. Last wooden ship was built on the Clyde in 1859.

The rectangular timber ponds extend for 2.5 miles from Newark Castle to Langbank and consist of poles over 6 feet ( 2 metres) tall.

This research led me to discover a useful cycle path/walkway along the Clyde the existence of which I was previously unaware.

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posted by Catswhiskers @ 8:05 AM 


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