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Clydebank
Town
Clydebank from the Titan Crane - geograph.org.uk - 1330435.jpg
View of Clydebank from the Titan Crane
Clydebank is located in Scotland
Clydebank
Clydebank
Area 8.74 km2 (3.37 sq mi)
Population 25,620 (2020)
• Density 2,931/km2 (7,590/sq mi)
OS grid reference NS500700
• Edinburgh 47 mi (76 km)
• London 350 mi (560 km)
Lieutenancy area
  • Dunbartonshire
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town CLYDEBANK
Postcode district G81
Dialling code 0141 & 01389
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament
  • West Dunbartonshire
Scottish Parliament
  • Clydebank and Milngavie
List of places
UK
Scotland
55°53′59″N 4°24′02″W / 55.8997°N 4.4006°W / 55.8997; -4.4006

Clydebank (Scots: Clidbaunk; Scottish Gaelic: Bruach Chluaidh, IPA:[ˈpɾuəxˈxɫ̪uə]) is a town in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. Situated on the north bank of the River Clyde, it borders the village of Old Kilpatrick (with Bowling and Milton beyond) to the west, and the Yoker and Drumchapel areas of the adjacent City of Glasgow immediately to the east. Depending on the definition of the town's boundaries, the suburban areas of Duntocher, Faifley and Hardgate either surround Clydebank to the north, or are its northern outskirts, with the Kilpatrick Hills beyond.

Historically part of Dunbartonshire and founded as a police burgh on 18 November 1886, Clydebank is part of the registration County of Dumbarton, the Dunbartonshire Crown Lieutenancy area, and the wider urban area of Greater Glasgow.

History

Early origins

Clydebank (Scottish Gaelic: Bruach Chluaidh) is located within the historical boundaries of the ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde, the Mormaerdom of Lennox, and the parish of Old Kilpatrick (12th century), on the north bank of the River Clyde. A long-standing local legend is that the village of Old Kilpatrick derived its name from being the birthplace of Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. There do not appear to be any historical sources which support this, however.

The town encompasses part of the Antonine Wall, including, at Hardgate/Duntocher, the site of one of the forts built at regular intervals along the wall. In 2008, the Antonine Wall was designated as a World Heritage Site, as part of a multinational Heritage Site encompassing the borders of the Roman Empire.

Before 1870, the area which later became Clydebank was largely rural, and agricultural. It consisted of some villages (Hardgate, Faifley, Duntocher, Dalmuir, Old Kilpatrick), farms and estates, with some small scale mining operations (coal, limestone and whinstone), several cotton mills and some small boatbuilding yards.

Industrial development

Clydebank Town Hall - geograph.org.uk - 429807
Underlining Clydebank's status as a police burgh after 1886, the Town Hall and Public Library were designed by James Miller and opened in 1902. The buildings are now B-listed and home of Clydebank Museum.

At the start of the 1870s, however, the growing trade and industry in Glasgow resulted in the Clyde Navigation Trustees needing additional space for shipping quays in Glasgow. They used their statutory powers to compulsorily purchase the area occupied by the Clyde Bank Iron Shipyard in Govan, which belonged to J & G Thomson. Forced to find another site for their shipyard, J & G Thomson looked at various sites further down the River Clyde, and eventually purchased, from the estates of Miss Hamilton of Cochno, some suitably flat land on the "West Barns o'Clyde" on the north bank of the river, opposite the point where the River Cart flows into the River Clyde. The land was situated close to the Forth and Clyde Canal and to the main road running west out of Glasgow to Dumbarton, and so was conveniently positioned for transporting materials and workers to and from the shipyard. The position opposite the mouth of the River Cart was to also to prove important as the shipyard grew, since it enabled the company to build much bigger, heavier ships than would otherwise have been possible that far up the Clyde. Construction of the new shipyard started on 1 May 1871.

Initially, the company transported workers to and from the shipyard by paddle steamer (passenger steamers were commonly used by people to travel up and down the Clyde well into the second half of the 20th century). However it was not ideal, having to ship workers to and fro all the time, so the company also started building blocks of tenement flats to house the workers. These first blocks of housing became known unofficially as "Tamson's (Thomson's) Buildings", after the name of the company.

Gradually, as the shipyard grew, so did the cluster of buildings grow nearby. More houses, a school, a large shed which served as canteen, community hall and church (known as the "Tarry Kirk"), then finally two proper churches in 1876 and 1877. As the resident population grew, so did the needs and problems associated with a growing population. Other manufacturers and employers moved into the area, and by 1880 approximately 2,000 men were living and working there.

In 1882 a railway line was built running from Glasgow out to the new shipyard (the Glasgow, Yoker and Clydebank Railway). This was followed by the Lanarkshire and Dunbartonshire Railway during the 1890s. Then, between 1882 and 1884, the Singer Manufacturing Company built a massive sewing machine factory in Kilbowie, less than 12 mile (800 m) north of the Clyde Bank shipyard. More people moved into the area, and finally, in 1886, the local populace petitioned for the creation of a police burgh, on the basis that the area now qualified as a "populous place". The petition was granted, and the new town was named after the shipyard which had given birth to it – Clydebank.

Clydebank blitz

On 13 and 14 March 1941, Luftwaffe bombers attacked various targets in and around Clydebank. In what became known as the Clydebank Blitz, the town itself was seriously damaged as were the local shipyards and armaments factories such as the Dalnottar Oil depot and the Singer's Sewing Machine factory. Over the two days 528 civilians were killed and over 617 people were seriously injured.

Geography

Dalmuir, Drumry, Duntocher, Faifley, Hardgate, Kilbowie, Linnvale, Mountblow, Parkhall, Radnor Park, Town Centre, Whitecrook and a small part of the Yoker district of Glasgow City (sometimes termed Clydebank East) are part of Clydebank. However as each was annexed to the town during the existence of the former burgh and district councils, these three areas continue to have fairly strong local identities separate from that of the town.

The town exists in the local zeitgeist as comprising the above listed areas, however the former Clydebank District also included the settlements of Bowling and Old Kilpatrick, while for statistical purposes the town is divided into several localities; namely Faifley, Duntocher & Hardgate, Old Kilpatrick, and a rump Clydebank.

Employment

New Clydebank waterfront - geograph.org.uk - 587115
New Clydebank Waterfront at the former John Brown & Company shipyard, including the new Clydebank College campus and the restored Titan Crane.

The town currently has a fairly moderate official unemployment rate of around 6%, however 20% of the population are described by Scottish National Statistics as "employment deprived".

A major employer in the town was its founding firm, the John Brown & Company shipyard, which built several well-known ships, including the RMS Lusitania, Hood, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, and Queen Elizabeth 2. Later it became part of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders, which was the scene of a famous "work-in" in the 1970s. The yard and associated engineering works continued to operate under a succession of owners until it was closed in 2000. The site is now in the process of being redeveloped, with tourist attractions such as the Titan Clydebank Crane and a new campus for Clydebank College a new college for further education.

Singer Corporation was also a major industry in Clydebank, giving thousands of jobs to the townsfolk but closed in 1980, with the Clydebank Business Park later created where its famous building used to stand (next to where Singer railway station is now).

The town is home to the independent Clydebank Co-operative Society which has a number of outlets in the town. The towns main department store closed in 2013

Coat of arms

Clydebank burgh coat of arms
Coat of Arms of the Burgh of Clydebank 1892 - 1975.

The Burgh of Clydebank adopted an unofficial coat of arms in 1892, when it was required to obtain a common seal by the Burgh Police (Scotland) Act 1892. The design was described disparagingly by Arthur Charles Fox-Davies as a fine healthy specimen of home-made heraldry.

The design comprised a shield surmounted by a mural crown, above which was a helm bearing a wreath and crest. In the centrepiece of the shield was a Lennox Cross representative of the ancient Earls of Lennox. In chief position was a sewing machine representing the Singer Corporation and in base position "on the waves of the sea" was a representation of the battleship HMS Ramillies built at J & G Thomson's Clydebank Shipyard in 1892. In the dexter fess position was a stag's head taken from the coat of arms of shipbuilder James Rodger Thomson, the first Provost of the Burgh. In sinister fess position there was a lion rampant taken from the coat of arms of local landowner, Alexander Dunn Pattison of Dalmuir.

The crest was a garb or wheatsheaf representing the agricultural interests of the area.

The Latin motto below the shield was Labore et Scientia or by work and by knowledge.

In 1929 there was a concerted campaign by the office of Lord Lyon King of Arms to ensure that all burghs using unmatriculated arms regularised their position, and more than fifty burghs registered arms between 1929 and 1931. This led to Clydebank's arms being matriculated on 6 February 1930. The 1930 grant was almost identical to the 1892 device.

In 1975 the burgh was abolished, becoming part of larger Clydebank District, and the burgh arms went out of use. Clydebank District Council was granted new arms on 3 September 1975. This consisted of a red saltire on a white field for the ancient province of Lennox and for the town's more recent historic links to Ireland which previously used the same flag. The cog-wheel symbolised all the local industries and the demi-figure of Saint Patrick referred to Old Kilpatrick, a burgh of barony from 1672, and where the saint is reputed to have been born. A representation of part of the Roman Antonine Wall was included as the Wall and Roman forts at Old Kilpatrick and Greenhill were features common to the burgh and to the villages in the District. The lymphad (galley ship) was for Clyde shipbuilding. The burgh motto was retained. At the request of the district council, the arms were rematriculated on 19 April 1985 with the addition of a dove of peace in the centre of the saltire. The coat of arms went out of use in 1996 with the abolition of the District Council. In 1998 the successor West Dunbartonshire Council was granted very similar arms.

Local transport

Clyde Shopping Centre bridge
Bridge linking the two parts of the Clyde Shopping Centre. The Clyde Shopping Centre first opened in 1982 on part of the Singer Works. The centre was refurbished in 2003 and re-opened by Queen Elizabeth II. The new canal bridge was designed by RMJM and opened in 2007.

In rail transport, the town is served by Clydebank, Drumry, Dalmuir, Yoker, Kilpatrick and Singer stations. Bus connections to Glasgow, Dumbarton and the surrounding areas of Clydebank use the bus terminus at the southern end of the Clyde Shopping Centre.

Formerly, the town was connected to the once extensive Glasgow tramway system, being served by routes 9 (via Dumbarton Road) and 1A (via Anniesland). Route 20 served Duntocher. Route 9 (to Dalmuir) was the last service to close. Clydebank held its own 'last tram' day on 6 September 1962, four days after the official end of tramway operation in Glasgow, bringing to an end the operation of the last major tramway system in Great Britain.

The Erskine Bridge at Old Kilpatrick connects the A82, which bypasses Clydebank to the north of the town, to the M8 motorway running between Greenock, Glasgow Airport, Paisley and the wider Scottish road network.

Demography

The town has lacked any strictly defined administrative boundaries since the abolition of the burgh in 1975. For modern UK Census purposes, the locality of Clydebank is defined as the town centre and surrounding areas, mainly lying south of the A82 road. While this roughly corresponds to the burgh boundaries prior to the Second World War, it excludes outlying areas such as Faifley, Hardgate, Duntocher and Old Kilpatrick which were either annexed to the burgh in the postwar era or included in the post-1975 district, and which are often considered to be part of Clydebank.

According to the United Kingdom Census 2011, Clydebank (including Dalmuir, Drumry, Linnvale, Mountblow, Radnor Park and Kilbowie) had a total resident population of 28,799. The population is 93% White Scottish, with white people as a whole making up 98.1% of the total. 63.7% of the population identified as Christian (35.8% Roman Catholic, 25.3% Church of Scotland and 2.6% other Christian denominations), with 28.3% stating they had no religion. The mid-2012 population estimate suggested the population of Clydebank had decreased to 26,640.

Sport

See also: History of football in Clydebank

Clydebank has two semi-professional football teams, Clydebank F.C. and Yoker Athletic F.C. Both were members of the Scottish Junior Football Association before switching to the West of Scotland Football League in 2020. Clydebank F.C. formerly held status as a senior league club but, while in administration in 2002 having sold their Kilbowie Park ground, the club was purchased by a consortium, moved to Airdrie and renamed Airdrie United F.C. A new Clydebank F.C. were formed in 2003 and entered Junior football, initially playing in Duntocher before moving in to share with Yoker Athletic at Holm Park, situated very close to the boundary with Glasgow. A previous Clydebank club also played nearby, with their Clydeholm ground even closer to Glasgow beside Yoker railway station – like Kilbowie, no trace of it remains. The town also encompasses a variety of amateur football teams, including Drumchapel Amateurs who have played in Duntocher since the ground was vacated by Clydebank.

Clydebank's Rugby Football Club is based in Whitecrook. The club was founded on 29 May 1969. Their first game was played at Whitecrook on Monday 1 September 1969 against a Presidents XV captained by Richard Alan of Hutchesons and Scotland. The club play in red and black and regularly field two XVs.

Other sport clubs based in Clydebank are: Singer's Football Club founded in 2013, the Clydesdale Harriers, founded in 1885 as Scotland's first amateur open athletics club; and the Lomond Roads Cycling Club.

The Antonine Sports Centre is located in Duntocher and was established in October 1980. It is a not-for-profit, charitable organisation which is run by a voluntary Board of Directors.

Education

Primary schools

  • Cunard School
  • Edinbarnet Primary School
  • Kilbowie Primary School
  • Our Holy Redeemer's Primary School
  • St Eunan's Primary School
  • St Mary's Primary School
  • Linnvale Primary school
  • St Stephens Primary School
  • Carleith Primary School
  • Goldenhill Primary School

Lady of Lorreto primary school Clydemuir Primary Whitecrook primary school

Secondary schools

  • Clydebank High School
  • St Peter the Apostle High School

Further education

  • West College Scotland has a campus in Clydebank.

Historic schools

  • Boquhanran Public School
  • The Bothy School
  • Dalmuir Public School

Notable people

  • Duncan Bannatyne is a Scottish entrepreneur, philanthropist and author
  • Kevin Bridges, stand-up comedian
  • James Cosmo, born in Clydebank 24 May 1948, Scottish actor
  • Ian McAteer, Dalmuir-born former gangster
  • Ian McHarg, landscape architect and theorist of regional ecological systems, was born in Clydebank.
  • John Mcginn, professional footballer
  • Ian Tough, entertainer of The Krankies fame

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