Clydebank is a town in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. Situated on the
north bank of the River Clyde,
Dumbarton and the
villages of Old Kilpatrick, Bowling and Milton to the west, as well as
the town of
Bearsden in East Dunbartonshire, and the
Drumchapel areas of the adjacent City of Glasgow. Historically part of
Clydebank is part of the registration County of
Dunbartonshire Crown Lieutenancy area, and the wider
urban area of Greater Glasgow.
Clydebank was founded as a police
burgh on 18 November 1886.
1.1 Early origins
1.2 Industrial development
8 Notable people
9 Coat of arms
10 Local transport
12 Further reading
13 External links
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.
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
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
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
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,
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 1⁄2 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.
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 was seriously damaged as were the local shipyards, the Dalnottar
Royal Navy oil depot and the Singer's Sewing Machine factory.
Over the two days 528 civilians were killed and over 617 people were
Clydebank is in West Dunbartonshire, one of the 32 council areas of
West Dunbartonshire Council, the unitary local authority, is
Dumbarton and is responsible for local government. For local
West Dunbartonshire is split into wards electing
either three or four councillors. The
Clydebank Waterfront ward
broadly covers the area between the
River Clyde and the Forth and
Clyde Canal, including the town centre,
Whitecrook and part of
Dalmuir; it also includes neighbouring Old Kilpatrick. The Clydebank
Central ward includes Kilbowie, Linnvale, Radnor Park, Parkhall and
the northern part of Dalmuir.
West Dunbartonshire is also divided into community council areas:
Dalmuir and Mountblow; Parkhall,
North Kilbowie and Central;
Linnvale and Drumry; and
The area that is now
Clydebank was once in the territory of the
Kingdom of Strathclyde
Kingdom of Strathclyde and has been part of the historic county of
Dunbartonshire since medieval times. From 1890 onwards, Dunbartonshire
was an area of local government administered by a county council.
Dunbartonshire ceased to be used for local government
purposes in 1975, it continues to exist as both a Lieutenancy area and
Clydebank is also within the ancient parish of
Old Kilpatrick. The town became a burgh in 1886; as such, it exercised
most local government functions independently of the county council.
Following the abolition of administrative counties in 1975, a new
Clydebank District was created within
Strathclyde Region under the new
two tier system of local government. As well as
Clydebank itself and
its suburbs, the district also covered a wider area including Old
Kilpatrick and Bowling. This lasted until the creation of the present
unitary authorities in 1996.
Clydebank is in Scotland's west Central Lowlands, on the north bank of
the River Clyde. Part of the
Greater Glasgow conurbation, the town is
just outside the boundaries of
Glasgow itself, 6.5 miles
(10.5 km) northwest of the city centre. Although
Clydebank is the
largest town in the
West Dunbartonshire council area, the local
authority is based in Dumbarton, which is 7 miles (11 km) to the
What is now
Clydebank was a rural area known as the Barns o' Clyde up
until the late 19th century, when the growth of the shipbuilding
industry on the river led to the foundation of the village that became
Clydebank. As the area rapidly urbanised,
Clydebank grew into a town
and absorbed older neighbouring settlements such as Dalmuir, Kilbowie
Yoker (although the latter area was largely annexed by
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,
Duntocher 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.
Areas within the
Clydebank census locality include Dalmuir, Linnvale,
Mountblow, Radnor Park, Kilbowie and Whitecrook.
Linnvale housing estate was rebuilt in the late 1940s after being
destroyed during the
Clydebank Blitz, with its new streets named after
members of the Labour government of the time, such as Attlee Avenue
and Bevin Avenue. The area has one non-denominational primary school,
Linnvale Primary, which also runs a nursery service.
Scotland was opened under the Church of Scotland's church
extension scheme of the 1950s. During the 1980s,
Linnvale was one of
the areas included in the East End Initiative, and a support team
helped to set up groups and clubs and to enable them to become
For census purposes,
Clydebank is classed as a locality within the
settlement of Greater Glasgow. The census definition of Clydebank
covers the traditional core area of the town, but excludes outlying
areas which have historically been associated with the burgh or
district such as Duntocher, Hardgate,
Faifley and Old Kilpatrick.
According to the
United Kingdom Census 2011,
Clydebank 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%
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.
The former swimming baths on Bruce Street were opened in 1932 and was
one of the few buildings in the town to survive the
It originally had a variety of facilities, including Turkish Baths,
Russian Vapour Baths, a laundry and a massage room. Although disused
since the early 1990s, the building is C-listed, and controversy has
surrounded recent attempts by
West Dunbartonshire Council to demolish
In the early 20th century the town was synonymous with the Scottish
socialist movements led by the shipyard workers along the river Clyde,
giving rise to the title of Red Clydeside.
The 11,000 workers at the largest factory of Singer sewing machines
went on strike in March–April 1911, ceasing to work in solidarity of
12 female colleagues protesting against work process reorganisation.
Following the end of the strike, Singer fired 400 workers, including
all strike leaders and purported members of the Industrial Workers of
Great Britain, among whom Arthur McManus, who later went on to become
the first chairman of the
Communist Party of Great Britain
Communist Party of Great Britain between
1920 and 1922.
Labour unrest, in particular by women and unskilled labour, greatly
increased between 1910-1914 in Clydeside, with four times more days on
strike than between 1900 and 1910. During these four years preceding
World War I, membership of those affiliated to the Scottish Trades
Union Congress rose from 129,000 in 1909 to 230,000 in 1914.
The town is part of a single urban area (officially the
Metropolitan Area) with the terms
Greater Glasgow often
used interchangeably, with context being important to establish
meaning as for some
Clydebank residents the claiming of the town as
part of the
City of Glasgow
City of Glasgow could be a sensitive issue. This Glasgow
City Metropolitan Area includes places falling within the limits of
the following local authorities:
West Dunbartonshire (Clydebank), all
of East Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire,
Renfrewshire, all of East
Renfrewshire and all of the City of Glasgow.
These areas form a single health service area, NHS
Greater Glasgow and
Clyde. Like these areas, most of
Clydebank uses the
area code "0141", however the northern & western portions of the
Clydebank area use "01389". The G81 postcode is the most widely used
in the area, but the Bowling and
Old Kilpatrick areas of the town use
Clydebank has two semi-professional football teams,
Clydebank F.C. and
Yoker Athletic F.C.. Both are members of the Scottish Junior Football
Clydebank playing in the West of
Premier Division, two tiers higher than
Yoker AFC, who play in the
Central District League Division One.
Clydebank FC formerly held
status as a senior league club but, while in administration in 2002,
the club was purchased by a consortium and moved to Airdrie and
renamed Airdrie United F.C.. A new
Clydebank F.C. were formed in 2003
and entered the Central district of Scottish Junior football.
Clydebank also encompasses a variety of amateur football teams
Drumchapel Amateurs who play in Duntocher.
Clydebank's Rugby Football Club is based in Whitecrook. The club was
founded on 29 May 1969. Their first game was played at
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
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.
Clydebank Waterfront at the former John Brown & Company
shipyard, including the new
Clydebank College campus and the restored
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
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
Duncan Bannatyne is a Scottish entrepreneur, philanthropist and
author. His business interests include hotels, health clubs, spas,
media, TV, stage schools, property and transport.
Ian McHarg, the influential landscape designer and theorist of
regional systems, was born in Clydebank. In his autobiography, he
describes walking around its environs; perhaps this led to his views
of how nature could be combined with urban development.
James Cosmo, born in
Clydebank 24 May 1948, is a Scottish actor known
for his appearances in films such as Highlander, Braveheart, The
Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,
Trainspotting and Troy, and for his appearances in television series
such as Game of Thrones. He is the son of actor James Copeland.
Wet Wet Wet, a famous pop band in the 80s' and 90s', was formed in
Clydebank in 1982. The four members of the band met during their
Clydebank High School, be it in the school bus or in the
class. About the poor career perspectives for the youth in Clydebank
in the 80s', Graeme Clark, the bass player, said: "It was either
crime, the dole, football, or music... and we chose music".
Kevin Bridges is a stand-up comedian who has toured nationally before
sell-out audiences and appeared on a number of television shows,
including a programme about his own life where he visited several
locations in Clydebank. He was raised in Hardgate.
Robert Brown was wrongly convicted in 1977 of murdering Annie Walsh in
Greater Manchester. Released on appeal in 2002, Brown served 25 years
as a miscarriage of justice case in the United Kingdom.
Coat of arms
Coat of Arms of the
Clydebank 1892 - 1975.
Clydebank adopted an unofficial coat of arms in 1892,
when it was required to obtain a common seal by the
(Scotland) Act 1892. The design was described disparagingly by Arthur
Charles Fox-Davies as a fine healthy specimen of home-made
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
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.
Latin motto below the shield was Labore et Scientia or by work and
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
In 1975 the burgh was abolished, becoming part of larger Clydebank
District, and the burgh arms went out of use.
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.
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.
The town is served by
Abellio ScotRail from
Clydebank railway station,
Drumry railway station,
Dalmuir railway station,
Kilpatrick railway station
Kilpatrick railway station and Singer railway station. Bus
connections to Glasgow,
Dumbarton and the surrounding areas of
Clydebank use the bus terminus at the southern end of the Clyde
Formerly, the town was connected to the once extensive
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.
^ Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba ~ Gaelic Place-names of Scotland
^ "Table KS01: Usual resident population (by locality)" (PDF). 2001
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^ a b Davidson, The Rev. Mr. John (1973–83) [First published 1799].
Old Kilpatrick (County of Dumbarton.)". In Sinclair, Sir
John. The Statistical Account of
Scotland 1791-1799. Volume 5.
Wakefield: E. P. Publishing. pp. 229–240.
^ "(Press release)
Antonine Wall Gains
World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site Status".
Antonine Wall. 7 July 2008.
^ Barclay, The Rev. Matthew (1845). "
Parish of Old Kilpatrick
(Presbytery of Dumbarton, Synod of
Glasgow and Ayr)". The New
Statistical Account of
Scotland 1834-1845. Volume 8. Edinburgh:
William Blackwood & Sons. pp. 15–35.
^ a b c d Hood, John (1988). The History of Clydebank. The Parthenon
Publishing Group Ltd. pp. 3–5. ISBN 1-85070-147-4.
^ "Dalnottar, Mountblow, Royal Navy Oil Storage Tanks". Canmore.
^ "Clydebank", Blitz on Clideside. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
^ I.M.M. MacPhail The
Clydebank Blitz", Scotland's History. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
^ Maver, Irene. "No Mean City: 1914 to 1950s: Neighbourhoods". The
Glasgow Story. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
^ "Area Profiles". Scotland's Census. National Records of Scotland.
Retrieved 12 September 2017.
^ "Estimated population of localities by broad age groups, mid-2012"
(PDF). National Records of Scotland. Retrieved 12 September
^ a b The Singer strike 1911,
Glasgow Digital Library
^ Lynne Margulis, Brian Hawthorne and James Corner (Eds). 2007. Ian
McHarg, Conversations with Students: Dwelling in Nature.New York:
Princeton Architectural Press.
James Cosmo Biography (1948–)". Filmreference.com. Retrieved 18
^ End Of Part One; Their Greatest Hits -
Wet Wet Wet
Wet Wet Wet (Booklet)
Kevin Bridges apologises for outburst on stage".
Clydebank Post. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
^ "Innocent man jailed for 25 years for crime he did not commit calls
for justice reform". Herald Scotland. 20 November 2017. Retrieved 24
^ A.C. Fox-Davies, The Book of Public Arms, 2nd edition, London, 1915
^ R. M. Urquhart, Scottish
Burgh and County Heraldry, London, 1973
^ R.M. Urquhart, Scottish Civic Heraldry, London, 1979
^ R.M. Urquhart, Scottish Civic Heraldry 2, Hamilton, 2001
I.M.M. MacPhail, The
Clydebank Blitz (1974, ISBN 0-85279-061-9)
Areas of Clydebank
Settlements in West Dunbartonshire
Villages and suburbs
Media related to
Clydebank at Wikimedia Commons