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Greenock
Greenock
(/ˈɡriːnək/ ( listen); Scottish Gaelic: Grianaig, pronounced [kɾʲiənɛkʲ]) is a town and administrative centre in the Inverclyde
Inverclyde
council area in Scotland
Scotland
and a former burgh within the historic county of Renfrewshire, located in the west central Lowlands of Scotland. It forms part of a contiguous urban area with Gourock
Gourock
to the west and Port Glasgow
Port Glasgow
to the east. The 2011 UK Census showed that Greenock
Greenock
had a population of 44,248, a decrease from the 46,861 recorded in the 2001 UK Census. It lies on the south bank of the Clyde at the "Tail of the Bank" where the River Clyde expands into the Firth of Clyde.

Contents

1 History

1.1 Name 1.2 Early history: baronies and kirks 1.3 Fishing villages, harbours and shipbuilding 1.4 Custom house
Custom house
and steamboats

2 Industry and railways

2.1 Victoria Tower 2.2 Villas 2.3 Battery Park and torpedoes 2.4 Old West Kirk 2.5 Second World War 2.6 Postwar years

3 Governance 4 Health 5 Geography

5.1 Areas and suburbs

6 Economy

6.1 Shipbuilding 6.2 Shipping 6.3 Sugar 6.4 Electronics 6.5 Trade and commerce

7 Transport 8 Culture

8.1 In television 8.2 In film

9 Media 10 Greenockians

10.1 People associated with Greenock

11 Sports

11.1 Public sports and leisure facilities

12 Climate 13 Twin cities 14 Notes 15 References 16 Further reading 17 External links

History[edit] Name[edit] The origin of the name is unknown; Smith (1921) suggested that the Common Brittonic
Common Brittonic
Graenag, a "gravelly" or "sandy place" accurately describes the foreshore before the docks and piers were constructed, while the Gaelic options of Grianach ("sunny bay") or grian cnoc ("sunny hill") were seen by locals as less credible.[1] Johnston (1934) notes that "some Gaels call the seaport Ghónait", and that a possible derivation may be greannach, meaning "rough, gravelly".[2] The option of grian aig, from Gaelic words for "sunny place" or "bay", has been taken up by the local authority as the Gaelic translation of the name.[citation needed] The name of the town has had various spellings over time. It was printed in early Acts of Parliament as Grinok, Greenhok, Grinock, Greenhoke, Greinnock, and later as Greinok. Old Presbyterial records used Grenok, a common spelling until it was changed to Greenock
Greenock
around 1700. The spelling Greenoak was found in two factory accounts dating back to 1717, and a legend developed of a green oak tree at the edge of the Clyde at William Street being used by fishermen to tie up their boats. This has been generally dismissed as imaginative folk etymology, but the image has frequently been used as an emblem or logo, carved on public buildings, used on banners and badges,[3] and was once emblazoned on the local Co-operative Society emblem. The town's modern indoor shopping centre is called The Oak Mall and uses a green tree as its logo. The name is also recalled in a local song (The Green Oak Tree). Significantly, no green oak appears on the town's coat of arms which features the three chalices of the Shaw Stewarts, a sailing ship in full sail and two herring above the motto God Speed Greenock. Anecdotal evidence[citation needed] suggests that there was a 'Green Oak Tree', situated in Cathcart Square, at the top end of William Street, close to the Oak Mall – indeed, a horseshoe set into the cobblestones, between the 'Mid-Kirk' church and the central feature of the square, was where it once, supposedly, grew.[citation needed] Early history: baronies and kirks[edit]

The Old West Kirk
Old West Kirk
of 1591, much altered over the years, was moved in 1928 to a new location, again close to the Firth of Clyde.

Hugh de Grenock was created a Scottish Baron
Baron
in 1296, and the seat of the feudal barony of Greenock
Greenock
was apparently what became Easter Greenock
Greenock
Castle. Around 1400 his successor Malcolm Galbraith died with no sons, and his estate was divided between his two daughters to become two baronies: the eldest inherited Easter Greenock
Greenock
and married a Crawfurd, while Wester Greenock
Greenock
went to the younger daughter who married Schaw of Sauchie. Around 1540 the adjoining barony of Finnart was passed to the Schaw family, extending their holdings westward to the boundary of Gourock, and in 1542 Sir John Schaw founded Wester Greenock
Greenock
castle.[4][5] The Scottish Reformation
Scottish Reformation
of 1560 closed the chapels in the parish, and as the parish church was some 6 miles (9.7 km) distant at Inverkip
Inverkip
over a difficult route which was impassable in winter, in 1589 John Schaw obtained a charter from King James VI to build a kirk for the "poor people upon his lands who were all fishers and of a reasonable number". Later known as the Old Kirk or the Old West Kirk, it was constructed on the west bank of the West Burn estuary and is reputed to have been the first Protestant
Protestant
church built in Scotland after the Reformation.[6] Fishing villages, harbours and shipbuilding[edit] The coast of Greenock
Greenock
formed a broad bay with three smaller indentations: the Bay of Quick was known as a safe anchorage as far back as 1164. To its east, a sandy bay ran eastwards from the Old Kirk and the West Burn as far as Wester Greenock
Greenock
castle. The fishing village of Greenock
Greenock
developed along this bay, and around 1635 Sir John Schaw had a jetty built into the bay which became known as Sir John's Bay. In that year he obtained a Charter raising Greenock
Greenock
to a Burgh of Barony with rights to a weekly market. Further east, Saint Laurence Bay curved round past the Crawfurd Barony of Easter Greenock
Greenock
to Garvel (or Gravel) Point. When a pier (or dyke) was built making the bay an important harbour, the fishing village of Cartsburn gained the alternative name of Crawfurdsdyke. In 1642 it was made into the Burgh of Barony of Crawfurdsdyke, and part of the ill-fated Darien Scheme set out from this pier in 1697. This town was later renamed Cartsdyke.[7] The fishing trade grew prosperous, with barrels of salted herring exported widely, and shipping trade developed. As seagoing ships could not go further up the River Clyde, the Glasgow
Glasgow
merchants including the Tobacco Lords
Tobacco Lords
wanted harbour access but were in disputes with Greenock over harbour dues and warehouses. They tried to buy the Garvel estate for a harbour when Easter Greenock
Greenock
lands were put up for sale to meet debts, but were outbid by Sir John Schaw who then got a Crown Charter of 1670 uniting Easter and Wester Greenock
Greenock
into the Burgh Barony of Greenock. A separate Barony of Cartsburn
Barony of Cartsburn
was created, the first baron being Thomas Craufurd. In 1668 the City of Glasgow
Glasgow
got the lease of 13 acres (5.3 ha) of land upriver close to Newark Castle, and construction promptly started on Newport Glasgow
Glasgow
harbour which by 1710 had the principal Clyde custom house.[8]

The harbour, c. 1838

In 1696 and 1700 Schaw and residents of the town made unsuccessful bids to the Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
for grants for a Greenock
Greenock
harbour, then when the Act of Union 1707
Act of Union 1707
opened up trade to the Americas, they raised their own funds. The work was completed in 1710, with quays extended out into Sir John's Bay to enclose the harbour. In 1711 the shipbuilding industry was founded when Scotts leased ground between the harbour and the West Burn to build fishing boats. Greenock
Greenock
rapidly became a major port and shipbuilding centre, and though from 1774 deepening of the River Clyde
River Clyde
increasingly allowed ships to take merchandise directly to Glasgow, merchants continued to use Greenock harbour. The American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
temporarily interrupted trade, and the gun battery of Fort Beauclerc near the West Burn was extended to guard against the threat of privateers, but the emphasis shifted to wider markets including imports of rum and sugar from the Caribbean, wines from Spain, and fish from North America. A whaling business operated for about 40 years.[9] Custom house
Custom house
and steamboats[edit]

The Custom House, viewed from the quay.

In 1714 Greenock
Greenock
became a custom house port as a branch of Port Glasgow, and for a period this operated from rooms leased in Greenock. Receipts rose rapidly from the 1770s, and in 1778 the custom house moved to new built premises at the West Quay
Quay
of the harbour.[10] By 1791 a new pier was constructed at the East Quay. In 1812 Europe's first steamboat service was introduced by PS Comet with frequent sailings between Glasgow, Greenock
Greenock
and Helensburgh, and as trade built up the pier became known as Steamboat Quay. The custom house needed larger premises, and in May 1817 the foundation stone was laid at the quay for a Custom House building designed by William Burn, which was completed in 1818. Its gracious neoclassical architecture features a Grecian Doric portico looking out over the quayside, which was given the name Customhouse Quay.[10] In 1828 the Custom House was praised as "a grand National Structure" in "the highest style of elegance". By then there were scheduled steamboat sailings to Belfast, Londonderry, Liverpool, Inverness, Campbeltown, the Hebrides
Hebrides
and "all the principal places in the Highlands".[11] The Custom House underwent extensive refurbishment which was completed in 1989 and, until closure of the building in 2010, housed a customs and excise museum which was open to the public. In June 2008 HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) announced that the building would close in 2011 as part of a rationalisation project with any jobs being transferred to offices in Glasgow, and despite a campaign to oppose these plans, the building closed in August 2010. Riverside Inverclyde
Inverclyde
arranged further refurbishment works, and in 2013 announced that space had already been let to companies including PG Paper Company Ltd and Toshiba
Toshiba
which had planning permission to form meeting rooms and an executive office in the building.[12][13] Greenock Telegraph
Greenock Telegraph
estimated that £4.1 million has been spent over 5-year period for the renovation works.[14] Industry and railways[edit]

The Cut – visitor centre

The Cut – aqueduct

Greenock
Greenock
became a centre of industry, with water power being used to process imported goods. In 1827 Loch Thom
Loch Thom
was constructed as a reservoir with The Cut aqueduct, bringing water to two lines of falls for water mills to power a paper mill, cotton and woollen mills, sugar refineries and shipbuilding Greenock Central railway station
Greenock Central railway station
at Cathcart Street opened in 1841, for the first time providing a fast route from Glasgow
Glasgow
to the coast linking up with Clyde steamer
Clyde steamer
services. The provision of this new line meant there was no need to take the steamer all the way down river from Glasgow. In 1869 the Caledonian Railway
Caledonian Railway
was bypassed by the rival Glasgow
Glasgow
and South Western Railway which opened a station on the waterfront at Princes Pier, served by a tunnel under Greenock's west end. To regain custom, the Caledonian Railway
Caledonian Railway
extended (what is now known as the Inverclyde
Inverclyde
Line) the Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock Railway west to Gourock; this line was built to run inland through deep cuttings and tunnels, with a tunnel under the whole length of Newton Street crossing under the other railway tunnel to emerge near Fort Matilda
Fort Matilda
railway station. Spoil from the cuttings and tunnels was used to build an embankment out from the shore to a long timber wharf at Gourock
Gourock
railway station, providing space for railway sidings.[15] The railway bought Wester Greenock
Greenock
castle and its extension, the Mansion House, and demolished them before constructing the tunnel immediately west of Greenock
Greenock
Central station, running under the castle grounds which now form Well Park.[5] Victoria Tower[edit]

View from above Cathcart Street over Cathcart Square to the Municipal Buildings, with the Victoria Tower to the right of "Cowan's Corner", and the Mid Kirk spire of 1781 to the left.

Greenock's increasing importance and wealth was manifested in the construction of the Italianate
Italianate
Municipal Buildings, whose Victoria Tower, completed in 1886, stands 245 feet (75 m) tall.[16] Begun five years previously in a competition won by architects H & D Barclay, it exceeds the height of the tower of Glasgow
Glasgow
City Chambers by more than a metre. The Municipal Buildings were bombed during World War 2 and what is known as Cowans Corner on the southern elevation of the building was destroyed beyond repair and remains like so today. Cowan's Corner is named so after the story of how an obstinate shop owner took on the town council and thwarted its plans for the construction of the Municipal Buildings. In the 1850s, the council started buying up all the property on the projected Municipal Building site, but the council did not anticipate it would run into problems when attempting to negotiate with a certain Robert Cowan, one of the owners of the firm of Cowan & Lawrie that operated a shop on a corner site in Cathcart Square. The council made every effort to reach a compromise but Robert refused to sell his property. Only when the plans were altered, owing to the fact the corner site could not be acquired, was Greenock's famous landmark — the Victoria Tower — designed. Work started on the Municipal Buildings in 1881 and was completed in 1886. The total cost was £197,061 — a colossal amount then — and it left the town with a debt not finally cleared until 1952. After the buildings were finished, further legal proceedings started and a court decision meant Robert Cowan had to move. He opened new premises at the corner of Westburn Street and West Blackhall Street. The property at the corner of the square was destroyed during the Blitz of 1941. Despite Robert Cowan being forced out, it would appear the council could not proceed with any plans it had for the site prior to the Blitz. A 1957 Telegraph story stated that only a few years earlier had Greenock
Greenock
Corporation managed to negotiate its purchase due to conflicting claims by descendants of the original owners. The article said that it had been suggested the corporation might finally be able to complete the Municipal Buildings to approximately the original designs. Cowan's Corner remains vacant but is a landscaped area with seating. Villas[edit] Further evidence of this wealth can be seen in the large villas of Greenock's west end, one time home to the ship owners, industrialists and investors. The area is fronted by the mile long (1.6 km) sweep of the Esplanade with its views across the Clyde to Kilcreggan which almost convinces the visitor that no heavy industry could have been anywhere nearby. Battery Park and torpedoes[edit] The War of 1812
War of 1812
reawakened fears of American raids against Britins ports. Earlier gun batteries, had been dismantled, and in 1813 ground was granted for a battery at Whitefarland Point: Fort Matilda
Fort Matilda
was completed in 1818, and was sporadically modified over the century. The land to the west of this was common ground for inhabitants of the town, but in 1907 the Admiralty
Admiralty
compulsorily purchased part of this land for a torpedo factory. The remaining space was handed over to Greenock
Greenock
Corporation in 1914 as a public park.[17] The Clyde Torpedo Factory, which opened in 1910, with 700 workers transferred from the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. The site was tasked with designing and testing of torpedoes. These were then tested in Loch Long. During the Second World War
Second World War
the site switched entirely to manufacturing torpedoes. The original gun battery site was occupied by the Navy Buildings, the main offices, just to the east of the torpedo factory buildings. Following WW2, in 1947,[18] the site became fully committed to R&D as the Torpedo Experimental Establishment (TEE). TEE was closed in 1959, when all torpedo research, development and design were concentrated at the newly formed Admiralty
Admiralty
Underwater Weapons Establishment (AUWE), Portland.[19] Old West Kirk[edit]

The Old West Kirk
Old West Kirk
features a scale model of a 20-gun frigate above its Sailor's loft: the Laird's Gallery is on the right.

A church which became known as the Old West Kirk
Old West Kirk
had been established in Greenock
Greenock
in 1591 under the patronage of John Schaw, the first built in Scotland
Scotland
since the Reformation. It was extended over the years, at an early stage the Schaw aisle provided pews for the Laird of the Barony, built as a gallery to the east of the nave of the church. Opposite it, above the front entrance, is the Crawfurdsburn or Choir Gallery. At the south end of the nave, the Sailor's Loft gallery was built in 1698, and features a 19th-century model frigate, which replaced earlier models. At the north end, the Farmer's Gallery is above the main seating area. A tower was added in the mid 19th century. In 1926, to make way for expansion of the Harland & Wolff shipyard (the present-day location of Container Way), the Old West Kirk
Old West Kirk
was relocated to a new site on the Esplanade where it still stands. The shipbuilders provided the Pirrie Hall to the south of the site: this was opened in February 1925, just after the old church closed for work to commence, and was used during the works to accommodate services, enabling the congregation to see progress on the rebuilt kirk. It then came into use as the church hall. The church is notable for stained glass by artists such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Sir Edward Burne-Jones. The Church has a website.[20] Second World War[edit]

Free French Memorial on Lyle Hill
Lyle Hill
overlooking Gourock

The original James Watt
James Watt
Memorial College building

Greenock
Greenock
Town Hall

Greenock
Greenock
suffered badly during the Second World War
Second World War
and its anchorage at the Tail of the Bank
Tail of the Bank
became the base for the Home Fleet
Home Fleet
as well as the main assembly point for Atlantic
Atlantic
convoys. On 30 April 1940 the French Vauquelin class destroyer
Vauquelin class destroyer
Maillé Brézé blew up off Greenock with heavy loss of life following an accident involving two of her own torpedoes. Although this disaster occurred before the Free French Naval Forces were established, many people tend to regard the Cross of Lorraine on Lyle Hill
Lyle Hill
as a memorial to the loss of the Maillé Brézé as well as to the later losses of the Free French Naval Forces
Free French Naval Forces
which sailed from the town. On the nights of 6 May and 7 May 1941 around 300 Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
aircraft attacked the town in the Greenock
Greenock
Blitz. A large building housing a drapery business constructed on Cowan's property at the corner of the Municipal Buildings was badly damaged and was demolished, leaving the blank brick corner area still known as "Cowan's Corner". This was later set as a garden for the blind. The original blank brick of Cowans Corner was covered in 2008 as part of the continuing work to improve the look of the town centre. Postwar years[edit] Greenock
Greenock
thrived in the post-war years but as the heavy industries declined in the 1970s and 1980s unemployment became a major problem, and it has only been in the last ten years with reinvestment and the redevelopment of large sections of the town that the local economy has started to revive. Tourism has appeared as an unexpected bonus with the development of the Clydeport Container Terminal as an Ocean Terminal for cruise ships crossing the Atlantic. Students who do not travel further afield for study often attend the Greenock
Greenock
campus of West College (formerly known as James Watt College
James Watt College
of Further and Higher Education). Greenock
Greenock
reached its population peak in 1921 (81,123) and was once the sixth largest town in Scotland. Governance[edit] Main article: Greenock
Greenock
(UK Parliament constituency) Until 1974, Greenock
Greenock
was a parliamentary burgh in its own right. It was merged with Port Glasgow
Port Glasgow
to form Greenock
Greenock
and Port Glasgow constituency. In 1997, it became Greenock
Greenock
and Inverclyde. After the redistribution of Scottish seats, it was merged into an enlarged Inverclyde
Inverclyde
constituency – the first time in political history that Greenock
Greenock
has not been named in a parliamentary seat. Greenock
Greenock
and Inverclyde
Inverclyde
remains a Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament
constituency. Health[edit] Main article: Inverclyde
Inverclyde
Royal Hospital The Inverclyde
Inverclyde
Royal Hospital is located in Greenock
Greenock
serving the population of Inverclyde, Largs, the Isle of Bute
Isle of Bute
and the Cowal Peninsula.[21] Ravenscraig Hospital deals with psychiatric, day patients, referrals and specialised prescribing.[22] Langhill Clinic situated behind Inverclyde
Inverclyde
Royal Hospital is now the main psychiatric hospital with an IPCU unit and Day hospital alongside the main psychiatric ward. Geography[edit] Areas and suburbs[edit] Arran View, Bogston, Bow Farm, Braeside, Branchton, Bridgend, Broomhill, Cartsburn, Cornhaddock, Fancy Farm, Fort Matilda, Gibshill, Greenock
Greenock
West, Grieve Hill, Hole Farm, Larkfield, Lyle Hill, Lynedoch, Overton, Pennyfern, Strone, Strone Farm and Whinhill. Spango Valley
Spango Valley
is located to the west of the town. Economy[edit] Historically, the town relied on shipbuilding, sugar refining and wool manufacturing for employment, but none of these industries are today part of Greenock's economy. More recently the town relied heavily on electronics manufacture. However, this has given way mostly to call centre business, insurance, banking and shipping export. The Fleming and Reid merino wool mill employed 500 people – mostly women and produced wool garments spun and woven at the mill. This mill was at the corner of Drumfrochar Road and Mill Road. As of October 2012 Greenock
Greenock
has an unemployment rate of 5.3%, above the Scottish average of 3.9% (figure is for the Scottish Parliament constituency and includes Gourock, Inverkip, Port Glasgow
Port Glasgow
and Wemyss Bay).[23] Shipbuilding[edit]

Greenock
Greenock
waterfront from Victoria Harbour
Harbour
to Ocean Terminal, the skyline dominated by Victoria Tower.

Greenock
Greenock
Central

The Inchgreen Drydock lacked major repair work for almost a decade, then in March 2013 it was used for urgent repairs to the ro-ro Stena Line ferry Finnarrow.

View looking north over the Inchgreen Drydock and repair quay, with the Greenock
Greenock
Great Harbour
Harbour
to the left, after the announcement that the dry dock cranes are to be demolished.

In the early 17th century, the first pier was built in Greenock. Shipbuilding
Shipbuilding
was already an important employer by this time. The first proper harbour was constructed in 1710 and the first well-known shipbuilders, Scotts Shipbuilding
Shipbuilding
and Engineering Company, was established the following year. It was the oldest shipbuilding business in the world[citation needed] and gained numerous contracts with the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
from 1806, building ships such as Glasgow. In 1967 Scott's was merged with Lithgows
Lithgows
(founded 1874, later the largest privately owned yard in the world) the same year becoming Scott Lithgow, which was later nationalised as part of British Shipbuilders in 1977. From the 1800 to 1980 many thousands of people worked to design, build and repair ships. The reduction in shipbuilding in the 1970s and 1980s meant that none of these companies are still trading. Greenock
Greenock
Shipbuilders included: Scotts, Browns, William Lithgows, Fergusons, Head the Boat Builder (lifeboats). Other marine engineering related companies included engine-makers – Kincaids, Scotts, Rankin and Blackmore (which included the Eagle Foundry) – ship repair (Lamonts) and Hasties for steering gear. Yacht builders included Adams and McLean (at Cardwell Bay). Other yards included Cartsburn, Cartsdyke, and Klondyke – all of which closed during the 1970s and 1980s due to competition from South Korea
South Korea
and Japan. Part of the site of the Scott's yard, is now an EE call centre, and the Kingston Yard was redeveloped for housing. Shipbuilding
Shipbuilding
is now continued at Ferguson Marine Engineering
Ferguson Marine Engineering
in nearby Port Glasgow, after Ferguson Shipbuilders was taken over by Jim McColl and began modernisation. Ship repair work continues at the Garvel Drydock in Greenock's Great Harbour. The Inchgreen Drydock was opened in 1964 as one of the largest in the world at 305 m long and 48 m wide. It was used to re-fit the RMS Queen Elizabeth, and to fit-out the QE2.[24] In 1966 it came under the nationalised Clydeport, which was privatised in 1882 and in 2003 was sold to Peel Ports of The Peel Group.[25] They subsequently operated the drydock as part of their Cammell Laird
Cammell Laird
shipbuilding subsidiary.[26] Peel Ports put the drydock on the market for a lease in 2014, and Jim McColl opened discussions on leasing the dock to expand Fergusons' shipbuilding,[27] but nothing came of the negotiations. On 1 May 2017 Clydeport stated that the drydock cranes are to be demolished.[24] Shipping[edit]

Ocean Terminal seen from the esplanade

Freight traffic is handled at the container cranes of Greenock's Ocean Terminal, at Prince's Pier
Pier
which was constructed for the Glasgow
Glasgow
and South Western Railway. The same terminal is a regular port of call for cruise liners visiting the west of Scotland. Greenock
Greenock
was a regular port of call for Cunard Line and Canadian Pacific in the 1950s and 1960s. Ships on the Montreal to Liverpool transit would anchor at the Tail of the Bank
Tail of the Bank
off Greenock
Greenock
in the Firth of Clyde and steam paddlewheel ferries would service the liners. Cunard operated the RMS Ivernia (1954), RMS Saxonia (1955), RMS Carinthia (1956) and RMS Sylvania (1957). These four ships were built at John Brown & Company shipyards, typically 22,000 tons, twin screw, 600 passengers. CP operated the Empress of Britain (1956), Empress of Canada and Empress of England. Greenock's Great Harbour
Harbour
is one of the three main ports providing marine services support to the Royal Navy, in dual site operation with Faslane
Faslane
at HMNB Clyde
HMNB Clyde
on the Gare Loch. 240 staff of the former Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service were transferred to Serco Denholm
Serco Denholm
under a 15-year £1bn PFI contract awarded in December 2007.[28] This facility means that "Admiralty" boats and tugs are a common sight on the Clyde. Greenock's attractive esplanade provides a gently curving riverside walk just over a mile (1.6 km) long extending to the west from Ocean Terminal to the Royal West of Scotland
Scotland
Amateur Boat Club sailing, kayaking and rowing facilities, which originated as a rowing club built against the east wall of Fort Matilda
Fort Matilda
in 1866, and was granted its present title in 1885. The present clubhouse dates from 1878, and was subsequently extended.[29] Fort Matilda
Fort Matilda
was adapted for various purposes, eventually becoming the Navy Buildings which housed a main Her Majesty's Coastguard
Her Majesty's Coastguard
centre until it closed in December 2012, as well as a Royal Naval Reserve establishment, HMS Dalriada. The buildings have now been demolished, as a site for blocks of flats off Eldon Street. Sugar[edit] Sugar refining began in Greenock
Greenock
in 1765.[30] John Walker began a sugar refinery in Greenock
Greenock
in 1850 followed by the prominent local cooper and shipowner Abram Lyle
Abram Lyle
who, with four partners, purchased the Glebe Sugar Refinery in 1865. Another 12 refineries were active at one point. The most successful of these was Tate & Lyle. It was formed from a merger in 1921 between Abram Lyle, who had expanded into Plaistow, and Henry Tate, who had set up a sugar refinery in Liverpool and had expanded into London.

The Sugar Shed dominates the James Watt
James Watt
Dock

The James Watt
James Watt
Dock, opened in 1886, provided shipping and shipbuilding facilities including a large warehouse (known as the Sugar Shed) which was used for both imported raw sugar, and refined sugar ready for delivery.[31][32] By the end of the 19th century, around 400 ships a year were transporting sugar from Caribbean holdings to Greenock
Greenock
for processing. There were 14 sugar refineries, including The Westburn, Walkers, The Glebe, Lochore and Ferguson and Dempster, plus a sugar beet factory on Ingleston Street. Tobacco from the Americas also arrived here. When Tate and Lyle finally closed its Greenock
Greenock
refinery in 1997 it brought to an end the town's 150-year-old connections with sugar manufacture. A newly built sugar warehouse continued shipping operations at Greenock's Ocean Terminal. The former sugar warehouse at the James Watt
James Watt
Dock was by then scheduled as a category A listed building as a fine example of early industrial architecture, with an unusual feature of a colonnade of cast iron columns forming a sheltered unloading area next to the quayside. This building has since lain empty, with various schemes being proposed for conversion and restoration. The photographs show the building still intact in February 2006, but a fire on the evening of 12 June 2006 caused severe damage to much of the building before being brought under control in the early hours of 13 June. The local council confirmed that parts of the building will have to be taken down to ensure public safety, but promised an investigation and emphasised the importance of this world heritage building.[33] In 2007, approval was given to proposals for a major regeneration project.[34] As of 2018, the building and adjacent area of the dock accommodated a marina.[31] Electronics[edit] Since IBM
IBM
arrived in the town in 1951, electronics and light manufacturing have, until recently, been the mainstay of local employment. Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments
(Formerly National Semiconductor) has run a silicon wafer manufacturing plant in the town since 1970. However, with manufacturing moving to Eastern Europe and Asia, work has shifted to the service sector, especially call centres. EE and IBM both have major call centre operations in Greenock, while the Royal Bank of Scotland
Scotland
Mortgage Centre processes Mortgage applications from throughout the UK & Ireland. IBM
IBM
have in recent years curtailed their operations greatly in the area. Sanmina, another electronics company, took over much of the IBM installation but moved 370 jobs to Hungary
Hungary
in 2006.[35] The Sanmina plant, which consisted of the former IBM
IBM
AMDC (Automated Materials Distribution Centre) and Modules buildings 1 to 5, has since ceased operation and was demolished in 2009. The Spango Valley
Spango Valley
site was rebranded as "Valley Park" in late 2009. Lenovo has also re-located away from Greenock, and the plant is now at 10% of the 1999/2000 capacity Trade and commerce[edit] Greenock's main shopping thoroughfare was Hamilton Street, which connected West Blackhall Street in the west to Clyde Square in the east. In 1975 it disappeared along with several other streets as the area was pedestrianised as Hamilton Way. In the 1990s it was refurbished again, and The Oak Mall indoor shopping centre (in administration as of 21 November 2013[36]) now forms the central feature of the town, and provides most of the major retail shops in Inverclyde, with approximately 85 units, with main anchor stores including Boots, Argos, The Body Shop, Clarks and New Look store. Marks and Spencer was in its original building (dating from 1936) which was simply built round during the first phase of pedestrianisation until the store moved to a new unit at a new retail park in Port Glasgow[37] In addition, two major supermarkets Tesco
Tesco
and Morrisons
Morrisons
are sited near the mall. A retail estate is located nearby, in front of the Waterfront swimming pool and leisure centre, and the streets around the mall provide a large number of smaller shops. Small groups of shops in most of the areas of the town provide for day-to-day needs, but most of the specialist shops are in the town centre. The town contains one diplomatic mission, an Italian consulate. Transport[edit] Greenock's most significant transportation connection is the Container Terminal (see above). Greenock
Greenock
is Scotland's best served town in terms of railway stations. It boasts nine: Bogston, Cartsdyke, Greenock
Greenock
Central, Greenock
Greenock
West, Fort Matilda, Whinhill, Drumfrochar, Branchton and IBM
IBM
Halt. Only Glasgow
Glasgow
has a much greater number of stations and Edinburgh
Edinburgh
possesses only one more. Greenock
Greenock
has the longest bored railway tunnel in Scotland[citation needed] at 1.2 miles (1.9 km) in length. Located directly under Newton Street in the town, the tunnel allowed for the extension of the railway to Gourock. Greenock
Greenock
is served by a number of local bus routes covering the majority of Greenock, Gourock
Gourock
and Port Glasgow. Long distance services travel regularly to Glasgow, Largs
Largs
and Dunoon. The majority of routes are run by McGill's Bus Services. The Largs
Largs
to Glasgow
Glasgow
corridor is served by three services, the 901, 906, which provide a bus along this route every 15 minutes for most of the day. Route 907 offers a service from Glasgow's Buchanan bus station
Buchanan bus station
to Dunoon
Dunoon
via Renfrew road paisley, Port Glasgow
Port Glasgow
and Greenock
Greenock
every 2 hours. The X7 service also offers travel from Greenock
Greenock
to Glasgow, serving the Slaemuir area of Port Glasgow
Port Glasgow
before travelling through Kilmacolm, Bridge of Weir, Houston and Linwood, then joining the motorway to Braehead before heading into Glasgow
Glasgow
City Centre. Greenock
Greenock
is located at the end of the A8 road/M8 motorway which begins in Edinburgh. It is also the northern terminus of Euroroute
Euroroute
E05 which heads south through England, France and Spain, ending at the Spanish port and container terminal of Algeciras. Culture[edit] Greenock
Greenock
is one of the settings for Alan Sharp's 1965 novel A Green Tree in Gedde. It is fictionalised as 'Gantock' by Robin Jenkins
Robin Jenkins
in his 1979 novel Fergus Lamont (The Gantocks are a rocky shoal in the Firth of Clyde
Firth of Clyde
nearby, just off Dunoon). Alasdair Gray's 1984 novel 1982, Janine
1982, Janine
is set in a Greenock
Greenock
hotel room. Matthew Fitt's cyberpunk novel But'n'Ben A-Go-Go features a submerged Greenock
Greenock
after the effects of global warming. Greenock
Greenock
has featured in the poetry of W.S. Graham (evoking his childhood) and Douglas Dunn. Greenock
Greenock
is home to the world's first Burns Club, The Mother Club, which was founded in 1801 by merchants born in Ayrshire, some of whom had known Robert Burns. They held the first Burns Supper
Burns Supper
on what they thought was his birthday on 29 January 1802, but in 1803 discovered from the Ayr parish records that the correct date was 25 January 1759.[38] The Victorian landscape artist John Atkinson Grimshaw
John Atkinson Grimshaw
depicted a somewhat idealised Greenock
Greenock
in several of his paintings. The Mclean Museum
Mclean Museum
is the largest museum in the Inverclyde
Inverclyde
area, featuring exhibitions on James Watt
James Watt
and a collection of Ancient Egyptian artefacts.

The Beacon Arts Centre, with the Gallery Suite and café / bistro looking out over the Custom House Quay
Quay
waterfront and the Clyde.

The Greenock
Greenock
Arts Guild's Beacon Arts Centre (replacing the former Arts Guild Theatre) opened in 2013 in a new building at Greenock's Custom House Quay. It provides a 500 seat theatre that hosts a regular programme of plays, concerts, musical events, comedians and other events and a Studio Theatre, as well as a multifunction Gallery Suite providing rehearsal and meeting rooms which combine for event or performance space, and a café / bistro, both with views over the Clyde.[39] Greenock
Greenock
hosted the National Mòd in 1904 and 1925.[40] In television[edit]

Greenock
Greenock
Academy

The 1974 BBC
BBC
Scotland
Scotland
adaptation of the Para Handy novels, entitled The Vital Spark, was filmed in Greenock. In 2012, Greenock
Greenock
became the setting for the BBC
BBC
television drama Waterloo Road, after the series was relocated from Rochdale, Greater Manchester. The series was shot at Greenock
Greenock
Academy, a former secondary school in the west of the town.[41] In film[edit] Greenock
Greenock
has featured as the backdrop to several films: the television films Just a Boys' Game (1979), Down Where The Buffalo Go
Down Where The Buffalo Go
(1988) and Down Among the Big Boys (1993)[42] and the cinema films Sweet Sixteen (2002) and Dear Frankie
Dear Frankie
(2004). "Leaving" 1988 by Danny Boyle. In "Rob Roy", which is set in the mid-eighteenth century, Greenock
Greenock
is referred to as "the new world". Media[edit] The town has a daily evening newspaper, The Greenock
Greenock
Telegraph. Dating from 1857, it is one of the oldest daily local newspapers in the United Kingdom.[citation needed] Inverclyde
Inverclyde
FM on line is a community Internet radio
Internet radio
station run by volunteers.[43] An internet-based TV station – Inverclyde
Inverclyde
TV – is run by Creative Industries students at Greenock's West College Scotland
Scotland
– http://www.inverclyde-tv.com Greenockians[edit]

A statue at the original James Watt College
James Watt College
building marks the site of his birthplace.

Engineer James Watt
James Watt
was remembered in the name of the local college, however this was renamed in 2014 to West College Scotland. However, his name is still used at the library instituted in his memory, and by the original James Watt
James Watt
Memorial College building on the site of his birthplace in William Street which incorporates a commemorative statue. More recently, the James Watt
James Watt
Wetherspoons pub was converted from the Cathcart Street post office building. Other Greenockians include the composers Hamish MacCunn
Hamish MacCunn
and William Wallace, violinist Henri Temianka, musicians John McGeoch
John McGeoch
and Thomas Leer,[citation needed] mathematician William Spence,[44] poets Denis Devlin, W. S. Graham
W. S. Graham
and Jean Adam, merchant Matthew Algie, actors Richard Wilson, Martin Compston and Stella Gonet, artists William Scott and Frederick Donald Blake, playwrights Bill Bryden, Neil Paterson and Peter McDougall, comedian Charles 'Chic' Murray, opera singer Hugh Enes Blackmore, broadcaster Jimmy Mack, American football player Lawrence Tynes, Antarctic explorer Henry Robertson 'Birdie' Bowers and portrait painter Leonard Boden. Two Greenockians, Alexander Bruce and Theophilus S. Marshall, were involved in the drafting of the laws for Australian Rules Football. People associated with Greenock[edit] Pirate William Kidd
William Kidd
claimed on death row that he was born in Greenock, but subsequent evidence has shown that he was born either in Belfast or Dundee.[45][46] Robert Burns' lover Mary Campbell (Highland Mary)
Mary Campbell (Highland Mary)
and her father sailed from Campbeltown
Campbeltown
to visit her brother in Greenock
Greenock
early in October 1786. Her brother fell ill with typhus, which she caught while nursing him. She died of typhus on 20 or 21 October 1786, and was buried in the Old West Kirk
Old West Kirk
graveyard. In 1842 increasing interest in their romance led to a monument being erected by public subscription to mark the grave. In 1920 when the church site was needed to expand Harland and Wolff's shipyard, the monument was moved to its present site in Greenock
Greenock
Cemetery, with her remains being transferred to a casket and re-interred with due ceremony. The church itself was moved and rebuilt in its current location at the west end of the Esplanade in 1926.[47][48]

Cemetery entrance from Inverkip
Inverkip
Street, with plaque commemorating John Galt.

The novelist John Galt, who founded Guelph, Ontario in 1827, lived in the town and based some of his work, most notably Annals of the Parish (1821), on Greenock
Greenock
and surrounding towns. He is buried in the Inverkip
Inverkip
Street Cemetery. The mother of American comedian and writer Jay Leno, Catherine Muir, was born in Greenock
Greenock
and emigrated to the US as a child. The American actress Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore
is the daughter of the late Anne Love, a former psychiatric social worker who emigrated from Greenock. The Rev William C. Hewitt (minister at Westburn Parish Church in Greenock), Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
Scotland
in 2009–2010, is the first serving minister at a church in Greenock
Greenock
to be appointed. Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Libyan intelligence officer convicted of the Lockerbie Bombing
Lockerbie Bombing
was incarcerated at Greenock Prison
Greenock Prison
from 2005 until his release on 20 August 2009. Dr Donald McIntyre FRSE
FRSE
(1891–1954) was born and raised in Greenock. Sports[edit]

Cappielow
Cappielow
Park, home of Morton F.C.

Greenock Morton F.C.
Greenock Morton F.C.
are the local senior football team who currently play in the Scottish Championship.[49] Founded in 1874 as Morton F.C., they play their home matches at Cappielow. At lower levels of the game, Greenock Juniors F.C.
Greenock Juniors F.C.
play in the West of Scotland
Scotland
Football League. Greenock
Greenock
hosts a rugby union team, Greenock
Greenock
Wanderers RFC,[50] founded in 1873. It is one of the oldest clubs in Scotland. Greenock
Greenock
also has 2 successful athletics clubs, Inverclyde
Inverclyde
AC and Glenpark Harriers It is also the hometown of the Greenock
Greenock
Cricket Club.[51] and Greenock Golf Club,[52] The town was also the host of the first ever international women's football match, which was between Scotland
Scotland
and England; it was held at the Ravenscraig Sports Centre. Public sports and leisure facilities[edit] Leisure facilities in Greenock
Greenock
are primarily provided by Inverclyde Leisure. There are several sports facilities in the town and surrounding area managed by Inverclyde
Inverclyde
Leisure:

Waterfront Leisure Complex Greenock
Greenock
Sports Centre Lady Octavia Sports Centre Boglestone Community Centre and Fitness Gym Ravenscraig Sports Centre Battery Park Pavilion Gourock
Gourock
Fitness Gym Gourock
Gourock
Outdoor Swimming Pool Birkmyre Park Fitness Gym (Kilmacolm)

As of 2009, there are plans to build a new multi-purpose facility at Rankin Park.[53] Climate[edit]

Greenock
Greenock
Temp.(click to enlarge)

Greenock's climate is temperate maritime having mainly cool summers but with relatively mild winters. Its location means that the heat retentive properties of seawater help keep winter temperatures higher. Additionally, the effect of the Gulf Stream
Gulf Stream
on the Clyde helps Greenock's average temperature stay approximately one degree above that of eastern coastal towns on the same latitude. Indeed, Greenock's latitude (55.94 degrees north with a longitude of 4.75 degrees west) places it at the same latitude as the Moscow area. The warming effect of the Gulf Stream
Gulf Stream
however, keeps the winter weather in Greenock
Greenock
much milder than that of Moscow. Greenock
Greenock
anecdotally has the reputation for having higher than average rainfall (the song The Green Oak Tree comments on this) but this is not statistically true; northwest of Fort William has the highest average rainfall in Scotland.[54] Greenock's location gives long hours of daylight in midsummer with the opposite true in midwinter. On the longest day, 21 June, the sun rises at 04:31 and sets at 22:07. In midwinter, 21 December, the sun rises at 08:46 and sets at 15:44. Twin cities[edit] Greenock's twin cities are Veulettes-sur-Mer
Veulettes-sur-Mer
and Cany-Barville, both in France. Another sister city is Coatesville, in Pennsylvania. Notes[edit]

^ Smith 1921, pp. 8–9 ^ Johnston, J.B. (1934) Place-names of Scotland", John Murray, p. 197 ^ Smith 1921, p. 9 ^ Smith 1921, pp. 4–5 ^ a b Sweet, Andy. " Greenock
Greenock
Castle (site of) - Castle in Greenock, Renfrewshire". Stravaiging around Scotland. Retrieved 19 February 2018.  ^ Smith 1921, pp. 9, 86, 109 Monteith 2004, p. 3 ^ Smith 1921, pp. 6, 9, 64 Brown 1905, p. 4 ^ Smith 1921, pp. 6, 55, 85 Monteith 2003, p. 3 ^ Smith 1921, pp. 6, 55, 85, 87, 94 ^ a b Monteith 2004, p. 19 ^ Wood 1828, pp. 172–175 ^ "Regeneration Projects Attracting Interest". Inverclyde
Inverclyde
Now. 16 November 2013. Archived from the original on 12 December 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2013.  ^ "PG Paper moves to Greenock's Custom House". HeraldScotland. Retrieved 2017-02-06.  ^ "£4m Greenock
Greenock
Custom House project nears an end". Greenock Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-02-06.  ^ Montheith 2004, pp. 40, 47, 84, 70, 94.. ^ Sphinx Fine Art; Edward Strachan; Roy Bolton (2008). Russia & Europe in the Nineteenth Century. Sphinx Fine Art. pp. 30–. ISBN 978-1-907200-02-1.  ^ Smith 1921, pp. 148, 168–169 ^ "Secret Scotland
Scotland
– Royal Naval Torpedo Factories".  ^ I worked there 1957–59 ^ "Welcome To The Old West Kirk,Greenock". Lyle Kirk. Retrieved 2016-09-15.  ^ " Inverclyde
Inverclyde
Royal Hospital". NHS Greater Glasgow
Glasgow
and Clyde. Retrieved 2010-05-07.  ^ "Page 2" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-04-17.  ^ "nomis – official labour market statistics". Nomisweb.co.uk. 30 September 2010. Retrieved 2013-01-26.  ^ a b "End of an era as cranes set to be flattened at Inchgreen". Greenock
Greenock
Telegraph. 1 May 2017. Retrieved 11 May 2017.  ^ "History". Peel Ports. Retrieved 11 May 2017.  ^ "Inchgreen Drydock". Cammell Laird. 10 October 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2017.  ^ "Revealed: billionaire scouts giant Greenock
Greenock
dry dock as potential shipyard". HeraldScotland. 18 September 2014. Retrieved 11 May 2017.  ^ "Signing of Marine Services Contract". Serco Group plc. 14 December 2007. Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2010.  ^ Royal West of Scotland
Scotland
Amateur Boat Club Jubilee 1926 CS63-1-1, from "Local History Downloads". Inverclyde
Inverclyde
Council. 2016. Retrieved 20 February 2018.  ^ "Online encyclopedia from Britannica 1911".  ^ a b JWDAdministrator. "JWD History". James Watt
James Watt
Dock Marina, Greenock, Scotland. Retrieved 11 February 2018.  ^ "Greenock, James Watt
James Watt
Dock". Canmore. Retrieved 11 February 2018.  ^ "Picture Gallery". Archived from the original on 26 October 2006.  ^ "£180 million Regeneration Project Approved". Inverclyde
Inverclyde
Council. 7 January 2010. Archived from the original on 19 September 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2010.  ^ "Workers' disgust at Hungary
Hungary
move", Greenock
Greenock
Telegraph, 15 February 2006, archived from the original on 27 February 2012, retrieved 7 May 2010  ^ "OAK MALL GREENOCK LIMITED [04384548]". Insolvent, Winding Up, Bankrupt & Administration Information.  ^ Greenock
Greenock
from Old Photographs, 1984 ^ "Congratulation Greenock
Greenock
Burns Club". The Robert Burns
Robert Burns
World Federation Limited. Archived from the original on 26 January 2010. Retrieved 18 January 2010.  ^ "Homepage". The Beacon Arts Centre. 25 April 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2018.  ^ List of Mod's places for each year on Sabhal Mòr Ostaig
Sabhal Mòr Ostaig
website ^ "Waterloo Road relocates to Greenock". BBC
BBC
News. 27 October 2011.  ^ "Screen One" Down Among the Big Boys (1993) on IMDb ^ "Inverclydemedia.com". Archived from the original on 31 August 2009. Retrieved 10 November 2009.  ^ Craik, A. D. D. (October 2013). "Polylogarithms, functional equations and more: The elusive essays of William Spence (1777–1815)". Historia Mathematica. 40 (4): 353–482. doi:10.1016/j.hm.2013.06.002.  ^ "KIDD-L Archives – Subject: [KIDD-L] Captain William Kidd: recent biography". RootsWeb. Retrieved 2007-12-13.  ^ " William Kidd
William Kidd
1645–1701". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-13.  ^ "Highland Mary (Mary Campbell)". Famous Sons and Daughters of Greenock. Nostalgic Greenock. Archived from the original on 21 August 2008. Retrieved 2010-01-17.  ^ "National Burns Collection – Design for a Monument proposed to be erected in memory of Highland Mary". Retrieved 2010-01-18.  ^ "GMFC.net". Greenock
Greenock
Morton FC. Archived from the original on 8 June 2003.  ^ "Greenockwanderers.co.uk". Greenock
Greenock
Wanderers RFC.  ^ "Greenockcricketclub.com". Greenock
Greenock
Cricket Club.  ^ "Greenockgolfclub.co.uk". Greenock
Greenock
Golf Club.  ^ Baxter, Eric (13 February 2009), "Council tax frozen...but £23m leisure boost", Greenock
Greenock
Telegraph, retrieved 2010-05-07  ^ "Northern Scotland: climate". Met Office. Archived from the original on 13 August 2011. Retrieved 7 May 2010. 

References[edit]

Brown, Archibald (1905), The Early Annals of Greenock, Greenock Telegraph printing works, archived from the original on 19 November 2014  ( Inverclyde
Inverclyde
Council website) Monteith, Joy (2003), Old Port Glasgow, Catrine, Ayrshire: Stenlake Publishing, ISBN 978-1-84033-250-6  Monteith, Joy (2004), Old Greenock, Catrine, Ayrshire: Stenlake Publishing, ISBN 978-1-84033-314-5  Smith, R.M. (1921), The History of Greenock, Greenock: Orr, Pollock & Co  ( Inverclyde
Inverclyde
Council website) Wood, John (1828), Descriptive account of the principal towns in Scotland: to accompany Wood's town atlas, Edinburgh, pp. 171–177  (Plan of the Town of Greenock
Greenock
from actual survey. – Maps of Scotland, 1825, National Library of Scotland website)

Further reading[edit]

Snoddy, TG (1937) Round About Greenock Weir, D (1827, r. 2004) History of the Town of Greenock

External links[edit]

Media related to Greenock
Greenock
at Wikimedia Commons Greenock
Greenock
travel guide from Wikivoyage

Wikisource
Wikisource
has the text of The New Student's Reference Work article Greenock.

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 143070

.