Clydebank: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 55°53′59″N 4°24′02″W / 55.8997°N 4.4006°W / 55.8997; -4.4006

Scottish Gaelic: Bruach Chluaidh
Clyde Shopping Centre bridge and canal.jpg
The Clyde Shopping Centre incorporates a bridge over the Forth and Clyde Canal.
Clydebank is located in Scotland

 Clydebank shown within Scotland
Population Total Clydebank (sum of 4 localities)Town: 45,210; Locality of Clydebank: 29,858 [1]
OS grid reference NS500700
Council area West Dunbartonshire
Lieutenancy area Dunbartonshire
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district G81 & G60
Dialling code 0141 & 01389
Police Strathclyde
Fire Strathclyde
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament West Dunbartonshire
Scottish Parliament Clydebank and Milngavie
West of Scotland
List of places: UK • Scotland •
Street scene in Clydebank. Image author: Stephen McKay

Clydebank is a town in West Dunbartonshire, in the Central Lowlands of Scotland. Situated on the north bank of the River Clyde, Clydebank borders Dumbarton, the town with which it was combined to form West Dunbartonshire, as well as the town of Milngavie in East Dunbartonshire, and the Yoker and Drumchapel districts of the adjacent City of Glasgow. Clydebank is part of the registration county of Dumbarton, the Dunbartonshire Crown lieutenancy area, and the Office of National Statistics urban area Greater Glasgow. [1] Clydebank was founded as a police burgh on 18 November 1886. Thomson's Ship Builders (1871) and Beardmores (1860 Clyde Navigation Trust) where among the first shipyards in the town. These yards eventually became some of the most important ship building yards in the 20th century in the region in and around Glasgow. John Brown & Company – shipbuilders for the Cunard Line – being a fine example. Additionally, the American Singer Corporation opened a factory between 1884 and 1885, which had the honour of housing the largest clock face in the world. The Singer factory was, at one point, the largest in the world and was the site of an important strike in March-April 1911, during which its 11,000 workers stopped working. In 1941 a large part of the town was destroyed in the Clydebank Blitz, as well as close by Maryhill in Glasgow.

Clydebank is found within the historical boundaries of the ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde, the parish of Old Kilpatrick (12th cent) and the Mormaerdom of Lennox.

The town has a large shopping centre which is divided in two by the Forth and Clyde Canal which runs through the town. The town is also a place of learning, culture and nightlife. The popular Scottish band Wet Wet Wet formed in Clydebank in 1982.


Areas of Clydebank

Dalmuir, Drumry, Duntocher, Faifley, Hardgate, Kilbowie, Linnvale, Mountblow, Old Kilpatrick, Parkhall, Radnor Park, Town Centre, Whitecrook and a small part of the Yoker district of Glasgow City (sometimes termed Clydebank East).

Duntocher, Hardgate and Faifley 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 settlement of Bowling, while for statistical purposes the town is divided into several localities; namely Faifley, Duntocher & Hardgate, Old Kilpatrick, and a rump Clydebank.


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 reorganization. Following the end of the strike, Singer fired 400 workers, including all strike leaders and purported members of the IWGB, among whom Arthur McManus, who later went on to become the first chairman of the CPGB between 1920 and 1922 [2].

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 [2].

It is the generally held belief of residents that Clydebank has far more common interests with other urban towns and districts of the Glasgow Settlement or Greater Glasgow city-region than they do with detached northern rural areas of West Dunbartonshire, although this should not be assumed to have ended the town's identifying itself as part of the historical county of Dunbartonshire, which many residents feel is important in maintaining Clydebank's independent identity from the adjacent City of Glasgow. As stated previously the town borders but is not part of the local authority area called the City of Glasgow, although as the boundary falls between neighbouring houses its existence is largely irrelevant in terms of people's use of commercial and leisure facilities, housing, employment and transport. The town is part of a single urban area (officially the Glasgow City Metropolitan Area) with the terms Glasgow and 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 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 Glasgow telephone area code "0141", however the northern & western portions of the Clyebank 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 G60.


Clydebank has two semi-professional football teams, Clydebank F.C. and Yoker Athletic F.C.. Both are members of the Scottish Junior Football Association, Clydebank playing in the West of Scotland Superleague First Division, one tier 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.

The new Clydebank Football Club have a sizeable support - regularly attracting crowds of 400-1,200 for home matches - attendances that exceed those regularly achieved in the Scottish League Divisions 2 and 3.

Yoker Athletic FC (one of the oldest football clubs in Scotland)also have a small but committed support - bolstered by "bumper crowds" achieved when playing home matches against Clydebank FC

Clydebank also boasts a Rugby Football Club[2] based in Whitecrook. The club was founded in 1969 by local lads who decided to form a local club 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 and they have continued to play at the same venue ever since. The club play in red and black and regularly field two XVs.

Clydesdale Harriers[3], Scotland's first amateur open athletics club, founded in 1885, are based in Clydebank.


Clydebank has been the subject of several documentary films over the years[3], including (more recently) Iain McGuinness' Post-Blitz Clydebank and Clydebank Through A Lens.


Although the town currently has a fairly moderate unemployment rate, at around 3% this was not always the case, especially with the decline in heavy industry of the 70s/80s.

A major employer in the town was 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.

Singer Corporation was also a major industry in Clydebank, giving thousands of jobs to the townsfolk but has since closed, with Clydebank Business Park 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.

Coat of Arms

Clydebank District Council coat of arms 1985 - 1996
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.[4]

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.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7]

Local Transport

Bridge linking the two parts of the Clyde Shopping Centre.

The town is served by rail from Clydebank railway station, Drumry railway station, Dalmuir railway station, Yoker 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 Shopping Centre.


  1. ^ (2001). "Comparative Population: Clydebank Locality". Retrieved 2008-12-18.  
  2. ^ a b The Singer strike 1911, Glasgow Digital Library
  3. ^ "Search for 'Clydebank' at BFI". Retrieved 13 October 2009.  
  4. ^ A.C. Fox-Davies, The Book of Public Arms, 2nd edition, London, 1915
  5. ^ R. M. Urquhart, Scottish Burgh and County Heraldry, London, 1973
  6. ^ R.M. Urquhart, Scottish Civic Heraldry, London, 1979
  7. ^ R.M. Urquhart, Scottish Civic Heraldry 2, Hamilton, 2001

Further reading

External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CLYDEBANK, a police burgh of Dumbartonshire, Scotland, on the right bank of the Clyde, 6 m. from Glasgow. Pop. (1891) 10,014; (1901) 21,591. There are stations at Yoker, Clydebank, Kilbowie and Dalmuir, all comprised within the burgh since 1886, served by both the North British and the Caledonian railways. In 1875 the district was almost purely rural, but since that date flourishing industries have been planted in the different parts. At Clydebank are large shipbuilding yards and engineering works; at Yoker there is some shipbuilding and a distillery; at Kilbowie the Singer Manufacturing Company have an immense factory, covering nearly 50 acres and giving employment to many thousands of operatives; at Dalmuir are the building and repairing yards of the Clyde Navigation Trust. The important Rothesay Dock, under this trust, was opened by the prince and princess of Wales in April 1907. The municipality owns a fine town hall and buildings. Part of the parish extends across the Clyde into the shire of Renfrew.

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