Beardmore sculpture 01
Through in Clydebank today as my dad is currently in a specialist hospital there. On the way back to the train station I saw this large Beardmore Sculpture. It is a galvanized metal sculpture by Tom McKendrick to commemorate William Beardmore & Co's shipyard at Dalmuir, Clydebank, on the edge of Glasgow.
Clydebank was the powerhouse not only of Scottish shipbuilding but British shipbuilding during the highwater mark of the British Empire. And since then Britannia really did rules the waves with the largest fleet in the world that made it one of the most important shipbuilding sites in the world. The term "Clyde-built" was a global hallmark of quality workmanship. Thousands works in the shipyards of the Clyde and huge vessels would take shape, by their completion towering over the houses near the yards.
The ship depicted is HMS Ramillies - you can tell from the bulges along the side and the bow which leads out at the lower end rather than inwards like modern vessels that this is a pretty old WWI era design, and indeed when I looked it up later I found she was constructed from 1913-1916, a 15-inch gun battleship, she was still in service by the Second World War, although mostly doing convoy work, but on the historic days of the Allied invasion of Nazi occupied Europe her huge guns were brought to bear bombarding the French coast to support the British, Canadian, American and other troops who wrote history at great cost.
Shipbuilding on the Clyde is a shadow of what it once was, most of the great yards are gone (indeed the yard for this ship is now where the modern hospital stands right by the river), but there is still work going on, with some of the cutting edge new vessels for the Royal Navy still being worked on nearby to this day. From small ships to enormous battleships to great liners like the QE2 and the Queen Mary, this river has seen some of the greatest vessels built and launched on these banks.