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Tuesday 6 March 2012: Cranes on the Clyde

When I am up in Renfrew and looking for a blip I always seem to find myself drawn to the Clyde. There is something about its industrial past that is both fascinating and quite sad.

I was conscious that rain was on its way an that the early morning light would not last. As I stood on the south bank of the river, behind the Braehead shopping centre, I was attracted by the milky clouds that covered the sun and the much darker clouds that were gathering overhead. They created a kind of haziness that must have been common in the city's smoggy past, and I felt fitting for a blip of the remnants of shipbuilding.

Its hard to imagine now that at its peak there were probably about 40 shipyards on the Clyde and its tributaries, with more than 25,000 ships being built. Now there are only the BAE Systems' yards at Scotstoun and Govan on the upper Clyde, with the sheds and cranes of the latter being in the centre of the blip. The large crane is on the site of the former Barclay Curle Yard and is now part of a scrap metal business. The contrast between the past and the present is somewhat depressing and a poor reflection of the river's proud shipbuilding history. Never mind, at least the skyline provides a blipping opportunity!

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Clyde Cranes

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