Thursday July 3rd ~ Greenock, the “Gateway to Glasgow”
Deciding to just explore the small ports, and taking local transportation instead of taking the more expensive tours offered on board the cruise ship keeps us in town for the morning. Coming across an old library, we are drawn inside.
The multiple volumes of Lloyd’s Register caught my eye. They had row after row, containing 100’s of well warn volumes. For a quite small library, this gave added voice to the significance of shipping in this area.
“The Society printed the first Register of Ships in 1764 in order to give both underwriters and merchants an idea of the condition of the vessels they insured and chartered…The Register, with information on all seagoing, self-propelled merchant ships of 100 gross tonnes or greater, is published annually. A vessel remains registered with Lloyd’s Register until it is sunk, wrecked, hulked, or scrapped.” ~ Wikipedia
Just around the corner was the entrance to the McLean Museum.
Here the story is told of different industries that flourished and then disappeared from this area including sugar refineries, pottery and shipbuilding. A small-sized museum, it reminded me of the one in Jacksonville, Oregon, near where I grew up, proudly displaying items of local heritage and pictures of local heroes.
At one point there were 170 different ship builders in Greenock. One by one the ship building plants closed down, until the last one ceased to exist when its machinery was auctioned in 1987.
An article in the local paper tried to sum up the moment, with the lack of sentimentality shown at the auction. I thought the quote was quite good, so am including it below:
“At its best, sentimentality is a souffle of memory, respect and affection with a tinge of longing for the security of bygone days. At its worst, sentimentality refuses to see reality at all, preferring myth anchored in the past of an uncertain future, and rhetoric to logic.” ~ Stewart Lamont
We wanted to take a local tour to Gourock, but it was sold out, so instead we purchased two tickets for the 2:45 Port Glasgow and Newark Castle Tour offered by the same company. Upon arrival at our meet-up point, I inquired if there had been any cancellations for the tour that had been our first choice. After waiting just a couple of minutes, we were advised that yes, a couple of people had not arrived, so we got to join the tour that we had originally wanted after all.
The free two-hour tour to Gourock was offered through the local volunteer Tourist Group. Here are a few more pictures we took on that tour:
And what has Gus been up to the past couple of days? Both Tim and “D” have been hard at work trying to “one-up” the other on clever ideas. Here are their latest creative displays of wit and whimsy.
Gratitude Moment: Today I am grateful for the hospitality that small communities show to their visitors. From the welcome tent that greeted us as we walked down the gangway, to the helpful information booth, free tours hosted by the local volunteer tourist group, and a complimentary shot of a local scotch whiskey to warm us upon our return.
looking forward to your book in a couple years…..
Carrie, that would be pretty amazing if all my ramblings ended up becoming a book. For now they are just my travel memories, and a way to keep track of all we have seen and done. So glad you are enjoying them!
I hope you enjoyed it here in Greenock. I can see the cruise ships from my front window and I hear their huge horns blowing at night when they leave. Although our town has fallen on slightly harder times, we actually have a very rich cultural and historical heritage. I’ve always felt we don’t do enough to provide services to the folk from the cruise ships to show them the history of the town, particularly as we have such deep connections with North America.
Colin, yes we enjoyed your lovely town and are so glad we had the opportunity to walk around and explore at a leisurely pace. I especially enjoyed seeing the old library and the museum next door. The surrounding towns gave us a small look at the natural beauty of your section of Scotland. Thank you for your hospitality!
Glad you enjoyed your time in Greenock and the welcome from Inverclyde Tourist Group.
We did indeed. The warm welcome and helpful information certainly allowed us to make the most of our time which led to a lovely day. Thank you!