Perhaps a reference to Greenock's mastery of the sea.
there are some remarkable carvings in the stonework. This is above the doorway.
The foundation stone of the Municipal Buildings was laid in 1882 and the buildings completed in 1886. This was a time when Greenock was a major port and shipbuilding town. This is reflected in the sculpted imagery.
To the left of the door are images of the Greenock's importance as a port - sailing ship, docks, warehouses and crane for loading and unloading cargoes. The detail is incredible. Look at the chains on the crane.
The right side of the doorway shows nature's bounty - cattle, crops, and a plough - for the food necessary to feed the Greenock's workforce. The bee hive is particularly significant as Greenock was a major sugar importer and there were many refineries in the town. The beehive is also a sign of industry - busy as a bee!
I hadn't realised until I took a closer look at my photographs just how much detail was in this tiny part of the building. There's a lot more, but that's for another day!