Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Coronation Park Memorial Cairn

This monument in Coronation Park in Port Glasgow is in memory of the 20 people who died in a boating accident in the River Clyde on 14 September 1947.


The pleasure motor boat ‘Ocean’ had left from Inchgreen for a trip to Ardentinny on Loch Long.  However the weather became bad and they headed for the more sheltered Gareloch.  As it entered the Gareloch, the boat was swamped by a heavy wave and sunk.


Twenty people, including six members of the Graham family from Port Glasgow, including a two year old child, drowned.  There were only three survivors.


A very fitting memorial overlooking the River Clyde.



Monday, 12 August 2019

Port Glasgow murals

These colourful murals can be found on the wall of Fergus Monk's garage at the West Quay in Port Glasgow. 


They are the work of local artist Jim Strachan who also painted the Broomhill Mural in Greenock.


One of the murals shows fishing boats and the catch being processed on the quay.  The other shows people having fun.


Both murals face the River Clyde and are an unexpected burst of colour on the quayside.


Visit Monday Murals for a glimpse of other murals from around the world.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

Visiting Scotland - useful information


If you are planning to visit Scotland or just want more information about this beautiful country, then here are some great websites offering a variety of information which I hope you will find interesting and useful.

General Information
The Scottish Government has a website which covers all aspects of life in Scotland.  Particularly useful is this list of organisations in Scotland which you can search for particular information.

Family History
Scotland’s People - births, marriages, deaths, census information and much more.  You have to pay to download information from this site.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission - information about British servicemen who died during World War I and World War II.



Scottish History
Historic Environment Scotland - look after many of Scotland’s historic buildings.  This site contains a fantastic amount of information regarding Scotland’s history and monuments.  You can find out more about Inverclyde’s own Newark Castle in Port Glasgow - well worth a visit.

National Library of Scotland - a treasure trove of information about Scotland and Scottish archives.

Archaeology Scotland - information about digs and discoveries.

Clans & Tartans
The Scottish Register of Tartans - find out if you have a family tartan.


Planning a Visit
Visit Scotland - has lots of information about our wonderful country.

Undiscovered Scotland - provides information about all aspects of visiting Scotland.
  
Hope this has been useful even if your visit to Scotland 
is a virtual one!

Friday, 9 August 2019

Family history research in Greenock - places to visit


If you are going to be visiting Greenock and the local area and want to do some family history research then here are some ideas and resources.  First of all, download a local map from the Inverclyde Council website.

Men of the Clyde
Unfortunately The Watt Library in Greenock which holds most of the resources for family history research is closed at the moment.  A date for reopening has not yet been given.  The McLean Museum is also closed.

However, Greenock Central Library (Wallace Place, Greenock) holds a number of local resources which you can view in person including Post Office Directories and local newspapers (dating back many years) on microfiche.



Local Churches
You may know from your previous research which church your family was associated with.  Many local churches have changed names over the years or are no longer used as places of worship.  However you can still get photographs of the building and some may be open because they are used as shops or warehouses.  If a church is still open for worship, then if you visit on a Sunday you will be made most welcome.

Some local churches have their own websites -

Lyle Kirk (including the former Ardgowan Parish Church, Finnart St Paul’s Church and Old West Kirk).
St John the Evangelist Episcopal Church (Union Street, Greenock)
St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church (Patrick Street, Greenock)

Inverclyde Cemeteries
Inverclyde Council have a list of local cemeteries.  Most local cemeteries are open every day.  Check the Council website for details.
You can download a brochure from Inverclyde Council which gives lots of information about some of those who are buried in the Duncan Street and Inverkip Street Cemeteries as well as Greenock Cemetery.  There are details of walks which take you around the Cemetery to see some interesting graves.  Of particular interest is the James Watt Memorial Cairn and the grave of Highland Mary, the sweetheart of Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns.


Other Local Information
Inverclyde Council have a wide range of maps, brochures and leaflets that can be downloaded from their website.  These are a fabulous resource for visitors and locals alike.

Port Glasgow Heritage Walk
If you want to know more about Port Glasgow and its heritage then download the Heritage Walk booklet.


Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Resources for Greenock family history research

I often get inquiries from people researching an Inverclyde connection in their family history.  Greenock, Gourock and Port Glasgow, as well as the villages of Inverkip and Kilmacolm were once part of Renfrewshire which makes things a wee bit confusing sometimes.  I've updated my Family History Research Leaflet because many of the links (especially those of Inverclyde Council) were no longer working or had been moved.



If you are interested in researching your family history, then here are a few online resources to get you started.


Inverclyde Council
Our local council have an incredible amount of online information available.
Check out the Inverclyde Council website.

Of specific interest is the Intimations section which contains all the birth, death, and marriage details which were posted in the local press from 1800-1918.

Another section contains Post Office Directories for the area from 1783-1912.  These list people, their occupations and addresses - a bit like a telephone directory.

Inverclyde Council have a huge collection of old photographs of the area which give an amazing insight into the old streets and living conditions of the area.

Inverclyde’s Great War - lots of information about local people who fought and died during World War I.  Some biographical details and photographs are included.

Old Local Maps
Greenock has seen many changes over the years and perhaps the street where your ancestor lived doesn’t appear on modern maps.  The National Library of Scotland has a site which has old town plans and maps for all of Scotland.

Modern Maps
Just type in the street and town and Google will find it for you and show you a map of the area.

Census Information
A good, free site for some census information for a lot of Britain (only certain years in some places) is FreeCen.  It has census information for Renfrewshire for 1841, 1851, 1861 and 1871.

Family Search
Run by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Family Search contains lots of information of births and marriages in Renfrewshire.

Local News
Our local newspaper is the Greenock Telegraph.
Inverclyde Now also provides local information.

Hope this helps!

Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Port Glasgow Heritage Walk

I've worked out a Heritage Walk for Port Glasgow which takes in many of the important aspects of the town's history and heritage.  Starting at Newark Castle, the walk takes you around several interesting sites.  The booklet includes a map and directions along with more photographs and links.
Click to download the Port Glasgow Heritage Walk.


You can download a pdf of the Port Glasgow Heritage Walk here
Here are the stops along the way -

Suggested start - Newark Castle in Port Glasgow.

1          Newark Castle
2          Ferguson Marine
3          Ropeworks Building
4          Port Glasgow Fire Station
5          Glen & Ross Steam Hammer


6          Coronation Park and Riverside
7          Slipway
8          Memorial - Clyde Boating Tragedy
9          Mirren Shore - Steamboat Quay
10        Perch Lighthouse
11        West Quay Lighthouse
12        SUDS Pond
13        Remains of Shipyards
14        Shipyard Names


15        Comet
16        Argylls’ Parade
17        Church of St John the Baptist
18        Princes Street
19        St Andrew's Church and Churchyard
20        Old Bank Building
21        Port Glasgow Railway Station


22        John Wood Street - Star Hotel & Tenements
23        King Street
24        Customhouse Lane (off King Street)
25        Port Glasgow Town Buildings
26        Provost's Lamp (to side of building)


27        Port Glasgow War Memorial
28        Endeavour Sculpture

That concludes the Port Glasgow Heritage Walk.

Download the Port Glasgow Heritage Walk booklet which gives a map, directions, information, photographs and links to external sites which provide more information about what you can see along the way.