Comet in Port Glasgow has been reduced to a total wreck.
This little ship, built in 1962 by shipbuilding apprentices in Port Glasgow, is an exact replica of Henry Bell's steamship Comet of 1812 which was built right here (almost on its present site) in Port Glasgow by John Wood, Shipbuilder. Until recently it has been a proud reminded of the innovation, skill and workmanship of Port Glasgow's shipbuilders. It has now been left to rot and decay.
Most shipwrecks take place at sea and are due to circumstances beyond the control of those in charge of the ship - whether it be by collision, weather conditions, navigation error or some sort of system failure. This wreck occurred in plain sight - poor Comet has been allowed to fall into ruin over just a few years without any intervention by local authorities. In fact it has only been about nine years since it was refurbished in time for the Comet bicentennial celebrations in 2012. What a difference a few short years have made.
It has been said that the wreck of the Comet is going to be removed from this site entirely. At least that will save face for some in authority - out of sight, out of mind. Perhaps over the years people will forget what a fabulous and real reminder this Comet was of the importance of shipbuilding in this area.
I hope that there may be some last minute reprieve for this poor ship. Surely it could be donated to some museum or other institution where it could perhaps be brought back to life and enjoyed by generation to come. I know these things cost a lot of money and there are other priorities locally. We here in Inverclyde have already lost so much of our shipbuilding heritage. This one little ship could be a lasting reminder of the amazing contribution this part of Scotland made to shipbuilding both in Great Britain and worldwide.