The Clyde River

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The Clyde River ( 640x480 )
The river that flows through Glasgow is called the Clyde. It is a major river in Scotland, the third longest. In past it was an important river for shipbuilding and trade in the British Empire.

The Clyde springs in Lowther Hills in South Lanarkshire and it is formed by the confluence of two streams, the Daer Water and the Potrail Water. It flows though three counties – South Lanarkshire, Argyll and Avshire and besides Glasgow it flows though the towns of Lanark, Bothwell and Greenock. There are several landmarks built on the river – Falls of Clyde, Bothwell Castle or Firth of Clyde. The river is 176 kilometres long and the water basin covers 4,000 square kilometers. There are around 72 bridges (rail, road, foot and other) that cross the Clyde, from estuary to source. It mouths in the Firth of Clyde.

During the Industrial Revolution, Glasgow was an important port facing Americas. However, the upper Clyde was too shallow for largest ocean-going ships and the cargo had to be transferred to smaller ones at Greenock. In 1768 John Golborne advised the narrowing of the river and the increasing of the scour by the construction of rubble jetties and the dredging of sandbanks and shoals. The most problematic parts were two shallow channels by the Dumbuck shoal near Dumbarton. In the 18th and 19th centuries it was done so.

After the completion of the dredging steelworking started to grow in the city as the channel finally became navigable all the way up to Glasgow. Shipbuilding replaced trade and new and new shipbuilding companies were establishing on the Clyde. It soon became the world’s pre-eminent shipbuilding centre. From the founding of the Scott family's shipyard at Greenock in 1712 to the present day over 25,000 ships have been built on the River Clyde. It is estimated that over 300 firms have engaged in shipbuilding on Clydeside altogether.

In the middle of the 19th century the Clyde became famous worldwide for its significant contribution to yachting and yachtbuilding, although the first yacht on the Clyde had already been built in 1803. The first yacht club on the Clyde was the Northern Yacht Club, which appeared in 1824 and received its Royal Warrant in 1831.

After the World War II the Clyde as a major industrial centre began to decay and by the mid-1960s, shipbuilding on the Clyde was becoming increasingly uneconomic and potentially faced collapse; what really happened in 1971.Today, two major shipyards remain in operation on the Upper Clyde; BAE Systems Surface Ships and the King George V Dock.
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