Waverley’s Birthplace Reborn


In just over a year from now the new £85m Riverside Museum that will replace the Glasgow Transport Museum and be expanded to tell the story of the city's industrial heritage will be opening its doors for the first time. The new museum is being constructed on the site of the former A & J Inglis Pointhouse shipyard where the River Kelvin flows into the River Clyde. The Inglis firm occupied the site for just over 100 years up to its closure in 1963. In that time over 500 ships were built in the Pointhouse shipyard including the British Royal Yacht Alexandria in 1907, the paddle steamer Waverley and the Loch Lomond paddle steamers, including the preserved Maid of the Loch. Inglis built a large variety of vessels including small ocean liners for the British India Steam Navigation Co, destroyers and frigates for the Royal Navy, train ferries for the Entre Rios Railway in South America and the Mihanovich paddle steamer fleet on the River Plate - to name but a few. The following picture shows a view of the shipyard offices and workshops looking north from the Clyde. The river side facade of the new museum is on virtuually the same location as was the river side frontage of Inglis yard.

A registered charity www.riversideappeal.org is raising £5m to go alongside the £74m commited to the project by the City of Glasgow Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund. The chairman of the Riverside Museum Appeal is Maryhill-born the Rt Hon Baron Smith of Kelvin (see biography below)  Another trustee is broadcaster Carole Smillie and she and Lord Smith outline the massive project on several videos most of which are now available on YouTube.

The Riverside Museum will contain over 3000 exhibits, more than double that on show at the old Museum of Transport in the Kelvin Hall, which closed last month to allow transfer of items to the new site to begin. They should include a significantly increased number of the 700+ Clydebuilt ship model collection than the 200 or so that could be exhibited in the Kelvin Hall.

Rt Hon Baron Smith of Kelvin

Robert Smith was born and raised in the Maryhill district of Glasgow. In addition to his chairmanship of the Riverside Museum Appeal he is currently Chairman of The Weir Group plc and Scottish and Southern Energy and a non-Executive Director of 3i Group plc, Standard Bank Group Limited, and Aegon UK plc. He is also Patron of the Scottish Community Foundation. In 2008, Lord Smith was appointed as Chair of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games organising company. He is also the Chancellor of the University of the West of Scotland. During a long and distinguished career Lord Smith has previously served as a Governor of the BBC, Chairman and CEO with Morgan Grenfell Private Equity, CEO of Morgan Grenfell Asset Management and was Vice Chairman of Deutsche Asset Management between 2000 and 2002. He has held various positions as director of, MFI Furniture Group plc, Stakis plc (of which he was also Chairman from 1998 to 1999), the Bank of Scotland, Tip Europe plc and Network Rail. He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the National Museums of Scotland from 1993 until 2002. He is also President of the British Association of Friends of Museums, a position he has held since 1995, and was a member (1988-1998) and Vice Chairman (1996-1998) of the Museums and Galleries Commission. Lord Smith and the owner of the Island of Inchmarnock in the Kyles of Bute and of the small ferry Marnock and the reduced scale replica Clyde puffer Maryhill, both of which he commissioned from the Ardmaliesh Boatyard on the island of Bute. Marnock is used to ferry supplies between Inchmarnock and Bute while Maryhill is used by Lord and Lady Smith and their two daughters for leisure purposes.

Stuart Cameron