The ferry boats form an important means of cross communication between the north and south sides of the City and suburbs. The Clyde Trustees have at present ten cross harbour ferry steamers, licensed to carry from ninety-three to 110 passengers (nine of them having fire engines on board), for the service of the four cross ferries within the limits of the harbour, and for the two across the river below the harbour at Meadowside and Whiteinch respectively, and two vehicular and passenger ferries combined, one at Finnieston, about the centre of the harbour, and the other at Govan. The ferry at Govan has been in existence for many years, by a boat worked by hand wheels up to 1867, and since then by steam. The first steamer accommodated three horses and carts and fifty passengers, or 200 passengers alone, and wrought on one chain stretched across the bottom of the river. A second steamer for the same ferry, designed by Mr. Deas, has two cart and carriage ways, one on each side, the passengers being accommodated in the centre. It carries eight horses and carts and 140 passengers, or 500 passengers alone, and is wrought on two chains, one on the inside of each cart and carriage way.
A vehicular ferry plies across the harbour at Finnieston, its main feature being an elevating deck raised and lowered by bevel and worm gearing, bringing the deck to the same level as the quay at any state of the tide.
Glimpses of Old Glasgow
Govan Ferry 1905
Kelvinhaugh Ferry Restoration 2002
Pop in here & type ‘Ferry‘ into the search box for three pages of wonderful photographs of the Clyde Ferries:
The Glasgow Story
The Govan Ferry painted c 1831 by John Knox (1778-1845).
This beautiful landscape shows the inn and other buildings at Pointhouse on the north bank of the river, looking west. The small rowing boat that provided a passenger service between Pointhouse and Water Row in Govan can be seen close to the bank.
In the foreground cows are drinking from a pond while couples court at the riverbank in the evening sunlight. On the left is a cottage at the foot of Water Row, with the spire of Govan Old Parish Church behind. The incongruous sight of a small steamboat in this idyllic rural setting, and of the functional industrial architecture of the Govan Silk Works further down the river, indicates how times were changing on the outskirts of early Victorian Glasgow.
Photograph of Govan Ferry, from an album of views of Glasgow. The Govan Ferry linked Govan on the south bank of the River Clyde with the north. In the 18th century there was a hand-operated chain ferry in use. The Clyde Navigation Trust took over the Govan Ferry in 1857, and introduced one of the Clyde's first steam-driven ferries at this location in 1865. Later developments included a new vessel in 1875 which could carry 140 passengers and 8 carts. The Govan Ferry survived until 1965.
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