The River Clyde, one of the most famous rivers in the world, has always been central to Glasgow’s progression from a fledgling bare city into one of the most prominent and popular cities in the world.

A wise man once said “Glasgow made the Clyde and the Clyde made Glasgow.”

GlasgowLiving brings you 10 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About The River Clyde…

10. Russian Bullion & The Clyde

Did you know that according to secret diary keeping crewman Leonard H Thomas, during w.w.2, Russian gold bullion, worth millions, bound for America sank to the bottom of the Clyde, after crewman made a mistake transferring the precious metal from one boat to another. The deal between Russia and America, relating to purchase of arms during WW2, was so secret it was never discussed, registered or mentioned again.

9. Go The Distance

The River Clyde is a massive 109 miles long, beginning at Lowther Hills in South Lanarkshire it ends at the Firth of Clyde which then runs into the Atlantic Ocean.

8. Tobacco Lairds & Lang Dyke

In the 1800’s and with the rise of Glasgow’s industry the wealthy “Tobacco Lairds” began to put pressure on Glasgow Town Council to deepen the Clyde, which would allow larger merchant boats to travel further up the river to the Broomielaw instead of ejecting cargo at Greenock to be horse drawn the rest of the journey. In 1812 engineers James Smeaton, John Golbrone and Thomas Telford created the “Lang Dyke”. At low tide the engineering marvel is still visible to this day.

7. A Place in History

The River Clyde has secured its place in history many times over, but did you know the Clyde during the American Civil War built ships for both North and the South. they also claimed a workforce of more than 25,000 employees. It has been said that without Scotland’s involvement the American Civil War would have ended two years earlier. In 1871 UK Government ended up paying £3.5m pounds in reparations to the US Government.

6. River Clyde WW2

Over two days during WW.2, 439 planes belonging to the Luftwaffe attacked and attempted to destroy the shipyards along the River Clyde. Many of whom survived the Clydebank Blitz. The town of Clydebank was effectively destroyed however, out of a possible 12,000 buildings, seven remained undamaged.

5. Welcome The Welsh

Did you know ancient Welsh speaking settlers created the city of Glasgow, and helped supply the world with the first known Scottish literature in history, which ironically is written in Welsh.

4. A Pirate’s Life For Kidd

One of Britain’s most notorious pirates in history was allegedly born on the Clyde, William Kidd born in Greenock was a well respected Captain who travelled the world battling piracy, but as the rumour goes, jumped sides and became one of the most infamous pirates in history. He was hanged for his actions but his pirate loot has never been recovered and is apparently still waiting to be discovered.

3. Lusitania WW1

A boat built on the River Clyde is arguably responsible for the eventual involvement of the United States in WW1. In 1915, a time during WW1 when the US was still technically a neutral power, The Lusitania set sail from New York bound for Liverpool carrying nearly 2000 people. It was struck by a German torpedo, 1195 passengers were killed, amongst them 128 Americans. Setting in motion America’s involvement in WW1.

2. 75% Per Cent Worldwide

Did you know at one point, from the late 19th century up until the 1950’s, 75% per cent of the world’s ships were being built along the Clyde?

1. Clyde Waterfront Regeneration

After falling into a state of disrepair following the collapse of the ship building industry along the Clyde, The Clyde Waterfront Regeneration plan was initialised. Stretching 20km, and encompassing 200 projects on both sides of the river, the Clyde is currently being transformed into a world class leisure and business development. It is estimated that 50,000 new jobs will in total be created and an enormous £5-6 billion pounds spent on its revival.

*Even superstar songwriter Passenger wrote a song about the River Clyde.

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