This picture shows two trees situated in Port Glasgow. At a certain viewing point it appears the larger older tree is sheltering the smaller younger tree, portraying the role of a guardian.
Port Glasgow was originally named Newark but due to ships not being able to make it all the way up the shallow river Clyde it was formed as a port for nearby Glasgow in 1668 and became Port Glasgow in 1775. Port Glasgow was home to dry docks and shipbuilding, beginning in 1762.
Port Glasgow grew from the central area of the present town and thus many of the town’s historic buildings are found here. Expansion up the steep hills inland to open fields where areas such as Park Farm, Boglestone, Slaemuir and Devol were founded. This area has subsequently become known as upper Port Glasgow and most of the town’s population occupies these areas.
The docks and harbours are now long gone and Coronation Park stands in their place. The park was opened on the site of the West Harbour in 1937 to celebrate the coronation of King George VI. It was expanded in the 1960s when the East Harbour and Wet Dock were filled to make way for the new A8 dual carriageway, which also cut through part of the original park. There are still traces of the old harbours and dockside warehouses to be found in the vicinity of the park.
As the shipping trade moved upstream, The town turned its hand to shipbuilding, a trade which thrives until this day in the form of Ferguson’s Shipyard, albeit on a much smaller scale than in the heyday of Port Glasgow shipbuilding the early 20th Century. The earliest recorded shipbuilder in Port Glasgow was Thomas McGill in 1780. John Wood (who built the Comet for Henry Bell in 1812) followed in 1783 with a shipyard near his birthplace at the foot of King Street. Various other yards came and went until William Todd Lithgow arrived on the scene in partnership with Anderson Rodgers and Joseph Russell in 1874. This partnership built the famous barque “Falls of Clyde” in 1878, which survives to this day in downtown Honolulu, Hawaii.