Introduction to the history of Clyde Ferries at Glasgow

Introduction to the history of Clyde Ferries at Glasgow

The following is a summary of the information contained in the Scotcities website to which I would refer readers since it contains some interesting historical images. There is no mention in this article of any very early commercial crossings, which were presumably small rowing boats carrying a few people and/or light goods. 

By 1850 a total of 11 ferries are listed, three of them shown on a map of that year, adjacent to the area of Windmill croft, the site of the Kingston Dock. They are the York Street Ferry (York Street to West Street)

Clyde Street Ferry (Clyde Street, Anderston to Springfield Quay)

Hyde Park Ferry (Hydepark Street to Springfield Quay). 

Continuing Downstream from east to west, the remaining 8 ferries listed are:

Stobcross Ferry (Finnieston Quay to Mavisbank Quay)

Finnieston Ferry (Finnieston Quay to Mavisbank Quay)

Kelvinhaugh Ferry(Yorkhill Quay to Princes Dock)

Govan Ferry (Ferry Road, Partick to Water Row, Govan)

Meadowside Ferry (Meadowside Street, Partick to Holm Street, Govan)

Whiteinch Ferry (James Street, Whiteinch to Holmfauld Road, Linthouse)

Renfrew Ferry (Yoker to Renfrew)

Erskine Ferry (Dunbartonshire to Renfrewshire)

Following a fatal accident on November 30th 1864 in which 19 lives were lost, the public and the press were highly critical of the authorities responsible for the management of the crossings, and steam ferries were subsequently introduced.

The up-and-down passenger steamers known as ’Cluthas’ were introduced in 1884, when six boats were built. By 1899 there were twelve plying between Victoria Bridge and Whiteinch Ferry. There were 11 landing stages on the route, alternately placed to suit both sides of the river. The full distance covered was about three miles, the whole journey took 45 minutes, and the charge was one penny. 

Also, by 1899 all cross river ferries were by steam vessels, including two (at Finnieston and Govan) capable of carrying vehicles in addition to passengers. 

                                                                                                     8th November 2014