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> Renfrew Ferry
Rab-oldname
post 11th Nov 2008, 10:56pm
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I was five years old when we moved from Partick to Renfrew. The Renfrew Ferry was only 200 yards from our house and we all played on the Ferry Green. On Sundays in the summer, the world famous Renfrew Pipe Band would march from the Renfrew Juniors ground at Western Park to Ferry Green where they would play whilst wee lassies Highland sword- danced on a big platform. We ate freezing cold sliders from Mr Izzis' ice-cream parlour, later the Ferry Cafe. For many years it cost a ha'penny for foot passengers. My brother and I would go on board and go back and forth to Yoker all day and nobody bothered us for more fare. We loved watching the big engines - then steam - with the enormous flywheels and cranks thrashing around. The view of the continual shipping from the upper deck was never tiring and there was always some sort of incident happening - like the day the skipper was drunk and got arrested.
Here is a wee poem about the Ferry - never the Yoker Ferry by the way!. For all of you who remember your trips on my dear Renfrew Ferry, this is for you fae Rab.

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Evan
post 30th Mar 2009, 09:19am
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Oh dear Rab; no one seems to care about the lovely, old clanking Renfrew Ferry!
I remember being driven on to it in my "rich" uncle's car (we didn't have a car - hardly anyone did - but he was an accountant, so .....). My mum and aunt would get out of the car BEFORE it was taken on to the ferry in case the ferry sank - hard luck to my uncle and me!!
In the 50s, my father would often take me out and about, mainly on the trams. One of my favourite trips was tram from Paisley Cross to Renfrew Ferry (none of those dreadful Patons and Cunninghams buses!); on to the ferry; watch the chain start to move; down to the engine room; then back up to see the ferry "ground" on the other side.
Up the road and tram into Glasgow; ice cream somewhere then tram back to Pasiley.
Another favourite trip, but not for here, was tram to "Halfway"; then tram to Roukenglen. That tram didn't half shift on the reserved track!

PS Used to live in Lewes (1972-75) and Worthing (1995-2003).
Evan
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Elma
post 30th Mar 2009, 04:32pm
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Oh I cared about the Renfrew Ferry. We used to visit my uncle and aunt who lived near Houston. It was quite a journey which we took in our stride like everyone else in these days. We got the tram from Scotstoun, Ferry to Renfrew, tram to Paisley, 'bus to Johnstone, another 'bus to Houston then walked a mile and a half up the road to their cottage. Whew....... and we did at least once a month unsure.gif Thankfully my dad got a car and the journey was much easier then, but always across the Renfrew Ferry.
The journey on the ferry was magic and as you say Evan we had to go down to see the chains and the engine room every time!!
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Rab-oldname
post 30th Mar 2009, 08:19pm
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What nice replies. Thank you. I saw the change from steam to oil on the Renfrew Ferry and I'm sure it was much appreciated by the poor stoker! Through the 40s and 50s when we had a merchant navy to speak of, my brother and I could tell you all the shipping companies and the colour of the funnels of their ships, all spotted from the upper deck of the ferry - below was for Jessies! Except when you got down to see those big wheels picking up the chains and watch the huge flywheels and conrods thrashing around and that gorgeous smell of steam coal and oil. Many years later I used to sail over to the Isle of Wight, and I took every opportunity to travel from East to West Cowes on an almost identical chain ferry (which is still running) to remind me of my 'sailing' youth. A few years ago, I 'met' an old Renfrew neighbour on the internet. He had 'rescued' the 'Engine Room' nameplate from the old ferry which sunk at the wharf. He promised it to me for my present boat but I am still waiting for this great souvenir!
The most exciting day I remember was when the ferry skipper misjudged the speed of an approaching ship and this vessel sliced through the chains, leaving the ferry adrift. Fortunately, it went alongside the Ferry Green where it was made fast and the fire brigade got all the passengers off to much typically Clydeside humour!.
Rab. smile.gif
Evan. I'm now in Uckfield. Previously, Crowborough, Frant, Arundel, Horsham.
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tombro
post 31st Mar 2009, 10:08am
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Rab,

My late fifties memories of the Renfrew Ferry are quite simple. My family either used it to cross the Clyde to visit relatives in Paisley and Govan; we'd catch the red bus from 'theDrum' to Clydebank and the a tram to Yoker to cross on the ferry; or we'd do the same on our trip with Dad to Abbotsinch for the Annual Air Display.

Like all Clyde Ferries (and we used to cross at lots of other points, too), it was always an exciting wee trip, as was a trip 'doon the watter' on the Queen from the Broomielaw.

I left Glasgow for Australia as a ten year old at the end of 1960 but trips on those Clyde Ferries are still some of my fondest memories !

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