Minister opens Titan Crane in Clydebank

27 Jul 2007

Scotland's  most unusual heritage visitor attraction, the 100-year old Titan Crane at Clydebank,  was formally opened on 27th July by the Minister for Communities and Sport, Stewart Maxwell.    It opens to the public on 3rd August.

The 'A' listed giant cantilever Titan Crane - the oldest of the five Titans on the Clyde and the oldest of its kind in the world - has been completely refurbished and restored at a cost of £3 million, with a new lift to take visitors up the Crane to the jib platform 150 feet (46 metres) off the ground.

At the top, visitors will be able to look at first hand at the workings of the Titan wheelhouse and from the jib platform see the stunning views along the River Clyde and the surrounding countryside, as well Clydebank, Renfrew and Glasgow.

And there will be a chance to go back in time. Through the latest digital technology, visitors will be able to see from the perspective of the top of the crane John Brown's shipyard as it was in the 1930's and 1960's and relive the launches of the Queen Mary and the QE2.

The two-year restoration of the Titan Crane has been carried out by Clydebank Re-built, the town's pathfinder urban regeneration company, and has been financed by Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire Council, Scottish Executive, Historic Scotland and the European Regional Development Fund.

Minister for Communities and Sport, Stewart Maxwell said: "This government is committed to regenerating our most deprived communities and to making sure that economic change and community regeneration go hand in hand.  Clydebank Re-built is showing how this can be done.

"The Titan Crane stands as a beacon for positive, life-changing regeneration in Clydebank that has involved the local community"

Eleanor McAllister, managing director of Clydebank Re-built said:   "When we were planning the regeneration of the town and the redevelopment of the  former John Brown shipyards site, people in Clydebank made it clear to us that they wanted the Crane to remain and with great support from the community and our funders we have been able to develop the Crane as a very unique heritage centre for the public.

"The Titan is a Clydebank icon.  For generations to come it will continue to commemorate the town's proud past as a world leader in shipbuilding, but it does more. It signals the town's renaissance in a new century"

The Titan Crane was designed and built at a cost of £24,600 by Sir William Arrol & Co at their Dalmarnock works in the east end of Glasgow in 1907.   It was one of the first electrically powered cranes and could handle loads of up 150 tons and later 200 tons.  It was used in the fitting out of ships, including the big Cunard liners and the Navy's famous battleships and battlecruisers.    The Crane - and most of the John Brown yards which were key to Britain's war effort  - survived unscathed the Clydebank Blitz in March 1941.   After 1972, the Titan was used less frequently when the yards started producing large oil rigs and platforms.

Around 60 giant cantilever cranes - like the Clydebank Titan - were built worldwide.   By 2007 only 14 remain - three in England, two in Japan, two in USA, one in Australia, and six in Scotland.  One is at Rosyth and five are on the Clyde at Clydebank, Govan, Greenock, Whiteinch and Finnieston.

Restoration work on the Clydebank Titan began in July 2005.   Architects were Collective Architecture and main contractors were Maclean and Speirs.  The exhibition  was designed by Do Architecture and graphics by Skratch.

The Titan will be open to the public from next weekend (3rd August) on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays this year until October 22nd from 10 am till 5pm ( last tour of the day goes up at 4pm).   Tickets cost £4.50 (adults) and £3 (concessions - children, students and pensioners).  Family ticket (for 4) is £12.    Full details on www.titanclydebank.com or by phoning 0141 952 3711.

 

All media enquries to
John Brown,  Clydebank Re-built
07881 818474 (mobile)    0141 959 4380 (home)    0141 951 3420

  • Detail of Tiitan Crane

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