This little beauty is run by Clydelink, and she is the latest inheritor of a long, long tradition of ferries that have crossed over the River Clyde from Renfrew to Yoker. What was once one of the only ways to cross the
|Finavon [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons|
Clyde, and what later provided easy transport for factory workers and ship builders, runs today as a way for tourists to see the river and experience a nostalgic mode of travel. Today we’ll step up onto its algae covered decks (it’s called a “slipway” for a reason!), and then we just might stop inside The Ferry Inn (operating since 1703) for some warm steak pie and a refreshing beverage.
|Jet Stream, a photo by Bricheno on Flickr.|
Aviation also forms a great part of Renfrew’s proud legacy of transportation. According to one local archivist, “For such a tiny country, Scotland lays claim to being arguably the most inventive of nations …. It is in a way questionable that the moon landing of 1969 would actually have happened if it had not been for Scottish innovation and discovery. Arguably the most significant place in Scotland, where pioneering and flight operations took place…was Renfrew Airport….” The town’s love affair with planes stretches back to World War I when a military airfield was created here, and after World War II this was converted into a civilian airport. This was decommissioned in 1966 (the location of its Art Deco terminal building is now occupied by a Tesco supermarket), and the main flow of air traffic through the area today is through Glasgow International Airport. This is located between Renfrew and Paisley and is the second busiest airport in Scotland.
|Sunset Renfrew 2, a photo by mariabowskill on Flickr.|
The rest of our day will be spent poking about Renfrew’s lovely town center and marveling at its Town Hall, a French-Gothic structure with a tower that pierces the sky a hundred feet above our heads. This landmark was almost destroyed by fire in the late 1800s, but it was renovated and improved by the addition of a new clock, which at the time was declared to “doubtless prove a boon to the inhabitants, who were sometimes led astray in their calculations by the original timepiece, which was eccentric in its movements.”
|I Believe I can Fly, a photo by mariabowskill on Flickr.|
From the swing bridge that actually lifts, to the town’s beautiful parks, to its massive indoor snow slopes and historic spots laced with legend, Renfrew is certainly one of Scotland’s little gems.
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