Inchgreen Drydock Cranes

Inchgreen drydock in Greenock is still an active site – currently leased to BAE Systems, it was last used to assemble a giant floating dock for Faslane naval base. It also once played host to the Queen Elizabeth liner – it’s a pretty big dock πŸ™‚

The dock has three goose-necked level-luffing cranes – one of them made by Sir William Arrol, so of course that’s the one I went for (plus, it’s the biggest). This took two trips – first time, with no harness, I wasn’t going to attempt to get to the end. Second time, success…

It’s a bit of a slog to the end – a hundred steps up to the cab level, then two hundred steps up to the top, then another hundred down to the end of the jib – most of it very exposed with bugger-all to clip in to. Fun, though πŸ™‚

Another visit: So I realised I had been a bit lazy and a bit of a wuss for not doing the other two cranes – there’s so few cranes left on the Clyde it seems a shame to miss any out. I thought these would be worse than the first one because they’re open lattice, but with the boom at a more sensible angle they were actually really nice to climb. It was blowing a gale, though, so hard to get really sharp pictures…

On the second one, got to the top platform to find it wasn’t there – just a couple of girders with some scraps of rusty steel hanging from them. Wasn’t going to stand on that, so sat on the top steps of the ladder itself…

A British Pathe film of the QE2 entering the drydock:


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