Friday, 22 July 2016
White Cart Water. Kayaking under the shopping streets of Paisley.
A kayak trip with a difference this time. It was Alan's choice of river and a very urban one that filled me with equal measures of dread and excitement. We would paddle at high tide up the White Cart Water from it's mouth/entrance on the River Clyde, under the swing bridge at Renfrew, seen here, then up through neglected seldom used river banks into the very heart of Paisley. As a youngster this large Renfrewshire town was close enough to where we stayed to become our regular Saturday destination for shops, cinema, and other entertainment. It has a long history of weaving, thread making and cotton mills, and of course established (but didn't invent) the famous swirling Paisley pattern teardrop design around the world.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paisley_(design) Interesting info here about the town's influence on 1960s culture/film/music, the summer of love, the Beatles and Prince, who of course named his studios/base- Paisley Park.
Some beautiful images in here of The River Clyde and its tributaries during the great days of sail and steam transport. Well worth a look at a time when docks like these stretched along the river for miles in every direction, holding hundreds of individual craft of every shape and size imaginable.
Fellow blogger and intrepid kayaker- Jinja Coo- is the only other person I could find online who has posted about kayaking up this neglected river and even has night time posts paddling around the upper Clyde into the heart of the City of Glasgow itself. Very helpful info as there's not much available on Scotland's urban river networks.
Meanwhile-remember the urban river mantra for kayakers- keep safe... and never capsize! but if you do.... spit don't swallow :o) The high tide tree and low hanging leaf material covered by max tide in the above photo show what your insides will probably look like with urban river water inside your stomach. An option best avoided methinks.