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A few days after my walk down the frozen River Kelvin I took a second walk along the River Clyde waterfront starting with a bus ride to George Square. Glasgow City Chambers, above.
It takes a lot for the River Clyde to freeze over, usually a week or more of consistent below zero daytime temperatures coupled with a minus 5 to minus 10 week long sustained freeze up with little or no daytime thawing. As you can see here the river is almost frozen over with only a few clear openings and a young seal appeared in one of them before diving under the ice again. Being tidal the river is brackish right into the city centre so you do sometimes find seals, cormorants, ocean living fish, and other sea creatures swimming in it, even up as far as here. It was having a great time exploring, behaving just like seals do in the arctic on wildlife programmes, only within a large city environment. As long as it was finding stuff to eat it would be happy I'd imagine. And safe from larger predators, like adult seals or killer whales, an active pod of which were spotted last year, although not frequent visitors, in the Firth of Clyde off Helensburgh.
It was iced up as far as the bank to bank high level obstruction barrage at the Saltmarket which is as far as the high tide is allowed to travel up the river as well. Hard to see the ice in this photo clearly except for the numerous gulls sitting on it.
One looking towards the city centre district.
I've noticed before that even on narrow bridges spanning the canal that ice does not form under them unless it's really cold so frost must descend vertically onto the water surface.
Although it was frosty in places out the sun it was not that icy for most of the walk and footsteps usually crunched down rather than slid forwards.
I wandered upriver as far as Glasgow Green. Cabbage palm trees, (which can stand up to frosty weather to a point. A traditional favourite hardy exotic tree found around the Clyde Coastal Resorts, planted during the UK's long gone heyday of stay at home tourists.) with The Doulton fountain and the former Templeton's Carpet Factory in the distance.
It was a bright sunny day which really brought out the carving detail of the magnificent Doulton Fountain, reputedly the largest terracotta example of its kind in the world. India here.
Queen Victoria on the top plinth of the fountain. Presumably not amused.
Although the nearby former Templeton's carpet factory (now a small business centre and flats) was inspired by the mostly white Doge's Palace in Venice this local carpet factory is very eye-catching in its own right and has some colourful additions of its own.
I'm sure in the 1960s/1970s growing up we had a small living room carpet in front of the electric fire similar to this pattern.... about six foot by three foot in size. It also had bright red zig zags in it though....and dazzling yellow ones looking like snakes. Hey, it was the 1960s man! The TV programmes might have still been in black and white but carpets were starting to become slightly psychedelic in design.
A corner of the building.
Walking back downstream past Glasgow Green boathouse.
Another new building going up along Argyle Street in Glasgow's city centre business district.
A couple of new waterfront murals.
New building complex going up near Finnieston District.
Finnieston Crane and the Hydro.
Paisley Road West art murals.
Same set, Different panels.
Radisson Red at Finnieston... looking distinctly green from this angle of light. The old circular brick built Clyde pedestrian tunnel entrance/exit here, now a restaurant, which I walked under with my father back in the 1960s when it was still open. Dark, dripping with water, and fairly creepy underground and a tunnel that seemed miles long before you came up to the surface again near Govan on the other bank of the river. I loved it. It had real Dickensian atmosphere. Constructed late 1800s in the era of the horse and cart.
Same hotel building five minutes later viewed from a front elevation... and living up to it's name. Red.
And finally two old photographs from the only other time I took a walk along a frozen River Clyde into the city centre. As I say it doesn't happen very often that it freezes over and on this occasion it was solid for a large run of days and night time temperatures dropping down to minus 10 to minus 15 every night for a week. Thick enough to almost walk on although it would be certain death for anyone falling under the ice here as the river is fairly deep.
Same date, same era. Kingston Bridge and M8 motorway. The ship moored here is the Tuxedo Princess which dates this photo to the late 1980s or to the mid 1990s as that's the length of time it was berthed in Glasgow with numerous bars, discos, and a restaurant inside. The rest of the time it was based in Tyneside, along with a sister ship, also a converted car ferry. very popular with VIP types and locals both here and at it's home river base around Newcastle and Gateshead. On this occasion the ice was thick, bank to bank, all the way down to the Renfrew/Yoker ferry which was acting as an ice breaker as it ran across the river every ten minutes or so with passengers on board, thus keeping a path open and ice free during the daylight hours.
This is it here on another occasion with the Waverley paddle streamer out in front crammed with day trippers. There used to be two old ferries here. The Renfrew Rose and the Yoker Swan, much heavier and more robust craft than the smaller specially fabricated ferry today. The old ferry could take an ambulance... as well as passengers and cyclists. The modern ferry might not be around much longer though as a bridge is being constructed soon at this point so now is the time to take a trip on the ferry before it is gone forever. The last working ferry on the Upper Clyde. Happy new year.