Finnieston Crane and South Rotunda
April 2000; Well, it's a part of us, so why not show it?
The Finnieston Crane is the last real visible reminder of the Clyde at its height as a major shipbuilding centre. The official name for the crane is the Stobcross Crane and it remains a perfect example of maritime engineering and architecture at its best.
It is an A-listed structure, and as such it seems a safe bet that it will remain a part of the city's landscape for the foreseeable future. Non-operational since the early nineties the crane is now used for little more than charity abseils and zip crossings of the river.
Standing resolutely at the Stobcross Dock the huge and aptly named titan crane was commissioned in 1926 by the Clyde Navigation Trust and cost an amazing £52,351 to build.
The contract build it unexpectedly did not go to the experienced local firm of Sir William Arrol, whose company was responsible for building the Caledonian Railway Bridge over the Clyde, the Forth Railway Bridge and London's Tower Bridge.
Instead it was won by the Carlisle firm Cowans, Sheldon & Co.
The crane is 185 ft high with a 152 ft long jib, weighing approximately 2000 tonnes and has a lifting capacity of 175 tons. At the time it was the largest hammer-head crane anywhere in Europe and its services were always in great demand. There are hundreds of steel steps to carry you ever upwards, and the higher you go, the steeper the stairway becomes.
It was capable of loading the vast number of railway locomotives, tanks and guns that were built in Glasgow and shipped to countries all over the world.
When shipbuilding went into decline the Finnieston crane survived because of its lifting potential.
During the 1988 Garden Festival, a huge straw-built locomotive was suspended from the crane as a nostalgic reminder of its once great importance in helping shape the Clyde's industrial might.
It can be seen in the opening titles of 'Taggart' and as the backdrop for BBC's Reporting Scotland and is instantly identifiable with Glasgow.
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