The Tail O’ The Bank Convoy Marshalling Base
Approaching the estuary of the River Clyde (Scotland) on the M8 Motorway en-route from Glasgow, on a crisp cloudless winters day, surrounded by snow capped mountains, it is one of the most awe inspiring sights for a foreign visitor to Scotland.
With Port Glasgow…Greenock…Gourock on the South Bank and Dumbarton…Helensburgh… Dunoon and Rothesay on the North, the Holy Loch enters the Clyde Estuary, where the main Western World Nuclear Deterrent was based during decades of Cold War.
It was from here convoys to Operation Torch were marshalled. With excellent support from the adjoining bustling towns on the South Bank. Greenock became the centre of Scotland’s war effort.
The estuary is proud of its most famous son who made the unsurpassed contribution to world culture and communication, John Logie Baird inventor of television born & bred in Helensburgh.
Known to Scotsmen world wide as “The Tail O’ The Bank” the Clyde estuary was considered the perfect sheltered marshalling area for World War 11 convoys. Well inland past the Isle of Arran, Bute and Cumbrae, nestling within mountains, the estuary was safe from marauding fighters and bombers who had to cross from the East to West coast then make the hazardous flight home to Germany.
There is so much historical interest in this coastal town famous for shipbuilding, sugar and a final port of call for fully rigged sailing ships bringing back cargos of tobacco from The Americas in by-gone years.
Captain Kidd the pirate (1645-1701) was born here.
It was a favourite of Scotland’s National Baird Robert Burns as he dallied with his lass Mary Campbell. James Watt of steam engine fame was also born at Greenock.
Winding it’s way into the heart of Scotland is the famous River Clyde birthplace of hundreds of ships including The Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mary and The QE11 at John Browns shipyards and many others.
The Royal Yacht Britannia was launched here on 16th April 1953 by Her Majesty the Queen and entered Royal Service for 44 years until her decommissioning on 11th December 1997.
During December 1942 thousands upon thousands of allied soldiers from throughout the world converged on this famous estuary en-route to war oversees.
It has been quoted by High Command “The Tail O’ The Bank” played it’s own special part in the defeat of the Third Reich”