An artist’s impression of the Queen’s Quay development in Clydebank.
By Bill Heaney
A list of potential names for new streets in Clydebank’s Queens Quay development will go out for consultation.
The names that are being considered are planned to reflect the town’s proud history and ensure the site’s past as a shipyard is not forgotten.
Views will be gathered on the suggested names which include Queens Quay Main Avenue; Titan Boulevard; Titan View; John Browns Square, Queens Quay Square; John Browns Park; and Queens Quay Park.
Other potential names for smaller routes throughout the project include Clydebank Terrace, Titan, Foundry, Firesitter, Beacon, Tarry Kirk, Bothy School, Grace, Craigallion, John Browns, and Brick Clays.
There could also be a nod in the direction of the Upper Clyde Shipyards shop stewards who tried to save John Brown’s, but that could be a step too far to the Left for the Tartan Tories on the Council.
The trouble with Council consultations is that few people ever believe the outcomes placed before the committees, but that’s politics for you in West Dunbartonshire.
Wherever John Browns is being suggested, there is no apostrophe in Brown’s, so the Council really should just call those streets John Brown whatever and leave the final S off altogether.
There are other punctuation problems too. To have a hyphen in some names or not, or an apostrophe or not?
And why has the shipyard’s most famous apprentice been left out of the mix of suggestions? Since they are themselves a joke, it would appropriate to have a comedian on the list.
Billy Connolly, Bailie Agnew and Cllr Cllr Docherty.
Billy Connolly is streets ahead when it comes to international identity and choosing a name for one of these streets. And make it a Big Yin.
And then there could be Bailie Denis Agnew Avenue, which these days would lead all the way to Dumbarton Sheriff Court where that councillor and his demented neighbours have been trying to sort out arguments over access to their properties.
A prerequisite for Agnew Avenue though might prove too costly for the Council since the bathrooms in all the houses would have to have gold chains installed in the loos.
Since they are already overspent by at least £4 million on the project, they might go along with that.
If only they had procurement rules in place, they might even be able to get the contractor to knock a few quid off the price.
Members of West Dunbartonshire Planning Committee were told that the aim would be for the street names to tell a story of the rich shipbuilding heritage in Clydebank.
One example was Tarry Kirk, which refers to a 1873 canteen built for Thomsons’ workers and which was also used by the community for religious services. The building became known as the ‘Tarry Kirk’, so called because of its tar roof. Clydebank’s first church St. James’ Parish Church, which opened in 1876 on Glasgow Road, owed its origins to the Tarry Kirk.
The proposed names will be published online and in libraries during a consultation period lasting six weeks. Ward Councillors and community council will also be consulted on their views.
What about the most remarkable period in John Brown’s history? The establishment of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders when the government decided to close the yard?
A few names that should have public recognition might be Jimmy Reid, Jimmy Airlie, Bill Dickie (who has done so much for the Clydebank Asbestos Group), Joe Brown, Sammy Barr and Davie Torrance.
However, that might be a step too far to the Left for the Tartan Tories of the SNP who, with the aid of two Conservatives and Bailie Denis Agnew, bolster up the votes for many of their crackpot schemes and policies.
Residents will also have the opportunity to make their own suggestions for consideration.
Councillor Jim Finn, Chair of the committee, said: “It’s in important that the names of these streets reflect everything that John Browns Shipyard meant to Clydebank, as our residents are very proud of our town’s heritage.”
Councillor Diane Docherty, Vice Chair of the Committee, added: “Clydebank is world renowned for ship building and so I am pleased that the proposed names can continue that story and reflect a very important part of our history.”
Clydebank Asbestos Group stalwarts and supporters in Clydebank.
Picture by Bill Heaney