Clydebank is a post-industrial burgh on the western boundary of the City of Glasgow, neighbouring the city’s Drumchapel, Yoker and Knightswood districts.
Lying around six miles from the City Centre, Clydebank is the most westerly point of the Greater Glasgow urban area and falls well within the wider metropolitan Glasgow City Region. It is part of the West Dunbartonshire local authority, being home to roughly half of the authority’s 90,000 residents.
Estimated area population:
Clydebank – 45,000
Drumchapel – 15,000
Knightswood – 17,000
Scotstoun & Yoker – 12,000
CLYDEBANK LIVE AREA TOTAL – 89,000
Glasgow City total (excludes Clydebank) – 580,000
Greater Glasgow urban area total – 1.2 million
Metropolitan Glasgow city region total - 1.75 million
Founded as a burgh in 1886 to house men working in the River Clyde’s shipyards, the first century of its existence saw the town produce an unrivalled list of world-famous vessels. Clydebank’s John Brown’s yard built the RMS Lusitania, HMS Hood, HMS Repulse, RMS Queen Mary, RMS Queen Elizabeth and the RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 – widely known as the QE2.
The town’s industrial importance was made tragically clear in 1941, when German air force raids targeted the shipyards and Singer sewing machine factory – which had been converted to produce ammunition for the allied war effort. On the nights of March 13 and 14, a fleet of 439 Luftwafe bombers caused near-total devastation by dropping over 1,000 bombs from directly above the town.
Of Clydebank’s 12,000 homes more than 4,000 were completely destroyed; 4,500 were seriously damaged; and only seven were left untouched. 528 residents were killed in the raids, another 617 were seriously injured and around 35,000 people were made homeless. Despite the carnage the industrial capacity of the town was not destroyed, and in time the area was rebuilt.
The post-war decline of heavy manufacturing in Britain saw the end of the town’s shipyards and sewing industries, although nearby Scotstoun continues to produce large ocean-going vessels to this day. A significant number of residents of Clydebank and the neighbouring districts are still involved in the shipbuilding industry through Glasgow’s Scotstoun and Govan yards.