“The Clyde made Glasgow and Glasgow made the Clyde” runs an old saying, full of sentimentality for the days when the river was the world’s premier shipbuilding centre, and when its industry lent an innovation and confidence that made Glasgow a major city of the British Empire. Despite the hardships heavy industry brought, every Glaswegian would follow the progress of the skeleton ships under construction in the riverside yards, cheering them on their way down the Clyde as they were launched. The last of the great liners to be built on Clydeside was the QE2 in 1967. Such events are hard to visualize today: shipbuilding is restricted to a couple of barely viable yards. However the river is once again becoming a focus of attention, with striking new buildings including the titanium-clad Armadillo concert hall, Glasgow Science Centre and the Zaha Hadid-designed Riverside Museum.
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- The Glasgow Science Centre
Just west of the Science Centre, on the other side of the river, the magnificent new Riverside Museum – Scotland’s Museum of Transport and Travel – houses artefacts from Glasgow’s old transport museum, and a lot more besides. The wave-like titanium-clad building by Zaha Hadid is an attraction in its own right, its cathedral-like interior home to a huge, dramatically displayed collection of trains, boats, trams, bike, cars and ships models. Interactive exhibits provide engaging background on the city’s social fabric, with walk-through streets incorporating real interiors from Glasgow shops and cafés.