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Wemyss Bay Station, showing some of the flowers and the statue that have been provided by the Friends of Wemyss Bay Station


If you know of any books that are local to Wemyss Bay or the Inverclyde area and could be included here, please e-mail me to let me know.

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Britain's 100 Best Railway Stations

It is the scene for our hopeful beginnings and our intended ends, and the timeless experiences of coming and going, meeting, greeting and parting. It is an institution with its own rituals and priests, and a long-neglected aspect of Britain's architecture. And yet so little do we look at the railway station.

Simon Jenkins has travelled the length and breadth of Great Britain, from Waterloo to Wemyss Bay, Betws-y-Coed to Beverley, to select his hundred best. Blending his usual insight and authority with his personal reflections and experiences - including his founding the Railway Heritage Trust - the foremost expert on our national heritage deftly reveals the history, geography, design and significance of each of these glories.

Beautifully illustrated with colour photographs throughout, this joyous exploration of our social history shows the station's role in the national imagination; champions the engineers, architects and rival companies that made them possible; and tells the story behind the triumphs and follies of these very British creations. These are the marvellous, often undersung places that link our nation, celebrated like never before.

Old Inverkip, Skelmorlie and Wemyss Bay

Described by the author as "unarguably one of the finest coastal roads in these islands", the eastern shore of the Firth of Clyde is rewarding for the walker or motorist in equal measure as this collection of early photographs clearly demonstrates. Ardgowan House, featured as a crime scene in both the Rebus and Taggart T.V. series, is prominent, as are The Hydropathic at Skelmorlie, forerunner of today's spas and health clinics; Kelly House at Wemyss Bay, shown still smoldering after a devastating fire in 1913 and several lively pictures of The Duchess of Fife and other paddle steamers plying their trade in and out of Wemyss Bay.

Gourock to Largs Coast Through Time by Bill Clark

Bill Clark, a member of Inverclyde Camera Club, has produced ‘Gourock to Largs Coast Through Time’, released in 2013. The book was inspired by the BBC Coast TV series, and features ‘then and now’ pictures taken in Gourock, Inverkip, Wemyss Bay, Skelmorlie and Largs. Some of the photos date back to the 1800s. Bill sourced the old images, many of which were postcards or came from the McLean Museum archive, and then took modern versions as close as possible to the spot where the originals were photographed.

The Glasgow Cowal & Bute Route Through Time by Chris Hogg, Lynn Patrick

The Glasgow, Cowal & Bute Route follows the development of the railways on the southern shores of the River Clyde, describing their influence on life in the towns and resorts of the river and Firth. The book also examines shipping, steamboats, ferries and tramways during a journey westwards from Glasgow via Paisley, Bishopton, Langbank, Port Glasgow, Greenock, Gourock and Inverkip to Wemyss Bay, the Cowal Peninsula and the Isle of Bute. The Clyde, once famous for its heavy industry and shipbuilding, was also the playground for thousands of Glaswegians who left the noise and grime of the city behind to venture 'doon the watter'. Meanwhile, the wealthy moved out to the large houses in the beautiful and peaceful surroundings of the Firth. The river played a significant role in the Second World War, with troopships of GIs training on its shores.

The North Clyde Estuary: An Illustrated Architectural Guide
(RIAS/Landmark Trust S.) by Frank Walker, Fiona Sinclair

The architecture and historical delights in this guide demonstrate the diversity of an area whose common boundary is the River Clyde - iron age forts, austere chapels raised by Celtic saints, great castles like round-towered Rothesay and the stronghold of Dumbarton.

The Clyde at War

The river Clyde and its estuary played a central part in both World War I and World War II. It was also the scene of human tragedy in the form of the Clydebank and Greenock blitzes.

Told primarily through period photographs - including those taken by Luftwaffe reconnaissance missions - and with reference to a wide range of written sources, this book pictures a nation at war and the river which was its lifeline.

One Man's River: Clyde in Pictures 1920-1980

Irvine Herald
"Superb.... this gem of a book"

Lloyd's List
"While many books have been written on the Clyde and its maritime tradition, few can be as evocative as Len Paterson's work celebrating the life and work of photographer Dan McDonald.... - a fitting memorial to a man who spent his whole life cataloguing the ships he loved"

Men of the Clyde: Stanley Spencer's Vision at Port Glasgow

Sir Stanley Spencer is considered by many to be one of the greatest English artists. Men of the Clyde features Stanley Spencer's epic paintings of Lithgow's shipyard.

The pictures depict the different trades and activities involved in the great collective enterprise of building a ship. The heroic depictions of the workers act as a reminder of Scotland's great industrial tradition.

The Herald Book of the Clyde

Book Description
This evocative collection of photographs of the Clyde and its people is a unique chronicle of the life and times of the river - from the halycon days when resorts like Rothesay, Largs, Ayr and Prestwick were a playground for the people of Clydeside, and passenger steamers like the Waverley plied their trade to and fro across the Firth, to the dark days of the Clydeside blitz, and the golden age of shipbuilding, when battleships and ocean liners sailed majestically down the river and into legend.

Caley to the Coast: Rothesay by Wemyss Bay

Book Description
This book by Archie Clark has a wide appeal for both students of transport history and also to those with an interest in the development of the west of Scotland. The author had a personal involvement in the restoration of the terminal at Wemyss Bay.

The book is 320 pages, contains 200 photographs, maps, and the author's architectural plans and is in A5 format.

Warship Building on the Clyde

Based on records of the yards involved, this title studies the impact of growth, development and decline of the Royal Navy in Clyde, its yards, and the people who lived on it. This is the story of the rise and fall of British sea power and industrial might through the story of the River Clyde.

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