Railway services were first introduced at Port Glasgow in March 1841 when the Caledonian Railway Company's Glasgow, Paisley and Greenock railway, built at a total cost of £814,000 was opened to traffic.  Many local business men had bought shares in the company including William Crawford Scarlow, Street Port glasgow Physician -  5 shares and Archibald Falconer, Jean Street Port Glasgow bought 50 shares in the Railway to a value of £1,250   
The initial station was fairly basic, and in 1858 various improvements were carried out, including the removal of the goods department to the East end of the town, and a wooden bridge was thrown across the line which, it was said: "will greatly add to the comfort, and especially promote the safety of passengers, who have had to cross the rails often in perilous conditions and, but for the constant vigilance of Mr Hood and his staff of Officers, accidents might readily have occurred."

Sadly the vigilance of the staff was not always enough as this newspaper report from 1889 shows.

Lamentable Accident at Railway Station
March 26th 1889

Shortly before ten O'clock this morning the Railway Station was the scene of a lamentable accident which befell Mrs Birkmyre wife of Henry Birkmyre of the Gourock Ropework company.
She was standing on the south platform awaiting the train from Central to go with it to Greenock for the purpose of transacting some business when the goods train passed through the station. This was about 9.40am.
Being too close to the line she appears to have become somewhat giddy by the commotion caused by the train and fell between it and the platform.

After the train has passed the unfortunate lady was immediately picked up and carried into one of the waiting rooms were Dr Crawford was in immediate attendance and on examination he found that her left leg and arm were broken in several places, the arm being badly mutilated.
Dr Greive also arrived on the spot and both he and his colleague did what they could to alleviate the suffering of their patient.
A messenger was dispatched for Mr Birkmyre who arrived just as the 9 O'clock train from Glasgow was at the station.

Mrs Birkmyre was put into a first-class carriage, which was kindly given up for her use by a gentleman and was accompanied to the infirmary by her husband, a son and the two doctors and also Mr Lithgow, shipbuilder a son in law.
She is not expected to survive. The accident caused great conversation in the neighbourhood of the station.

Port Glasgow Railway & Hood's Well

Ex-Bailie Shaw of the Star Hotel gives the following account of the accident.
"I was standing at one of the windows of my hotel and saw Mrs Birkmyre walking up and down the platform. Just about twenty minuets to ten O'clock a goods train passed through the station. I missed the lady, but casting my eyes along the line I observed her lying on the rails immediately opposite the ticket collectors office.
I rushed off to the station and assisted to carry her into the room. She was quite conscious.

Up until One O'clock the condition of Mrs Birkmyre remained the same. The professional services of Professor M'Loed of Glasgow have been obtained and everything that medical skill and care can devise are being used to alleviate the suffering of the unfortunate lady.
Mrs Birkmyre later di
ed of her injuries.

Worker discovers the well

Mr James Hood was either a guard or inspector before becoming station master at Port Glasgow station. On his retirement money was collected with the intention of buying him a gift.
At his request the money was put towards a drinking well in the station grounds for use by the general public, it was aptly called Hood's Well.

The well was once again uncovered in 2001 when work was being carried out on the retaining wall beneath Highholm Primary School which was in danger of collapse.

Unfortunately it was vandalized after being found and a part is now missing

old photograph of the well.
The first station master was Mr Auld then there was Mr Symington and Mr Hood was the third to hold the post.

Photographed here Is Mr William Crawford who is the Chairman of the Port Glasgow Central West Community Council, and Mr Sid Singh who is employed by Mowlem the company who is currently undertaking the work to reinforce and repair the retaining wall.He is also responsible for finding the well.

The picture to the left shows the station in 1962. It was taken from a footbridge that run across the line at the west end of the station. (see first picture on page above) This foot bridge has since been removed. Also in this shot you can see the Star Hotel and the front of Hamiltons first church in Princes Street. Bouverie street is visible on the hill behind.

To the right is a photograph taken from as close to the same position as was possible in 1994

The photograph shows the changes to the platforms and also the line which by this time had been electrified. Some of the buildings in the back ground have also been removed.

Some pictures of the station taken in 2002 which was also the year that the station was treated to it's last modernisation.

These pictures show you what was visable of the well in 2005.Click to see a larger copy.

This page last modified on Wednesday, December 01, 2010

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