Port Glasgow Town Buildings
The tower was based on the St Enochs Church tower which stood in Glasgow. (this church was knocked down in the early 1930's) From the ground the ship appears quite small but is nearly six feet in length.
The steeple by some accounts was once hit by lightning and lost nerly 20 foot of bricks and masionary. None of the occupants on that stormy night were injured.
The building was home to the council chambers (Port Glasgow was made a burgh in 1775 and a council of 13 men appointed) up until this the council business was done in King Street.
On his retirement his employee Mr James Addison took over the shop and went on to open more around the town
With reading rooms, several offices and as well as the police station and court house it was a busy building over the years.
The building was right at the waters edge and it is reported that one poor soul on his release from the police station for "drunkenness" walked straight out the door and into the water. After this event the entrance was moved round to the other side of the building.
The front of the building is unchanged but the entrance to the library at the other side is very modern. It also contains disabled access and a nice seating area surrounded by flower beds.
The building is still in use today having undergone a renovation it now holds the towns library which is also stocked with a generous amount of pc's allowing free Internet access to towns people. The upper level has been completed and is now used as office space. A plaque on the outside of the building reads :"Port Glasgow Municipal buildings built in 1815 by David Hamilton 1768-1843, refurbished and extended by Inverlyde District council Re-opened 30th March 1996 by Provost Alan Robertson .JP"
To mark the re-opening of the building local school children made the quilts shown below which depict scenes from around the area which were draped over the balcony.
The building has two awards The Royal Imstitute of British Architects - Architecture Award and also Civic trust award 1997
The Provosts lamp now stands outside the building. This gas lamp would have been situated outside of the home of the person who was serving as the towns provost in the past but is now just and ornamental reminder of the past. There was no provost in the town till 1883.
In 2007 part of the grass area was removed on the main road side of the building to allow for car parking spaces.
On 4th October 1775 after a meeting in the Parish Church the following were voted in as the members of the first Town Council : Alexander Mollison, surgeon ; James King, senior, merchant ; James King, junior, merchant ; James Ramsey, merchant ; John Dunlop, merchant ; Bailie John Crawford, merchant ; Humphrey Colquhoun, feuar ; James Aitken, merchant ; William Howall, merchant; William Dunlop, shipmaster, John Barr, junior, clockmaker ; and Robert Douglas, merchant. .
Within the building was also shops one of which belonged to Mr James Moffat who would later gift and orphanage and library to the town. These stores sold among other things wines and spirits which would be imported and brought into to port by one of his own ships the Bruce. .
The subscription library was opened in 1798 within the building and contained around 1500 books Alexander Buchanan was librarian there from 1831-36
This page last modified on Sunday, March 06, 2011
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