This started almost by accident. I had intended simply to add little snippets
of news, gleaned from www.clydeshipping.co.uk , which is our main hub
of activity comprising of numerous subscribers who contribute daily a
wealth of news, information, opinions and personal (and professional)
analysis on what is happening, or happened, on the Clyde.
The other morning I got carried away, and my news snippet developed into
a full blown article, so I thought - why not. After a couple of days I
realsied these articles needed a permanent home - taking them down to
replace them daily would be a waste. So, The Clydesite Magazine was born.
Clydesite first appeared around ten years ago, when practically everything
we know about the internet now, was very much in its infancy. It was a
simple page detailing the Clyde, its shipyards and businesses - as a foil
to the negativity of the media, and to balance out the appalling lack
of information about the Clyde in those days on the world wide web ( there,
that terminology I used proves it was a long time ago! )
I trundled on with this for some time, and then began an experiment.
Why not build a forum about the Clyde, for the Clyde, to promote links
with others passionate about it. I really did not think it would take
off in all honesty - but it did. To my horror as well as my satisfaction
it grew. People were joining up all the time, and it soon became clear
that a new forum needed built, one that could reflect the quality of input
from the members, as well as keep the idea as simple as possible. Over
the years those two philosophies have shaped our on-line community. Sadly
we had to go to subscription membership, as the costs of running it became
crippling. But those subscriptions help with the costs of the free Clydebuilt
Database - a very heavily accessed resource, and one I and others are
committed to. Every day more and more is added to it, and it is a truly
historic achievement. For more on the database, please visit http://www.clydebuiltships.co.uk
And so we come to this latest development. The Magazine.
Every day on our Clydeshipping forum, pictures, information, chat, discussions,
history - everything, comes streaming in to make up what many call 'their
daily dose of Clydesite'. Over time we have amassed a great deal of information,
and enriched our own understanding of the Clyde (mine was pretty poor
to start with - I now think I know every nook and cranny from Glasgow
to the Mull of Kintyre!)
What you read in the articles I post here, practically all of the information
is due to being a member of Clydesite's online community. I cannot begin
to tell just how much I have learned - and learn daily. I think it is
right that some of that be shared for the benefit of the public. It is
also part of the philosophy of Clydesite to follow a guiding principle
- When we think of the Clyde, we think of the Past, the Present and The
Future. Sadly, many people only think of the past. We dwell on the past
on our forum too, but we also enjoy what is happening at present with
our ferries, the Waverley, the container ships, tankers, coal boats, the
shipyards building support vessels, destroyers, ferries and research ships.
I also learned in my time of the smaller businesses, such as the Ardmaleish
Boatyard (this hit the headlines recently by building a replica puffer
for the Forth and Clyde canal.). We also keep an eye to the future - future
naval build, the changing face of the river, the opportunities to involve
more people in using the Clyde for leisure and transport, and the possibilities
at Hunterston that could change the Clyde's fortunes in a way un-imaginable
only a decade ago.
We at Clydesite, in the main, grasp that philosophy. The Magazine's job
is to export it to a wider audience.
And we hope too that these articles encourage you to join us, share daily
our passions, interests, hopes and experiences, as enthusiasts, as crew
on the Clyde and beyond, as former and current shipyard workers, as researchers,
as ex-Pats from Canada, Australia, the US and New Zealand, we even have
not a few business-owners in our ranks whose business depends on the well-being
of Scotland's most beautiful river and estuary.
In short, as people with a Pride in the Clyde.