THREE Clyde ferries were withdrawn on a single day in January, 1966: the Govan (pictured) and Meadowside passenger ferries and the Finnieston vehicular service. They had become obsolete, reported the Evening Times; Glasgow Corporation which ran them, would save £50,000 a year by doing away with them.

But the paper also said the ferry crews had saved the lives of many people who had fallen into the river. Hardly a month went by without a rescue attempt by one of the crews. Donald Campbell, a former merchant seaman who was master of the Finnieston vehicular ferry, had saved eight lives by diving into the Clyde - “even though”, he said, “they were all going down for the last time.”

On one occasion, a man had handed his rent-book to a crew member of the Govan passenger ferry and jumped into the river.

The river was now left with only five ferries - the Clyde Street, Finnieston and Kelvinhaugh passenger services, and Renfrew and Erskine vehicular.

The three closures, caused mainly by the opening of the Whiteinch-Linthouse Clyde Tunnel , and a gradual population shift away from the river to big housing schemes, came not long after the suspension of a hovercraft service on the Clyde, which had been launched in 1965. Two 38-seat hovercraft which had been operated by Clyde Hover Ferries were being returned to their manufacturers for “extensive modifications”, but dreadful winter weather on the Clyde had not helped the service, either.