A photograph taken at Meadowside Quay on 13 August 1908 illustrating the dangerous conditions in which skilled labourers (or "navvies") often worked during the construction of docks and quays on the banks of the River Clyde.
The excavation of the surface of the site of the quay wall was probably undertaken by a steam-powered mechanical excavator, popularly known as a "steam navvy." Timber supports were then inserted in the trench to support the sides while the navvies completed the excavation prior to the laying of the quay's foundations. In the photograph, a navvy is perched on the steep slope of the dock wall to the left, while his workmates labour below. A crane is removing spoil from the trench.
Work began at the site of Meadowside Quay in July 1908 after the removal of the previous occupants, Partick Thistle FC. A series of huge granaries were subsequently erected behind the 572-yards long quay.
Reference: T-CN 19/6/G-31
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Archives
docks, excavations, labourers, Meadowside Quay, navvies, Partick Thistle, quays, River Clyde, steam cranes, steam navvies, trenches