The paddle steamer RMS Columba under repair at Govan No 3 Graving Dock, looking east in May 1898. The Columba sailed in the David MacBrayne fleet, on the service from Glasgow to Ardrishaig and Tarbet on Loch Fyne.
As the number and size of ships entering Glasgow Harbour grew, so did the demand for facilities for ship maintenance and repairs. Glasgow's first dry dock was built by Tod & McGregor at Meadowside in 1858, but the Clyde Navigation Trust was eager to improve facilities on the river. It opened its first graving (or dry) dock at Saltercroft in Govan in 1875 and a second in 1886.
Govan No 3 cost £241,000 to build and was one of the largest dry docks in the country when it opened in 1897. It was 880 feet long, 83 feet wide and 26.5 feet deep and could be drained in about two hours by four steam-driven centrifugal pumps.
Reference: T-CN 19/112
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
centrifugal pumps, Clyde Navigation Trust, Columba, dry docks, Govan No 3 Graving Dock, graving docks, paddle steamers, ship repairs, shipyard workers, steam ships, steamboats