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The Clyde tunnel

Happy birthday!

The Clyde tunnel is 50 years old today (Sunday 7 July 2013). Sad news is that I remember the night it opened and in fact I travelled through the tunnel on that auspicious day.


I was eight years old and living in a bed and kitchen in a tenement building at 161 Broomloan Road, Govan. My dad didnt have a car as it would have competed with his other loves of drink, betting and smoking, however our upstairs neighbours had just bought a new car that month, the only family in the street with a car. Anyway I used to play with the son of the family and that night the dad said to his son and me that we were to go for a run through the clyde tunnel to Victoria park and see the petrified forest. I hadnt heard of the forest and imagined that the north side of the clyde must be a weird place with dinosaurs and dead trees. I'd been to the north before via the govan ferry to Partick and sometimes to the Kelvin hall and the museum and art gallery, but never to see this petrified forest. 

The journey from Broomloan Road to Govan cross (where the tunnel started) was only a mile or so and the trip through the tunnel seemed like a science fiction movie but was over in about 30 seconds. Whiteinch on the other side of the tunnel looked just like Govan except the houses were a bit posher and cleaner. Victoria park was ... well a park and the petrifed forest was all stumps (as far as I could see as it was dark). I fell over and cut my knee in that forest(!) and I still have the scar on my knee to this day, perhaps there is a lump of dinosaur DNA in it?

When we went through the tunnel's 762 metres it was too soon for the now popular childrens game of holding your breath all the way through the tunnel. At the normal (above the legal limit) 40mph it takes about 42 seconds to go through the tunnel, easily within the reach of a child's breath holding.

The tunnel is of course a pair of tunnels and is usually blocked at the Whiteinch end in both directions with traffic snarlups.


Last modified onThursday, 22 December 2016 08:47

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