McLean Museum & Art Gallery, Inverclyde Council

"Waterways and Recovery Bays" focussed on the Inverclyde area and involved the villages of Wemyss Bay, Inverkip and Kilmacolm together with the main urban centres of Greenock, Port Glasgow and Gourock. The project engaged local schools pupils and the Inverclyde community in researching and reflecting on the impact of World War II in the local area.

The main towns of Inverclyde played a crucial part in the war effort, being the point of entry and exit for the vast majority of Scottish troops. Many convoys started their journeys from there; the Port of Greenock was considered to be a British lifeline, unloading every item necessary to sustain the war effort; the River Clyde was full of ships; and foreign troops were stationed there.

Ardgowan House, set in a 400 acre estate on the Firth of Clyde, was also the basis for one of the project's online exhibitions. Ardgowan House was used as a military hospital during the Great War 1914 - 1918 and, again, during the Second World War 1939 - 1945. In August 1941, following an abortive air raid on Greenock, the Luftwaffe dropped a stick of bombs close to Ardgowan. Fortunately, there were no casualties but many windows in the house were smashed and Ardgowan gained the dubious distinction of being the first Scottish hospital to be damaged by German bombs.


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