Impressive Mural Depicting the Halycon Days of Shipbuiding
Written by Phil Briscoe on 30/09/2021
A new mural dedicated to all things to do with early 20th century Glasgow shipbuilding was recently completed for the new slipway cabin at the Maid of the Loch. The stunning artwork was commissioned by the Loch Lomond Steamship Company as part an ongoing heritage project to create a new exhibition space for the Clyde built paddle steamer whilst she is situated on the slipway for essential repairs. Talented illustrator and mural painter Barry Jenkins from Glasgow was chosen to do create the artwork due to his experience and his outstanding ability to capture life in Glasgow, past and present – and to bring it to life with creative flair.
Artist Barry Jenkins says “The brief was to create a mural based on shipbuilding and specifically the building of the Maid of the Loch. The mural shows the hard work that goes into shipbuilding. Inspiration was drawn from artists such as Stanley Spencer and Peter Howson. After spending some time around the Maid of the Loch, visiting the Winch House, and speaking to a few of the staff and volunteers, I started to formulate an idea and created a rough design from the visit. Like Stanley Spencer’s paintings I wanted the mural to be busy looking, with lots of activity and machinery everywhere. I felt that the large cogs in the winch house had to feature in the mural as they are so visually striking. There is also a photo in one of the brochures that shows the progress of the staff removing a hatch to one of the paddles on the ship. I found this to be a perfect fit for the direction I would like the mural to go so I added that. There are sections of ship, cranes, supports, winch cogs and a paddle all featured in the mural. The people in the mural are dressed as they would have been when the Maid of the Loch was getting built. They are all working on tasks that were required for shipbuilding on the Clyde. You might notice there is a woman burner working in the foreground. Whilst the workforce was largely male, there were plenty of female workers also. It was a pleasure to paint this mural right next to the Maid. It made it a memorable experience for myself, and I hope that it shows in the mural. Thanks to all the staff there for being so knowledgeable and accommodating. It makes all the difference when you know people are doing this to preserve part of Clyde built history for the love of it.”
Charli Summers, Activities Coordinator at Maid of the Loch says ‘’ We are delighted with the artwork. It really captures the feel and activities of a working shipyard and is set mid-century when the Maid of the Loch paddle steamer was built at A& J Inglis yard on the Clyde. Our heritage project involves creating an exhibition space, showcasing important collections and stories surrounding shipbuilding, engineering and social histories involved in building the paddle steamer”.
The public can see the mural on the slipway when visiting the site.