The Tall Ship Sailing Vessel Glenlee (1896) has been at riverside since 2011 having been at Yorkhill Harbour from 1992 to 1999. During the 90s she was restored from virtually a rusting shell to what you see today.
Today she is a thriving Museum and Visitor attraction with over 200,000 visitors per year and is estimated to be the 5th busiest museum in Scotland. Entry is free, thus reliance on donations, and takings from the cafe and retail shop, which are both on board. Many visitors return especially families. There are also visitors from throughout the UK and there are foreign visitors and to accommodate them we have produced guidebooks in German, French Italian, Polish, Spanish & Russian.
School groups come most school days so there are about 400 school groups/year. The workshops they undertake relate to the School National Curriculum called the “Curriculum for Excellence”.
The Trust has a number of aims which are:-
1. To primarily exhibit the S.V. Glenlee to visitors, locally and from all nationalities.
2. To maintain, and preserve the Ship to the best of the Trust’s ability.
3. To promote maritime heritage of the River Clyde
4. To provide boatbuilding skills to those primarily out of work and retired.
5. To provide education to schools through workshops that are part of the national curriculum.
6. To provide workshops outwith school terms for children and families.
Apart from using our large Workshop in the main building at Riverside to help maintain S.V. Glenlee it is used predominately to restore and build traditional wooded boats. Volunteers come in between 2 to 4 days per week to work on the boats. They learn skills in tool handling, machinery, read drawings, and learn about types of woods. At present they have built a Captain’s gig and a lifeboat as part of the Ship’s complement of 4 boats. They are also restoring a 1922, 40 foot wooden open motor launch called Starcrest, which will be put in the River in September 2018 for further restoration. Once finally restored the launch will hopefully get a MCA certificate and be used on the river as a floating classroom and for families during the holiday periods. The trips will tell the story of the once famous Clyde shipbuilding, the river and life within it. Volunteers also come for Galgael in Govan to work on Starcrest and the Glasgow Coastal Rowing Club repair their skiffs and will be building a new one from a kit.
Workshops in the Ship’s classroom for primary school children are a great success where there are 1 to 2 school classes per school day most of the months of the year. There are about 5 different workshops schools can choose from and new ones are being planned.
The Ship itself has various, what are called interactives on different decks which allow young people to “learn by doing”. Many come back with their parents/guardians for a second or more times. Also there are exhibitions mounted which express themes about maritime life, and there are events to encourage visitors to come in and experience maritime heritage.
So there is plenty to see and do on board S.V. Glenlee. As stated it is a Museum but with a difference as it is within the hull of an 19th Century Cargo Sailing Ship with bulkheads instead of walls and deckheads instead of roofs and ceilings.
She is well worth a visit.