Parklea Measured Mile

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Portonian
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Parklea Measured Mile

Post by Portonian » Mon Jan 16, 2017 10:43 am

My first post on this great site, so go easy on me if this topic has been raised before :)

I have read elsewhere that there was a measured mile on the mudflats at Parklea between Port Glasgow and Langbank, established by Denny of Dumbarton to test their hovercraft in the early 1960s. I also read there that no trace of this mile remains today, but I am not convinced.

There are three pairs of tall metal posts between Finlaystone Point and the Finlaystone Burn which I think could be the remains of this mile (actually 1Km). Each post has the same V or inverted V like the mileposts at Skelmorlie, but on a smaller scale. See the attached photos.

Hopefully someone can shed light on these posts. Enquiries at the Denny tank museum drew blank stares from the (young) staff there.

P1250941.JPG
One of the seaward posts
P1260046.JPG
The V at the top of one of the posts
P1250939.JPG
The inverted V on one of the posts

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davidwat
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Re: Parklea Measured Mile

Post by davidwat » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:04 pm

Have never heard of this before, and I believe there are several reasons why the story is incorrect.
My Father was Master of Works for the Clyde Lighthouses Trust around that time (retired in 1963) and I do not recall him ever mentioning this.
Why would Denny's go to the expense of setting up their own "mile" when there were 2 perfectly good ones downriver.
I cannot see the Clyde Navigation Trust (as it was in those days) giving permission for "testing" to take place in the navigation channel when the river was much busier than it is today.
There certainly used to be a marked line across the river around that area which marked the boundary between the responsibilities of the CLT and the CNT. Could this perhaps be those markers?
david watson

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Portonian
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Re: Parklea Measured Mile

Post by Portonian » Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:54 pm

David, thanks for the reply.

I think the testing would have taken place outside the channel, on the mudflats themselves (with or without water). The attraction would be the very close proximity to the Denny yard, avoiding the need to go down to Skelmorlie for prototype testing.

The CNT/CLT boundary markers are further down the river at Newark Castle (see photo).
Attachments
CNT-CLT Markers at Newark Castle.jpg
CLT to the left, CNT to the right

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iainnevill
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Re: Parklea Measured Mile

Post by iainnevill » Mon Jan 16, 2017 6:43 pm

Good Evening Portonian & David,

I have just checked on the CRSC website who have a page dedicated to the various Clyde Measured Miles and they confirm that there was indeed a Parklea Measured Mile.

They state that it was created in 1963 by Denny to test their Hovercraft, but no longer exists.

Best Wishes to All, Iain Nevill

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davidwat
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Re: Parklea Measured Mile

Post by davidwat » Mon Jan 16, 2017 9:24 pm

Well, there you are. You learn something new every day, thank goodness.
david watson

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Portonian
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Re: Parklea Measured Mile

Post by Portonian » Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:21 pm

Iain,

Thanks. I think CRSC is where I read about it a few months ago. An email to the author requesting more information at the time went unanswered.

I have been unable to find any reference to these posts on any maps, charts or books that I have read, so they remain a mystery. One theory is that they are town or county boundary posts, but why in the water if that were the case?

I'm hoping that someone here might know someone who knows someone else who might remember something about them.

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Portonian
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Re: Parklea Measured Mile

Post by Portonian » Thu Feb 16, 2017 11:11 pm

I just came across this PDF extract from a 1961 edition of "Flight" which confirms that Denny used a "specially prepared measured mile course in shallow water outside the navigation channel in the Clyde near Langbank" for testing the D1 hovercraft. This testing took place after the more publicised Gareloch measured mile testing.

https://www.flightglobal.com/FlightPDFA ... 200872.PDF

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davidwat
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Re: Parklea Measured Mile

Post by davidwat » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:05 pm

This is all very interesting, and, having now looked up my Discharge Books, I know why I hadn't heard anything about it. I had just joined Harrisons(Clyde) Ltd, and was engaged on my first voyage with them on British Monarch, which lasted from May 1961 until January 1962, and included my first complete circumnavigation via New York, Japan and Australia. Thanks for putting my mind at rest!
david watson

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