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Mountblow Fuel Depot

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The depot in 1982
The depot in 1982
© Chris Allen

Mountblow fuel depot was a major fuel depot and oil terminal established by the Royal Navy near Old Kilpatrick, on the north bank of the River Clyde during World War II. The tank farm serving the depot lay to the north of the Forth and Clyde canal, with the terminal being located on the north bank, together with the remainder of the tanks.

The depot picture to the right carries the following description: "MOD fuel oil pumping station. Plant dated from 1918, stopped 1982 and scrapped around 1991-4. This part of the station contained three Worthington-Simpson non-rotative steam pumping engines".

The tanks remained in use until the 1960s, but were lost when a housing estate was developed on the site.

A tank farm covered the area between the river and Great Western Road, just to the east of the Erskine Ferry access road. The extent of the original site can be seen in an RAF aerial photograph from 1941, shown in the Canmore link given below. Disturbed ground still marks the area of the terminal, together with the abandoned supports of its pier.

During the Clydebank Blitz of March 13 and 14, 1941, eleven of the depot's huge tanks were destroyed, while many others were severely damaged and millions of gallons of fuel were lost. The resultant fire burned for almost two weeks before being quenched, and when the site was finally cleared, 96 bomb craters were reported.

No 1 pump-house in 1982
No 1 pump-house in 1982
© Chris Allen

The pump-house picture to the right carries the following description: "Two of the three 1918 Worthington-Simpson pumps in No. 1 pump house".

An uncited source has noted that the fuel depot was supplied from the refinery at Grangemouth, and that the two were connected by an underground pipeline. With the two facilities conveniently located at opposite ends of the Forth and Clyde canal, the pipeline was simply laid under the existing towpath. To maintain the flow, a booster pumping station was sited next to the canal, at Castlecary in Stirlingshire.

Demolition of the site was underway in 2001, as reported in the Canmore link given below.

Site visit

A site visit carried out during March 2008 found the former bund area where the tanks were located was flooded to a depth of several feet. A large concrete base was noted, carrying numerous mounts and fixings, and is thought to be the base of one of the pump houses referred to in the 1982 photograph shown above. This was the only such feature found remaining on the site. We have little detailed knowledge of the site to add specific comments to our gallery images.

Photographs

Below the Erskine Bridge, 2008
Below the Erskine Bridge
Concrete base, 2008
Concrete base
Concrete base, 2008
Concrete base
Concrete base, 2008
Concrete base
Flooded bund area, 2008
Flooded bund area
lPerimeter wal, 2008
Perimeter wall
Terminal pier remains, 2008
Terminal pier remains
Terminal pier remains, 2008
Terminal pier remains
Flooded area, 2008
Flooded area
Valve detail, 2008
Valve detail


External links

Related Canmore/RCAHMS and ScotlandsPlaces (SP) entries:-

 

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Aerial views


Map

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