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Signal City Greenock

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Signal City, Greenock was a

  • Bagatelle was known as Naval Command Clyde, latterly NHS, nursing home - may be pics in MyCanmore
  • Marymount was known as WREN Headquarters and its function was "Classified"
  • Stoneleigh house, Stoneleigh Road, accommodation for WRENs
  • Tontine Hotel
  • Balclutha nearby also has a sealed shelter
  • Union Sreet, Greenock, has several large mansions, one having lain empty for some time. Purchased by a builder who discovered the property contained a number of unusual features such as secure metal doors in the basement, reinforced windows, and many office type rooms with furniture resembling that seen in wartime offices. Locals say it was fairly well used and guarded by the military during the war, and had not really been used as a home for many years, remaining locked up but maintained.
  • Lindores Manor, Country house Hotel, 81 Newark St, Greenock. According to the Hotels website it was home to over 80 WRENs during world War II.
  • Sir Gabriel Woods Mariners Home, Canadian detatchment of WRENs.

Signal!: A History of Signalling in the Royal Navy - Barrie H. Kent - Google Books Retrieved April 17, 2013.

Anon key to a map, but it gives some names and locations:

1 Navy House. Clarence St. HMS Orlando
2 Port Signal Station
3 “Bagatelle” 47 Eldon St. HQ and Residence of Flag Officer in Charge (FOIC) Greenock with Signal Centre and Signal Training School
4 Tontine Hotel. Ardgowan Square. WRNS Quarters
5 Stoneleigh House, Stoneleigh Rd. WRNS W/T Operator’s Quarters
6 Lindores Manor. 81 Newark St (Actually in Finnart St) Quarters
7 Mariners Home/Asylum. Newark St. WRNS HQ, Depot/Sickbay
8 “Marymount” Barrhill Rd. Gourock. Ministry of War Transport (Briefing Rm)
9 Bay Hotel, Shore St. Gourock. Still in Navy use as Port HQ 1953
10 Queen’s Hotel. Albert Rd. Ashton. WRNS Quarters
11 Gourock Telephone Exchange. Binnie St. Gourock
12 Greenock Naval W/T Station. Inverkip Rd. Braeside. (School on site)
13 Gourock Pier. Gourock. Principal Sea Transport Office
14 14 Octavia Terrace. Principal Sea Transport Officer
15 29 Newark St. WRNS Officers Quarters
16 66 Newark St. RN Officers Club
17 “Dungourney” Newark St. WRNS Officers & Rating Quarters (Dem)
18 “Balclutha” Newark St. WRNS Quarters
19 23 Eldon St WRNS Hostel

Unlocated sites:
Coulogie, Newark St. Superintending Civil Engineer
“Whitefarlands” WRNS Officers Quarters
Western Patrol Office (Naval Police) Dalrymple St
Philips Garage Inverkip Rd/ Kilblain St. ?Use


Some other notes to collate

     Princes Pier and Albert Dock.
     HMS Carrick (Ex clipper ‘City of Adelaide’ & RNVR Drill Ship, Glasgow) now
     Defensive Equipped Merchant Ship (DEMS) Gunnery Training School, moored at
     HMS Carrick II (Ex Training Ship Indefatigable) remaned Carrick II as
     accommodation ship for HMS Colomba
     HMS Colomba. Greenock Boom Defence Depot.

Navy House. Clarence St. A 5 storey Warehouse remains out of a block of 5 one of which was Navy House. This contained HQ HMS Orlando. Base Office and Accounts, Stores, Workshops and Maintenance Captain and Engineer

WRNS. Greenock was a WRNS Depot which meant that they recruited and trained their own Immobile WRNS ( Immobile WRNS: WRNS who as a condition of service can only be employed in the agreed base or depot) The HQ was at ‘Mariner’s’ which administered WRNS in all Greenock/Gourock area. Apart from recruiting and basic training several trade schools existed within the depot. IWM photos show Cooks and Signallers at Greenock training schools.

Flag Officer in Charge (FOIC) Greenock. A sub Command of C in C Western Approaches at Derby House. Liverpool

PRO Ref: ADM1/15756
Admiralty Authority Feb 1941
A series of scenarios should Admiralty in London be captured or destroyed.
Admiralty Authority would be invested in C in C Western Approaches.
If Western Approaches destroyed/captured Authority to C in C Plymouth and if Plymouth compromised to FOIC Greenock.

Remote Radio control lines will be required to Rugby and Leafield Radio Stations.

B HMCS Niobe. Dec 41 to Apr 46 at Smithson Institute (Ravenscraig Hospital) HQ for Canadian Naval Forces in Clyde

C Navy Buildings. Eldon St. HMS Dalraida. Reserve HQ Unit. Clyde. Post War Commissioned 30-04-1965 at Inverkip (Inverkip AAOR) transferred to Eldon St 1968. Renamed 10-1994 Reserve Traing Unit.

     Building also houses HM Coastguard HQ and Clyde MRCC

Informed the The Norwegian Forces were given a comandeered large villa in Newark St for the duration of World War Two.

Craigard in Barrhill Rd Gourock. Which is still there. Barhill Road No 29, Mary Mount is No 5. Before WW2 the villa was a convent and during WW2 the Russian convoys were administered and controlled from the site.

Stonleigh House built 1872 demolished 1949. Architect John Honeyman, use by wrens is confirmed by bbcww2 archive no A4124305. Greenock Telegraph 28-08-47 Greenock Corporation bought it from Arthur Caird to use as an old peoples home. Greenock Telegraph 04-11-48 House to be demolished - much opposition to new houses on Newark Street.

Telephone directory:

RN Officers' Mess Gowanhill Madeira Street Greenock 532, 1767
RAF Officers' Mess 57 Forsyth Street Greenock 1189

Flag Office in Charge, Bagatelle * Greenock 2010 - that has an asterisk which I think signifies PBX
Staff Officer, Intelligence Greenock 2033
Principal Sea Transport Officer, 45 octavia Terrace * Greenock 2265
Maintenance Capt Clarence Street * Greenock 2280
Superintending Civil Engineer, Carlogie, Newark Street * Greenock 2326
WRNS Officers' Quarters 29 Newark Street Greenock 266
WRNS Officers' and Ratings' Quarters, Dungourney, Newark Street Greenock 1858
WRNS Officers' Quarters Whitefarlands Greenock 1948
WRNS Quarters Balelntha Newark Street Greenock 2028
WRNS Hostel 23 Eldon Street Greenock 2227
WRNS Hostel Uplands Helensburgh 827
WRNS Ratings Quarters Clarendon House Helensburgh 974
Glen Blair Largs 2091 - not seen that name before

1940 directory

Admiralty Albert Harbour *Greenock 2280
I notice that all the directories have the Admiralty Pumping Station at Castlecary
Just the RN Boom Depot and Torpedo Factory in Greenock

1941 directory

Ministry of War Transport at Marymount
Flag Officer in Charge Bagatelle

  both these have PBX on the line

Very noticeably many more entries than 1940

One very interesting entry
RN Wireless Transmitting Station Kilmore 224 - that sounds very like the RN Y station at Oban unless there is another Kilmore?

1942 telephone directory

Ministry of War Transport, Shipping Representative, Marymount Gourock 731 - this was also listed in 1944
HMS Carrick was SRNS accommodation in Greenock - Greenock 1103 (


External links

Aerial views



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