Hooter signalled scran scramble

ALTHOUGH mass walkouts were not unheard of on the Clyde, this exodus was a daily event - the dinnertime rush.

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The men marching down the steep gangplank had just knocked off for the morning and were desperate for mugs of hot sweet tea and their lunchtime 'pieces'.

Working outdoors in all weathers certainly helped you work up an appetite, and a thirst. Many a man would say he was heading home for his dinner before sneaking into the nearest pub for a few swift pints to restore his equilibrium. The gaffers on the shipyard gates would then have the difficult job of spotting those who were unfit to return to work in the noisy and dangerous environs of the yard.

These men, at Govan's Fairfield yard, were helping to build the RMS Empress of Britain, which would be launched the following year.

The transatlantic liner was being built for the Canadian Pacific Steamship Co, and, until 1964, would complete 123 voyages from Liverpool to Canada.

After that, the ship was sold and sailed on the Piraeus to Naples to New York route.

With age came an easier life, when she was sold to Carnivale Cruises. Incredibly, she was still going strong in 2008 ,when rising oil prices and her elderly engines, saw her sent to the breakers, bringing to an end a 52-year career on the high seas.

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