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Mural To Honour Port Glasgow's Past

Above L-R: Tommy Rodger, Jim Strachan and Anne Ross, chairperson of Port Glasgow West Community Council.

A painting which will be used to create a mural paying tribute to Port Glasgow's shipbuilding past is taking shape in a tobacco warehouse. Artist Jim Strachan is recreating a vision of Lamont's Dry Dock, which dated back to 1762, in sepia using oil paints.

This will later be photographed with a high-resolution camera and printed onto aluminium boards before being erected at the gable end in the town's Bay Street.

Jim, 49, said:

"I've been looking at old photographs to study the geography of the area for what I'm creating. I hope people will recognise a few things and like what they see."

Jim says that he will be incorporating some artistic licence in the piece of work. He joked:

"It's quite Hollywood, think of the Titanic with Pearl Harbour thrown in for good measure. It's still at an early stage.

"The town hall will be a big feature, it would have been set back at the time but I plan to blend it into the dockyard. Everything is done in oil and glazes.

"It's something I really enjoy, there is nothing better and more satisfying than working on local topics."

He says Tommy Rodger of Port Glasgow West Community Council has helped to lay the foundations for the creation with his expert knowledge of the area.

Jim, a freelancer with Rig Arts, also worked on the murals at Port Glasgow Railway Station (above) and Broomhill. He says the canvas and frame have all been made from recyclable materials.

Port Glasgow Community Council came up with the idea for a mural at the spot, and hope to have it erected by October 2019.

Until then, there are plans for Jim's oil painting to be displayed in Port Glasgow Town Hall.

The project has been funded by some of the £15,000 allocated to Port Glasgow's Regeneration Forum as part of the Scottish Government's plan to regenerate town centres.

This article and images appeared in the Greenock Telegraph on 26 December 2018.

Published: 2 January 2019