ON Saturday August 4 Helensburgh will be celebrating one of the most important events in its history, and indeed in the history of the West of Scotland.
The first voyage of Henry Bell's Comet took place in August 1812 — this was the first commercial steamship in Europe, while Henry Bell himself was the first recorded Provost of Helensburgh.
To celebrate this, a number of events will be taking place in and around Helensburgh Pier in the afternoon:
- Participation by HMS Pursuer, a class P2000 patrol boat from the Royal Navy at Faslane.
- Visit by small Victorian-style steamboats.
- Helensburgh Modellers Club will have their radio-controlled model of the Comet in action, along with various other ship models.
- Mock rescue by the Rhu-based RNLI lifeboat.
- Sailing events organised by Helensburgh Sailing Club and the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club.
- Display of Helensburgh's proposed Comet Archway.
In addition, in the evening there will be a barbecue in the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club at Rhu.
A Henry Bell Trail leaflet, listing all local locations with a link to him and his steamboat, will be available free of charge from the Tourist Information Centre, and a free exhibition on Henry Bell and the Comet can be seen in Helensburgh Library from August 4 to the end of October during normal library opening hours.
For full information, particularly with regard to timings, please phone Stewart Noble on 01436-657484.