Clyde Freezes Over, 1902

Between the 11th and 14th February 1902, the Clyde unusually froze over during an incredibly cold spell.

The River Clyde was frozen over fully riverbank to riverbank between Blantyre Weir and half a mile upstream to the Craighead Viaduct. It made for a strange and rare sight for local people. On the following Saturday morning a thaw set in which continued until the Sunday afternoon. However, being the weekend, this tended to attract children to the river.

The ice was weakened considerably and on the Sunday, a large number of youths descended upon the now dangerous river at Blantyre Works. The boys took great delight in trying to cross to the other side, sliding and playing with chunks of the thawing ice.

Suddenly a boy named Shields and another lad fell into the water as the ice gave way. Hanging on to the ice sheet, they were thankfully rescued after much difficulty and only after others had raised the alarm.

This story ended with all being well, but it is a reminder that the river in cold, icy times is no place for unsupervised children.

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