The Tall Ship Glenlee first took to the water as a bulk cargo carrier in 1896 and has circumnavigated the globe four times. Knot too shabby, eh? The ship has also undergone an impressive number of transformations, from serving as a British cargo vessel to a sail training icon of the Spanish Navy. One of only five Clyde-built ships still afloat in the world today, the Glenlee is a brilliant spot for maritime-themed events and activities. But the magnificent space becomes something else entirely when lit by the soft glow of candlelight and filled with the sound of live performers for the enchanting series of Candlelight concerts.
The Tall Ship Glenlee is docked on the River Clyde right outside the Riverside Museum, and the closest railway station is Patrick. From the deck of the boat, visitors can take in stunning views of the river, and the floating venue is only a short walk from multiple Glaswegian landmarks including Glasgow Science Centre and Govan Old Church.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about The Tall Ship Glenlee
1. The boat has lived many lives
Built in 1986, the ship was funded by Archibald Sterling & Co. to keep tradespeople in the Clyde area employed. Some 23 years later, the boat was sold to Robert Ferguson, a shipowner in Dundee who renamed the boat Islamount. She traded under this name for over 20 years until Italian owners bought the boat and renamed her Clarastella.
2. The Spanish Navy claimed the ship for years
In 1922, the Spanish Navy bought the ship and renamed her Galatea. She was used as a training vessel for the troops until 1981 when she was left abandoned in Seville Harbour. It was only in 1990 when a boat enthusiast noticed the boat in the Spanish harbour that she was bought for auction and returned to Clyde.
3. The well-needed restorations took quite some time
Once the ship was returned to its home, it became apparent very quickly that it needed some TLC. The original masts were reassembled and re-stepped, parts were repaired or replaced and a complete set of new rigging was installed over a lengthy six year period. The unnecessary propellers were removed, and can now be found in the courtyard by the yard arm of the City Of Glasgow College.
Candlelight concerts at The Tall Ship Glenlee
Glasgow isn’t short of concerts, but some are going to need quite the venue to match the ferry impressive Glenlee down at the riverside. The splendid ship is playing host to some truly mesmerising Candlelight concerts this year, with the soothing sounds from wonderful tributes to magical movies and Leonard Cohen softly streaming from the bow to the stern and beyond. Just imagine Leonard Cohen’s soul-stirring ‘Hallelujah‘ and ‘So Long, Marianne‘ performed by a string quartet as candles flicker in this gorgeous space. Truly unmissable!
What else can you do at The Tall Ship Glenlee?
Alongside the magical series of Candlelight concerts, The Tall Ship Glenlee hosts a wide range of family-friendly events throughout the year. In summer, you can get involved in a pirate treasure hunt where you’ll have to crack codes and solve riddles to find the jewels and gems hidden on the boat. What’s more, they also run educational programmes for the kiddies known as the ‘Mini Mariners sessions.’ Take part in interactive stories, learn about life on a ship, sing and compose your own sea shanties and enjoy making crafts to take home with your little ones.
The Tall Ship Glenlee is one of many stunning venues hosting these extraordinary Candlelight concerts. There are very few things in life more romantic than candlelight, but candlelight plus an evening full of live music on the calming shores of the Clyde is definitely one of them. All you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy.