Doon the Clyde, where they built the great ships

Pupils at East Fulton Primary in Linwood, Renfrewshire, have been studying the River Clyde as a P6 topic ever since the Clydebuilt Maritime Heritage Centre opened in nearby Braehead three years ago. But it is more fun these days.

A trip to the centre is always the highlight of the project and the children get the chance to board a historic vessel tied up at the museum's dockside. But classes studying the river now get an extra treat.

Teacher Marianne Simpson explains: "We used to say it would be even better if we could travel along the river, particularly as some children had never taken a boat trip."

Last year her wish came true, when Clyde Waterbus Services launched The Pride o' the Clyde. The boat, which has an open top upper deck, cruises "up and doon the watter" between Braehead and the centre of Glasgow seven days a week.

The East Fulton P6s were the first school party to take the 30-minute journey. The pupils spent the morning at the Clydebuilt centre and then cruised up the river, each child getting a turn at the helm.

A taped commentary plays throughout the journey, tracing the history of the riverbank activities from old times to the present, learning about where the liners Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and the QE2 were built. Mrs Simpson had prepared a simple Clyde river trip worksheet to help the excited class concentrate.

Deedee Cuddihy

Clyde Waterbus Services, tel 0141 778 6635 or 07711

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