This film is part of Free

The Fate of the Clyde Valley

Monument or scrap? What fate will befall this controversial relic of Unionist violence and what do the people of Carrickfergus make of it all?

News 1974 8 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for Northern Ireland Screen


Captain Black talks about Clyde Valley and predicts its doom as scrap in Lancaster. This old and rusty ship had ventured on many hazardous journeys. Alongside the SS Fanny, the Clyde Valley played an important role the Larne gun-running, a major gun smuggling operation in April 1914 in Ireland, for the Ulster Unionist Council to equip the Ulster Volunteer Force. In these news rushes from Ulster Television Carrickfergus residents express their views on the ship’s fate.

Clyde Valley is also said to have sunk a submarine in WWI and to commemorate this, a brass star was added to her black funnel. In 1969 she was acquired by Samuel Campbell with the aim of preserving her, he had started a fund to raise £10,000 to buy and restore her. A crew of ex Merchant Navy seamen sailed her home to Carrickfergus. However, she proved to be too old, corroded and expensive to maintain and was towed to Lancaster to be broken up in 1974, eighty eight years after she was launched. This material is courtesy of the UTV Archive.