Denny Tank to get a revamp

17 Nov 2009

By Brian Currie, The Herald

A key part of Scotland's maritime history, the Denny Tank in Dumbarton, is to receive a £250,000 grant for urgently needed restoration and repairs.

It was the world's first commercial example of a ship model experiment tank and the starting point for many of William Denny & Brothers shipyard's innovations, which included building the Cutty Sark clipper, and inventing the Denny helicopter, Denny hovercraft and Denny-Brown stabilisers.

The money will fund structural repairs to the tank and surrounding buildings, including reroofing, double-glazing and insulation to make buildings weathertight and reduce energy costs. The site will also be rewired to modern safety standards.

The grant will also fund a lift in the Linthouse building at the Scottish Maritime Museum's Irvine site to allow the development of a mezzanine storage floor.

Culture Minister Michael Russell is also due to unveil a rare example of a rigging drawing, annotated by Hercules Linton, designer of the Cutty Sark.

Mr Russell said: "The Denny Tank and the Scottish Maritime Museum play an important role in telling our country's story and it is imperative that our industrial heritage is accessible to all.

"This funding will allow continued safe access to the tank and the museum's nationally significant collection.

Mr Russell has set up a Museums Think Tank and will include its recommendations into a new national policy he expects to announce next year.

The tank, completed in 1883, was used for 100 years to test scale models of ships to determine their most efficient hull shape and power requirements including their performance in rough seas.

Staff at the facility also carried out research and experiments for other companies such as Belfast-based Harland and Wolff who decided to fit a bulbous bow on the ocean liner SS Canberra after successful tests in the Denny Tank.

Reproduced with the permission of the Herald & Times Group.

  • Denny Tank in 1908, courtesy of Scottish Maritime Museum

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