THIS week marks 20 years since Greenock played host to a spectacular international sailing showpiece that will live long in the memory.

The 1999 Cutty Sark Tall Ships race turned the town into an international tourist destination for the weekend.

Hundreds of thousands of people visited the town for what proved to be a magical weekend of family fun as it was transformed into a sunshine holiday resort.

The weather was glorious, the waterfront was lined with huge crowds and the town centre was abuzz with a great atmosphere as overseas crews mingled with local people and visitors who'd packed into trains and boarded special bus services to join the party. Crowds flocked to see magnificent vessels from all over the world berthed at the quayside and enjoy a whole host of attractions including fairground rides, stage shows, parades, street theatre, live music and much more.

The three-day event event - which was capped by a spectacular flying visit from the Red Arrows - saw Inverclyde praised for rolling out the red carpet and providing a warm welcome.

It proved so successful that the event would eventually return to the town just over a decade later, in 2011.

Tele photographer George Munro took a walk down memory lane to gather these pictures from our '99, archive showing some of the highlights of an unforgettable few days.