TODAY’S old pictures come from the first Official Guide to Greenock to be published after the Second World War.

The views shows the town from the Cut and the Municipal Buildings, next to which was a property called Commercial Buildings. I recently carried a picture of Commercial Buildings being demolished to make way for what is now the Oak Mall.

In his foreword, Provost Daniel Morris said Greenock had been the principal Allied port in Britain during the war and mentioned that 100 ships of the Home Fleet were coming to Greenock that year on a peacetime visit of gratitude and goodwill to the Clyde.

The guide is not dated but the reference to the Home Fleet’s visit indicates it was published in 1947.

Provost Morris said the area’s main industries — shipbuilding, engineering and sugar refining — had been very sensitive to the rise and fall of world trade and, during the previous 30 years, had fluctuated from full employment and manpower shortage to disastrous hungry years of unemployment and poverty.

However, the guide highlighted that these industries carried on, in addition to worsted and woollen manufacturing, rope making, tent making, aluminium ware and the Torpedo Experimental Establishment.

It stated that the harbours and docks of Greenock directly connected with the railway system and occupied an area of more than 100 acres.

The guide included this message for industrialists: “Greenock offers a number of suitable sites with ample gas, water and electricity supplies. Sites adjacent to the harbour undertaking are available.” Visitors were advised: “Greenock offers a healthy holiday with ready access to all the famous Clyde watering places by road, rail and steamers and many fine walks and vantage point for views of loch and mountain.” Provost Morris’s foreword acknowledged that Greenock had suffered badly with loss of life and the destruction of more than 1,000 homes during the Blitz of May 1941.

The town was to get back on its feet but nobody could have anticipated that half a century or so later our traditional industries would be wiped out, with major consequences for Greenock and its residents.