HOW Greenock looked around 130 years ago is recorded in a book of illustrations drawn by a gentleman called Cathcart W Methven.

He was assistant harbour engineer for Greenock and his book is entitled ‘Sketches of Greenock and its harbours in 1886’.

In the foreward to the publication, Methven, who lived at 42 Finnart Street, says: “The following sketches of Greenock and its harbours have been executed by the artist, direct from nature, in intervals of leisure.

“The subjects selected are, for the most part, familiar to all who have any considerable acquaintance with the town, and are in every case exact reproductions of the original signed sketches.

“It is hoped they may be means of preserving pleasant recollections of the town and port, not only to the inhabitants, but also to visitors, and former citizens who may now be resident at a distance.” The book contains more than 40 illustrations, two of which are reproduced here today.

One shows steam paddle tugs and sailing ships in the East India Harbour, main picture.

The other is of the former Orchard sugar refinery in Ingleston Street, above inset.

Methven dedicated the book to Provost William Shankland. The provost officially opened the James Watt Dock on 5 August 1886 and one of the sketches depicts the scene on that day when his sailing ship Otterburn cut a ribbon upon becoming the first vessel to enter the dock.

The book of sketches was printed by James McKelvie & Sons of Greenock.