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Henry Bell & Comet

'Henry Bell' unveiled new panel!

A REINCARNATION of the early 19th century pioneer of steam navigation, Mr Henry Bell, returned to Helensburgh on Saturday August 4 2012 to assist with bicentenary celebrations of the commissioning of his revolutionary Comet, the world’s first commercially successful sea-going paddle steamer.

Before Mr Bell went on to welcome the arrival at Helensburgh pier of the world’s last sea going paddle steamer Waverley, he attended a gathering on the town’s promenade where he unveiled a new panel featuring information about the town including references to himself and his ground breaking invention.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 14 October 2012 14:44 )


We remember Dickens and the Titanic. So why have we forgotten Henry Bell?

A VERY interesting article on Henry Bell and the Comet was published in the Guardian on Saturday July 28 2012.

Ian Jack writes that thanks to Bell's efforts, the Comet was recognised as the first commercially successful steamship in Europe, enabling Bell to claim his title as the father of steam navigation, and thus a leading figure among the Britons, and particularly Scotsmen, who shaped the modern world.

Last Updated ( Saturday, 13 October 2012 17:20 )


Centenary medal discovered

A SOUVENIR of the Comet centenary celebrations turned up in Aberdeen in the summer of 2012, the bicentenary year.

Robert Campbell got in touch with Helensburgh Heritage Trust chairman Stewart Noble to say that he had a medal celebrating the Comet and Henry Bell Centenary, and he asked if there were any plans to produce a bicentenary medal.


Building of 1962 Comet replica

THE year of 1962 marked the 150th anniversary of Henry Bell's prestigious steamship; in order to highlight and celebrate this occasions Sir William Lithgow composed a letter showing interest in funding construction of a replica of the ‘Comet’ which was to be made seaworthy for a short period of time.

Lithgow contracted George Thompson of Buckie to build the hull of the ship stating:

Last Updated ( Sunday, 14 October 2012 12:03 )


'The Henry Bell' pub opened

A NEW public house and restaurant in Helensburgh, named after Comet steamship pioneer Henry Bell, opened at the end of May 2012.

The Wetherspoons chain spent £1.4million re-developing the former Kerrs, then Quorum, carpet and furniture showroom near the foot of James Street, and opposite similar premises called Logie Baird after the burgh-born TV inventor.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 14 October 2012 16:22 )

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Final 2017-18 Open Meeting

Richard-Reeve-wThe final Open Meeting of  2017-18 will be held at Helensburgh Civic Centre at 7.30pm on Wednesday March 28. Richard Reeve will present 'A Brief History of the Rosneath Peninsula'.

Winter Talks

Wednesday January 31 — Mike Thornley: The Glenarn Garden

Wednesday February 28 — Developing the Mackintosh Club: cancelled because of snow

Wednesday March 21 — Joint Meeting with the North Clyde Archaeological Society; Fiona Baker: Loch Lomond's Ellan Vhow and its Castle

Wednesday March 28 — Richard Reeve: A Brief History of the Rosneath Peninsula

 Meetings in Helensburgh Civic Centre at 7.30pm.

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