THAT first week of April 1950, two US destroyers, the Charles R. Ware and the Ernest G Small, attracted considerable attention when they sailed up the Clyde and docked at Plantation Quay at the start of a six-day visit. Elsewhere, however, it was business as usual, with vessels being launched, bound for parts foreign or domestic.

On the same day as the destroyers arrived, the Dumbarton shipyard of William Denny launched Eastern Queen, a passenger-cargo turbine steamer, its first vessel for the Indo-China Steam Navigation Co. The Eastern Queen had, this paper reported, “provision for 26 first-class passengers, 2 servants, and 32 Asiatic first-class passengers, about 650 unberthed Asiatic steerage passengers, and 180 deck passengers on coasting voyages. The midship house incorporates anti-piracy precautions ..”

The following day, the paddle-steamer Gomati (pictured) was launched by Yarrow & Co for the Oudh-Tirhut Railway Company. It would spend years plying the river Ganges in India; the Clydeships website says it served on the Indian Railways ferry service from Mahendrughat (Patna) to Palezaghat.

The Gomati’s naming ceremony was carried out by Mrs A L Mellor, wife of one of the Yarrow’s directors. And in an unusual touch the bottle of champagne, a customary touch on such occasions, was replaced by a coconut.