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The Kirky Puffer

Take a look at some examples of famous Kirky Puffers.

1–11 Townhead, Kirkintilloch, Glasgow, G66 1NG

Kirky Puffers were small steamships built in Kirkintilloch, which plied up and down the Forth and Clyde Canal, alongside this pub. Kirkintilloch was the only place in Scotland where ships were built inland. A boat yard was established by Townhead Bridge in 1866, where canal barges and ships called puffers were built. These small steamships, known as Kirky Puffers, were made famous by the books and TV programme featuring Para Handy and his puffer the Vital Spark.

Photographs of the Kirkby Puffer steamships.

A photograph of Kirky Puffer named May Queen.

The plans for the May Queen.

The May Queen was built in Kirkintilloch by McGregor & Sons and launched in 1903.

A photograph of Kirky Puffer named fairy Queen I.

This ship was one of the three Fairy Queens that sailed on the canal at Kirkintilloch. 

A photograph of Townhead looking south, Kirkintilloch. 

A photograph of traffic police near Balloch, c1940.

Photographs of the Dumbarton Burgh Police in 1908 and 1910.

A photograph of Kirkintilloch Police Station, c1960. 

A photograph of a police car belonging to Dunbartonshire Constabulary. 

External photograph of the building – main entrance.

If you have information on the history of this pub, then we’d like you to share it with us. Please e-mail all information to: