Launched on 3rd December 1896, “Glenlee” was sold in 1899 and renamed “Islamount”. In 1919 she was again sold, this time to Italian interests and renamed “Clarastella”. In 1922 the vessel was purchased by the Spanish Navy, renamed “Galatea” and used as a sail training ship. She was finally laid up in 1959, firstly in El Ferrol and then Seville, where she was left to deteriorate. The vessel was recognised as a Clyde built ship by a visiting Scotsman who initiated the process of saving the vessel from scrapping.
The tug Wallasey left Swansea in late May 1993 bound for Seville and, after departing Seville on 1st June with the “Galatea” in tow, arrived in the James Watt Dock in Greenock on 9th June.
My brother Sidney, who was part of the crew of the tug Wallasey, recalls that when they were leaving Seville, some port workers were questioning how far they would get before the vessel sank. According to members of the Wallasey's crew, it was a rather uneventful tow and the Galatea duly arrived unscathed in Greenock.
The crew of the tug Wallasey
Captain Clifford Wiltshire, John Cleverly, Gerry Betteridge, Sid Tovey, Gareth Lewis, Chief Engineer Mike Arthur, Colin Rowlands,Steve Constable and Tony Yates.
Arriving in Greenock
The now-restored “Glenlee” has proved to be a very popular tourist attraction for visitors and locals alike on Clydeside.