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Tour Wemyss Bay

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Wemyss Bay is the port for ferries to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute. Passengers from the island can connect to Glasgow by train, which terminate in the village at the truly magnificent Wemyss Bay railway station, with a notable clock tower. It was designed by James Millar in 1903 for the Caledonian Railway and the interior is an unforgettable essay in glass, steel and curves. It is one of Scotland's finest railway buildings. Wemyss Bay was created in the early 19th century as a 'marine village' and watering-place by Robert Wallace of Kelly, whose lands were adjacent to the bay. Wallace became Greenock's first MP and was instrumental in establishing the penny post. London merchant James Alexander further developed the area by constructing the first steamboat pier, which was swept away by a gale in 1856. Its successor suffered a similar fate, only to be eclipsed anyway by the impressive new railway terminus and pier. The opening of the railway connection in 1865 brought even grander houses. Among the village's notable residents included Sir George Burns, who with Samuel Cunard founded the British and North American Royal Mail Steam Packet Company (later the Cunard Line), and his son John (later 1st Baron Inverclyde) who lived at Castle Wemyss, which stood high on Wemyss Point above the bay itself. Alan, 4th Baron Inverclyde was briefly married to the actress June, who was one of Alfred Hitchcock's earliest leading ladies in the 1927 film The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog. A memorial on the shore road recalls 'The Gaiter Club', whose members included Trollope, Lord Kelvin, Lord Palmerston and the Earl of Shaftesbury.

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