The Antonine Wall, known to the Romans as Vallum Antonini, was a turf fortification on stone foundations, built by the Romans across what is now the Central Belt of Scotland, between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde. Representing the northernmost frontier barrier of the Roman Empire, it spanned 63 kilometres and was about 3 metres high and 5 metres wide. Lidar scans have been carried out to establish the length of the wall and the Roman distance units used. Security was bolstered by a deep ditch on the northern side, it is thought. The barrier was the second of two "great walls" created by the Romans in what the English once called Northern Britain, its ruins are less evident than the better-known Hadrian's Wall to the south because the turf and wood wall has weathered away, unlike its stone-built southern predecessor. Construction began in AD 142 at the order of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, took about 12 years to complete. Antoninus Pius never visited Britain. Pressure from the Caledonians may have led Antoninus to send the empire's troops further north.
The Antonine Wall was protected by 16 forts with small fortlets between them. The soldiers who built the wall commemorated the construction and their struggles with the Caledonians in decorative slabs, twenty of which survive; the wall was abandoned only eight years after completion, the garrisons relocated back to Hadrian's Wall. In 208 Emperor Septimius ordered repairs; the occupation ended a few years and the wall was never fortified again. Most of the wall and its associated fortifications have been destroyed over time, but some remains are visible. Many of these have come under the care of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee. Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius ordered the construction of the Antonine Wall around 142. Quintus Lollius Urbicus, governor of Roman Britain at the time supervised the effort, which took about twelve years to complete; the wall stretches 63 kilometres from Old Kilpatrick in West Dunbartonshire on the Firth of Clyde to Carriden near Bo'ness on the Firth of Forth. The wall was intended to extend Roman territory and dominance by replacing Hadrian's Wall 160 kilometres to the south, as the frontier of Britannia.
But while the Romans did establish many forts and temporary camps further north of the Antonine Wall in order to protect their routes to the north of Scotland, they did not conquer the Caledonians, the Antonine Wall suffered many attacks. The Romans called the land north of the wall Caledonia, though in some contexts the term may refer to the whole area north of Hadrian's Wall; the Antonine Wall was shorter than Hadrian's Wall and built of turf on a stone foundation, but it was still an impressive achievement. It was a simpler fortification than Hadrian's Wall insofar as it did not have a subsidiary ditch system behind it to the south, as Hadrian's Wall did with its Vallum; the stone foundations and wing walls of the original forts on the Antonine Wall demonstrate that the original plan was to build a stone wall similar to Hadrian's Wall, but this was amended. As built, the wall was a bank, about four metres high, made of layered turves and earth with a wide ditch on the north side, a military way on the south.
The Romans planned to build forts every 10 kilometres, but this was soon revised to every 3.3 kilometres, resulting in a total of nineteen forts along the wall. The best preserved but one of the smallest forts is Rough Castle Fort. In addition to the forts, there are at least 9 smaller fortlets likely on Roman mile spacings, which formed part of the original scheme, some of which were replaced by forts; the most visible fortlet is Kinneil, at the eastern end of the Wall, near Bo'ness. There was once a remarkable Roman structure within sight of the Antonine Wall at Stenhousemuir; this was Arthur's O'on, a circular stone domed monument or rotunda, which may have been a temple, or a tropaeum, a victory monument. It was demolished for its stone in 1743. In addition to the line of the Wall itself there are a number of coastal forts both in the East and West, which should be considered as outposts and/or supply bases to the Wall itself. In addition a number of forts farther north were brought back into service in the Gask Ridge area, including Ardoch, Strageath and Dalginross and Cargill.
Recent research by Glasgow University has shown that the distance stones, stone sculptures unique to the Antonine Wall which were embedded in the wall to mark the lengths built by each legion, were brightly painted unlike their present bare appearance. These stones are preserved in the University's museum and are said to be the best-preserved examples of statuary from any Roman frontier. Several of the slabs have been analysed by various techniques including portable X-ray fluorescence. Tiny remnants of paint have been detected by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Several of the distance slabs have been scanned and 3-D videos produced. There are plans to reproduce the slabs, both digitally and in real physical copies, with their authentic colours. A copy of the Bridgeness Slab has been made and can be found in Bo'ness, it is expected that lottery funding will allow replicas of distance markers to be placed along the length of the wall. The wall was abandoned onl
Old Kilpatrick, is a village in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. It has an estimated population of 4,820, it belonged to the parish of Old Kilpatrick. The Forth and Clyde Canal separates Old Kilpatrick from the north bank of the River Clyde, just a few metres beyond it to the south; the village is about 3 miles west of Clydebank, on the road west to Dumbarton where some say the river becomes the Firth of Clyde. The Great Western Road runs through the village whose immediate western neighbour, on the road and the canal, is Bowling, where the Forth and Clyde Canal meets the river; the modern A82 road runs between the village and the foot of the Kilpatrick Hills. In the 19th century it was described as being a single street. It's possible; the western end of the Antonine Wall is at Old Kilpatrick. The route was surveyed during the 18th century, traced to the Chapel Hill, where various Roman artefacts were found. Lottery funding has been assigned to producing replica distance markers. In 1790, when the Forth and Clyde Canal was being constructed, the remains of a bathhouse were discovered.
In 1913 the foundations of the fort, conjectured as being in the vicinity, were confirmed. In 1923, during redevelopment of the area, significant archaeology was undertaken which established the size and nature of the Roman Fort; the fort, built around 81 AD, occupied an area of about four acres and was enclosed by an outer defensive wall. If the date is correct, it shows. Internally, buildings discovered included barracks and a granary. A video reconstruction of the site has been produced. Sir George Macdonald wrote about the excavations. Major development precluded further significant excavation, nothing is visible of the remains today. Finds from Old Kilpatrick include several distance slabs. One distance slab by the Twentieth Legion is known to have been completed before 1684, it depicts Victory with a garland in the other. It records the completion of 4411 feet; the slabs along with many other finds from Old Kilpatrick are now kept at the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow. For example, 19 coins have been found as well as a beaker.
On 3 December 1969 a Roman votive altar was found at Old Kilpatrick. It has been scanned and a video produced; the inscription mentions the First Cohort of Baetasians known to have been at Bar Hill, a centurion from The First Legion. The parish system was introduced to Scotland in the 13th century. In about 1227, the church and lands of Kilpatrick were given to Paisley Abbey by Maldowen, Earl of Lennox; the parish remained under the supervision of the Abbey until the Reformation in 1560. At the Dissolution, the Church property fell into the possession of Lord Sempill; the lands were conferred on Claude Hamilton, founder of the Abercorn family. His son James Hamilton was created Lord Abercorn on 5 April 1603 on 10 July 1606 he was made Earl of Abercorn and Lord of Paisley, Hamilton and Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick was split into two parishes - Old and New Kilpatrick by an Act of Parliament on 16 February 1649; this division is unusual because this was a split of both the ecclesiastical and civil parishes and the wealth and stipend of the original parish was shared between the two new parishes.
It was more common for new parishes to have "daughter" status, with wealth retained by the central, or cathedral church. Old Kilpatrick was created a Burgh of barony in 1697, its population tripled between 1821 as the spinning and weaving industries developed. By 1831 the population was 5,800. Today, the north end of the Erskine Bridge, which replaced the Erskine Ferry, lands just above the village, the village is served by Kilpatrick railway station on the North Clyde Line. There are three public houses within Old Kilpatrick; the Twisted Thistle was known as the Telstar. After the closure of The Telstar, the building was renovated and reopened in 2014 as The Twisted Thistle. There are two annual fêtes. At the north end of Old Kilpatrick is the local school. Gavinburn Primary School where they have many fêtes annually; the minerals edingtonite and thomsonite were first found at Old Kilpatrick. In the early 1990s a large housing estate was constructed at the edge of Old Kilpatrick, the one estate was said to double the size of Old Kilpatrick.
The ancient graveyard surrounding the old parish church still has surviving gravestones from the 17th century. The current building dates from 1812 and is still in use as the local Church of Scotland parish church, now linked with neighbouring Bowling Parish Church; the local Roman Catholic church is St. Patrick's RC Church. Sadly a fire in August 2015 saw the RC congregation temporarily without a place to worship, taking up the kind offer of the nearby Church of Scotland congregation to use their building, a friendly act of
The Royal Ordnance Factory was a WW2 Ministry of Supply Explosive Factory. It is sited adjacent to the village of Bishopton in Scotland; the factory was built to manufacture the propellant cordite for the British Army and the Royal Air Force. It later produced cordite for the Royal Navy; the Ministry of Works were responsible for the site. It was the biggest munitions factory, with up to 20,000 workers; the explosives factory opened between December 1940 and April 1941. It was one of three propellant factories built for the MOD; the others were ROF Ranskill. Manufacturing survived on parts of the Bishopton site until 2002; the site is now owned by BAE Systems, who in conjunction with Redrow Homes, have submitted locally controversial proposals to use the site for building new housing. This development is known as Dargavel Village; the site was built on farm land acquired by compulsory purchase order. Over 2,000 acres of land from up to seven farms was used to accommodate the factory; the land included the Grade B listed Dargavel House and its grounds, the house still survives within the site boundary.
The southern end of the site included. Much of the site lies around 10 metres elevation; this was one of the deciding factors for its location, as UK explosives factories were built near to sea level to take account of their favourable microclimates. Some of the site's high-grounds were used for the nitroglycerin hills. Another reason this site was chosen was because of the area's high unemployment rate in the 1920s and 1930s; this meant. Nearby railway links played a part in locating the factory at Bishopton; the site consisted of three self-contained explosive-manufacturing factories. Building work on the first factory started in April 1937, the second started in April 1939 and the third in October 1939. There was a long delay in opening the first factory due to the critical shortage of a guaranteed water supply; the site has three separate water mains: process water and drinking water. A guaranteed supply of about ten million gallons per day was required; every building on the site was numbered.
The non-explosive sectors of the site were housed in Factory 0. Factory 0 contained most of the supporting services for the site. A permanently manned fire station with its own fire brigade, it housed the administration block, a few of the site's many canteens, ambulance station, medical centre and the motor transport section. Factories I, II and III each had their own coal-fired power stations for producing high-pressure steam for generating electricity using steam-turbine-alternators; the three power-stations were interlinked by high-pressure steam mains. Each factory had operating on a batch process, to produce nitroglycerin. Factories I and II had their own nitration plants for making nitrocellulose. Nitroglycerin and nitrocellulose were processed to produce cordite. Nearly all the buildings, with the exception of the buildings on the nitroglycerin hills which were light-weight, were steel framed buildings with triple-brick walls and bomb-proof reinforced concrete roofs; some of the buildings in factory III, built last, such as the power station, were clad with corrugated iron to reduce costs.
ROF Bishopton had an RDX plant installed at the site during World War II. The plant was declared redundant to requirements and was dismantled in 1950, it was shipped to Australia and re-erected. Included within the site boundary was an armoured fighting vehicle storage compound; this was linked to the REME repair factory at Linwood. The southern end of the site near the River Gryfe was connected to what was the LMS former Caledonian Railway line; the connection, just north of the former Georgetown railway station, dated back to World War I and the Georgetown Filling Factory. The railway connection was severed and the rail tracks lifted when the Inverclyde Line was electrified in the 1960s. Within ROF Bishopton's perimeter fence this line was still there in the 1990s, albeit with 20- to 30-year-old trees growing between the sleepers and rails. There was a link from the ROF railway line to the Inverclyde line; the factory had transfer sidings connected to both the up and down lines. The ROF line, never electrified, ran on to the transfer sidings a few yards west from the Bishopton station.
It crossed Ingleston Road via a gated level crossing. The link remained in-situ up until closure of the factory, but was little used after the early 1990s. There was about 20 miles of standard gauge railway line within the perimeter fence; the factory had its own fleet of diesel shunting locomotives. The latter were used to move wagons between the transfer sidings and various locations within the site. In addition, ROF Bishopton had some 80 miles of 2 ft 6 in narrow gauge railway lines for transporting explosives around the site. There was a large fleet of rolling stock and a specialist workshop for maintenance of th
Erskine, Scots: Erskin, Scottish Gaelic: Arasgain), is a town in the council area of Renfrewshire, historic county of the same name, situated in the West Central Lowlands of Scotland. It lies on the southern bank of the River Clyde, providing the lowest crossing to the north bank of the river at the Erskine Bridge, connecting the town to Old Kilpatrick in West Dunbartonshire. Erskine is a commuter town at the western extent of the Greater Glasgow conurbation, bordering Bishopton to the north and Renfrew, Inchinnan and Glasgow Airport to the south. A small village settlement, the town has expanded since the 1970s as a new town, boosting the population to over 15,000. In 2014, it was rated one of the most attractive postcode areas to live in Scotland. Archaeological evidence states that agricultural activity took place within the area as far back as 3000 BC and it has been inhabited by humans since 1000 BC; the first recorded mention of Erskine is at the confirmation of the church of Erskine in 1207 by Florentius, Bishop of Glasgow.
The land around the town was first part of the estate of Henry de Erskine in the 13th century. Sir John Hamilton of Orbiston held the estate in the 17th century until 1703 when it was acquired by the Lords Blantyre. By 1782 there were a church in Erskine. A new church was built, still in use today. An influx of workmen moved to the area during 1836-41 due to the construction of the Inverclyde railway line. In 1900 it passed into the ownership of William Arthur Baird, who inherited it from his grandfather, Charles Stuart, 12th Lord Blantyre. In the late 18th century, the town of Erskine was a hamlet. During this time, stone quays were constructed to support the Erskine Ferry to Old Kilpatrick and Dunbartonshire; this replaced the river ford, in place since medieval times. In light of increased industry and infrastructure in the surrounding area, it became a village in the following century; the small church community grew to having 3,000 residents in 1961, when Renfrewshire County Council unveiled its "New Community" plan for the town's development which involved the Scottish Special Housing Association.
The development began in 1971 with the building of both owned and rented accommodation which boosted the town's population by around 10,000. Having established itself as a thriving commuter town, the 1990s saw the building of larger and more expensive housing, aimed at more affluent property buyers. Due to apprehension about further expansion of the town, several proposals for further large housing developments have been rejected; this is because the town has only one secondary school. The town expanded in the 1970s with the construction of housing association stock. Since that decade, considerable private housing developments have continued; as more private houses were built in the 1980s, Erskine started to become an attractive place to live due to location factors and accessibility to main roads and the M8 Motorway. Due to this there was a major boom in property development in the 90s. Most ex-and existing housing association stock are found in the Bargarran, North Barr and Park Mains areas of the town.
Private housing is found in the west part of the town, e.g. Garnieland, Flures Drive, Parkvale, Parkinch, St. Annes, West Freelands. Many house builders that have been attracted to the area include Miller Homes, Avonside, L & C, Cala and Tay Homes; the town borders a number of some separated by a rural hinterland. The town's Bridgewater complex provides a range of tertiary sector businesses, chiefly retail and leisure facilities; these include a Morrisons and Aldis supermarket, a tanning salon, a dental surgery, a Greggs bakery, a butcher, a fish & chip shop, a Subway store, a Domino's Pizza store, a pub with dining area, a Chinese restaurant, an optician, a chemist, a doctors surgery, hardware store, Ladbrokes bookmakers, a hair salon, an estate agency, a dry-cleaners and key cutting service, a swimming pool, a funeral directors, a bank and a public library. There are smaller retail areas in the Bargarran, Mains Drive and Park Glade areas, where there are a few shops and restaurants as well as a community centre.
On the riverside, there are two office blocks. A call centre is based in a logistics company in the other; the Erskine Bridge Hotel is situated on the banks of the Clyde. A few hundred yards up river is the Pandamonium Play Centre. There are 2 private golf clubs in Erskine; the Erskine Golf Club, located on the border between Erskine and Bishopton. And the Mar Hall Hotel and Golf Course, less than 1 mile away. In addition to a number of local playing fields, the area has two constructed sporting facilities: the Erskine Community Sports Centre and the Astroturf at Park Mains High School. Erskine is associated with the Erskine bridge which towers high over the western limit of the town; the bridge is the furthest west crossing point on the river and it soon expands to become the Firth of Clyde estuary. Erskine House was constructed between 1828–45, it was designed by the architect of the British Museum. During the First World War it became the Princess Louise Scottish Hospital for Limbless Sailors and Soldiers.
It is now the 5-star Mar Hall Hotel, recalling the estate’s former ownership by the Earl of Mar. The town is home to the Erskine Hospital, a facility that provides long-term care for veterans of the British Armed Forces; the charity opened as Princess Louise Scottish Hospital for Limbless Sailors and Soldiers in 1916 due to the urgent need to treat the thousands of military personnel that lost their limbs in the First World War. It has gone on to offer help to British ex-service
The River Clyde is a river that flows into the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. It is the eighth-longest river in the United Kingdom, the second-longest in Scotland. Traveling through the major city of Glasgow, it was an important river for shipbuilding and trade in the British Empire. To the Romans, it was Clota, in the early medieval Cumbric language, it was known as Clud or Clut, was central to the Kingdom of Strathclyde; the Clyde is formed by the confluence of the Daer Water and the Potrail Water. The Southern Upland Way crosses both streams before they meet at Watermeetings to form the River Clyde proper. At this point, the Clyde is only 10 km from Tweed's Well, the source of the River Tweed, is near Annanhead Hill, the source of the River Annan. From there, it meanders northeastward before turning to the west, its flood plain used for many major roads in the area, until it reaches the town of Lanark. On the banks of the Clyde, the industrialists David Dale and Robert Owen built their mills and the model settlement of New Lanark.
The mills harness the power of the Falls of Clyde, the most spectacular of, Cora Linn. A hydroelectric power station still generates electricity here, although the mills are now a museum and World Heritage Site. Between the towns of Motherwell and Hamilton, the course of the river has been altered to create an artificial loch within Strathclyde Park. Part of the original course can still be seen, lies between the island and the east shore of the loch; the river flows through Blantyre and Bothwell, where the ruined Bothwell Castle stands on a defensible promontory. Past Uddingston and into the southeast of Glasgow, the river begins to widen, meandering a course through Cambuslang and Dalmarnock. Flowing past Glasgow Green, the river is artificially straightened and widened through the centre, although the new Clyde Arc now hinders access to the traditional Broomielaw dockland area, seagoing ships can still come upriver as far as Finnieston, where the PS Waverley docks. From there, it flows past the shipbuilding heartlands, through Govan, Whiteinch and Clydebank, all of which housed major shipyards, of which only two remain.
The river flows out west of Glasgow, past Renfrew, under the Erskine Bridge past Dumbarton on the north shore to the sandbank at Ardmore Point between Cardross and Helensburgh. Opposite, on the south shore, the river continues past the last Lower Clyde shipyard at Port Glasgow to Greenock, where it reaches the Tail of the Bank as the river merges into the Firth of Clyde. A significant issue of oxygen depletion in the water column has occurred at the mouth of the River Clyde; the valley of the Clyde was the focus for the G-BASE project from the British Geological Survey in the summer of 2010. The success of the Clyde at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution was driven by the location of Glasgow, being a port facing the Americas. Tobacco and cotton trade began the drive in the early 18th century. However, the shallow Clyde was not navigable for the largest ocean-going ships, so cargo had to be transferred at Greenock or Port Glasgow to smaller ships to sail upstream into Glasgow itself. In 1768, John Golborne advised the narrowing of the river and the increasing of the scour by the construction of rubble jetties and the dredging of sandbanks and shoals.
A particular problem was the division of the river into two shallow channels by the Dumbuck shoal near Dumbarton. After James Watt's report on this in 1769, a jetty was constructed at Longhaugh Point to block off the southern channel; this being insufficient, a training wall called the Lang Dyke was built in 1773 on the Dumbuck shoal to stop water flowing over into the southern channel. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, hundreds of jetties were built out from the banks between Dumbuck and the Broomielaw quay in Glasgow itself. In some cases, this resulted in an immediate deepening as the constrained water flow washed away the river bottom. In the mid-19th century, engineers took on a much greater dredging of the Clyde, removing millions of cubic feet of silt to deepen and widen the channel; the major stumbling block in the project was a massive geological intrusion known as Elderslie Rock. As a result, the work was not completed until the 1880s. At this time, the Clyde became an important source of inspiration for artists, such as John Atkinson Grimshaw and James Kay, willing to depict the new industrial era and the modern world.
The completion of the dredging was well-timed. Shipbuilding replaced trade as the major activity on the river, shipbuilding companies were establishing themselves on the river. Soon, the Clyde gained a reputation for being the best location for shipbuilding in the British Empire, grew to become the world's pre-eminent shipbuilding centre. Clydebuilt became an industry benchmark of quality, the river's shipyards were given contracts for prestigious ocean-going liners, as well as warships, including the Queen Mary and the Queen Elizabeth 2 in years, all built in the town of Clydebank. From the founding of the Scott family's shipyard at Greenock in 1712 to the present day, over 25,000 ships have been built on the River Clyde and its Firth and on the tributary River Kelvin and River Cart together with boatyards at Maryhill and Kirkintilloch on the Forth & Clyde Canal and Blackhill on the Monkland Canal. In the same time, an estimated over 300 firms have engaged in shipbuilding on Clydeside
British Aerospace plc was a British aircraft and defence-systems manufacturer. Its head office was at Warwick House in the Farnborough Aerospace Centre in Hampshire. Formed in 1977, in 1999 it purchased Marconi Electronic Systems, the defence electronics and naval shipbuilding subsidiary of the General Electric Company plc, to form BAE Systems; the company was formed in the United Kingdom as a statutory corporation on 29 April 1977 as a result of the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act. This called for the nationalisation and merger of the British Aircraft Corporation, Hawker Siddeley Aviation, Hawker Siddeley Dynamics and Scottish Aviation. In 1979 BAe joined Airbus, the UK having withdrawn support for the consortium in April 1969. In accordance with the provisions of the British Aerospace Act 1980 on 1 January the statutory corporation was transferred to a limited company, which re-registered as a public limited company, under the name British Aerospace Public Limited Company, on 2 January 1981.
On 4 February 1981 the government sold 51.57% of its shares. The British government sold its remaining shares in 1985, maintaining a £1 golden share which allows it to veto foreign control of the board or company. On 26 September 1985, the UK and Saudi Arabian governments signed the Al-Yamamah arms deal with BAe as prime contractor; the contracts, extended in the 1990s and never detailed, involved the supply of Panavia Tornado strike and air defence aircraft, Hawk trainer jets, Rapier missile systems, infrastructure works and naval vessels. The Al Yamamah deals are valued at anything up to £20 billion and still continue to provide a large percentage of BAE Systems' profits. In 1986, With Alenia Aeronautica, CASA and DASA, BAe formed Eurofighter GmbH for the development of the Eurofighter Typhoon. On 22 April 1987, BAe acquired the British armaments manufacturer, for £ 190 million. Heckler & Koch GmbH was folded into this division when BAe acquired it in 1991. In 1988, BAe purchased the Rover Group, privatised by the British government of Margaret Thatcher.
In 1991, BAe acquired a 30% interest in Hutchison Telecommunications through a stock swap deal, where Hutchison was given a controlling stake of 65% in BAe's wholly owned subsidiary - Microtel Communications Ltd. In August 1991, BAe formed BAeSEMA, with the Sema Group. BAe acquired Sema's 50% share in 1998. 1991 saw BAe begin to experience major difficulties. BAe saw its share price fall below 100p for the first time. On 9 September 1991, the company issued a profits warning and that week "bungled" the launch of a £432 million rights issue. On 25 September 1991 BAe directors led by CEO Richard Evans ousted the Chairman Professor Sir Roland Smith in a move described by The Independent as "one of the most spectacular and brutal boardroom coups witnessed in many years." Evans described the troubles as a confluence of events: "our property company was hit with a lousy market. Sales of the Rover Group sank by losses mounted; the government's defence spending volumes underwent a major review. Losses in our commercial aerospace division increased with the recession in the airline industry."
In 1992, BAe formed Avro RJ Regional Jets to produce the Avro RJ series, an evolution of the BAe 146. In mid-1992 BAe wrote off £1 billion of assets as part of redundancies and restructuring of its regional aircraft division; this was largest asset write-off in UK corporate history. The General Electric Company to sell its defence interests to BAe, came close to acquiring BAe at this time. BAe cut 47 % of its workforce. Evans decided to sell non-core business activities which included The Rover Group, Arlington Securities, BAe Corporate Jets, BAe Communications and Ballast Nedam. Although the rationale of diversification was sound the struggling company could not afford to continue the position: "We could not afford to carry two core businesses and aerospace. At one point Rover was eating up about £2 billion of our banking capacity." BAe Corporate Jets Ltd and Arkansas Aerospace Inc were sold to Raytheon in 1993. In 1994 the Rover Group was sold to BMW and British Aerospace Space Systems was sold to Matra Marconi Space.
In 1998 BAe's shareholding of Orange plc was reduced to 5%. The Orange shareholding was a legacy of the 30% stake in Hutchison Telecommunications Ltd when Hutchison exchanged its own shares for a mobile phone company from BAe. BAeSEMA, Siemens Plessey and GEC-Marconi formed UKAMS Ltd in 1994 as part of the Principal Anti-Air Missile System consortium. UKAMS would become a wholly owned subsidiary of BAe Dynamics in 1998. In 1995 Saab Military Aircraft and BAe signed an agreement for the joint development and marketing of the export version of the JAS 39 Gripen. In 1996 BAe and Matra Defense agreed to merge their missile businesses into a joint venture called Matra BAe Dynamics. In 1997 BAe joined the Lockheed Martin X-35 Joint Strike Fighter team; the company acquired the UK operations of Siemens Plessey Systems in 1998 from Siemens AG. DASA purchased SPS' German assets. Defence consolidation became a major issue in 1998, with numerous reports linking various European defence groups – with each other but with American defence contractors.
It was anticipated that BAe would merge with Germany's DASA to form a pan-European aerospace giant. A merger deal was negotiated between DASA CEO Jürgen Schrempp. However, when it became clear that GEC was selling its defence electronics business Marconi
Houston is a village in the council area of Renfrewshire and the larger historic county of the same name in the west central Lowlands of Scotland. Houston lies within the Gryffe Valley 6 miles north-west of Paisley and is the largest settlement in the civil parish of Houston and Killellan, which covers the neighbouring village of Crosslee and a number of smaller settlements in the villages' rural hinterland. Built around a 16th-century castle and parish church dedicated to Saint Peter, which gave the area its former name of Kilpeter, the present old village of Houston dates back to the 18th century and was designated a conservation area in 1968. A larger area of modern residential settlement has grown up around the village in the mid-to late 20th century, at parts of the village such as at Craigends and Brierie Hills; these additions to the village have expanded its population changing its character chiefly to a dormitory settlement for nearby Glasgow and Paisley. Houston was known as Kilpeter.
In the mid 12th century, the fee of Kilpeter was granted by Baldwin of Biggar, Sheriff of Lanark, to Hugh of Pettinain. From Hugh, the lands became known as Houston. In a Bull of Pope Honorius in 1225-7, the churches of Kilmacolm and Houston are mentioned as "ecclesiae de Kilmacolme et de Villa Hugonis". In a Bull of Pope Clement IV in 1265, the churches belonging to Paisley Abbey are listed including the church of "Howston". Houston had long been a site of human settlement. In the 1970s, a Bronze Age burial site was found at South Mound on the western edge of the village. To the north-east lies Barochan Hill, the site of a Roman fort. A Antonine era fort was found on a farm near Bishopton, less than 2 miles away; the first village in Houston was constructed around the parish Church of St Peter and Houston Castle, now the parish church and Houston House – 19th century buildings. Houston House and the castle, incorporated within its structure date back to the time of Hugh of Pettinain and remained in the possession of his family who became the Houstons of Houston.
The Castle stayed in the ownership of the family until 1740 when it was purchased by Glasgow tobacco lord Alexander Speirs of Elderslie. Following ownership by five generations of the Speirs family, Houston House passed to Major David Crichton Maitland in 1959 and to his son Mark Crichton Maitland in 1995 before being divided into a number of flats. James McGuire MacRae was presented with the estate by James MacRae, it passed to his son, who built the weavers cottages with the stones. With this 18th-century change in ownership of the land therefore, the'old village' was cleared from around the castle by the laird; the new village of some thirty five cottages constructed to the west in 1781 from the stone of the Castle, to evolve into a country house. This new village – which forms the basis of the modern village – was a planned community built along two main streets: North Street and South Street and is an example of the 18th century Planned Village Movement; the layout, straddling the Houston Burn, provided washing facilities accessible to local people as well as supporting the small-scale weaving industry.
This'new village' is designated by the Renfrewshire authorities as a conservation village. A notable remnant of this move is the village's mercat cross, which incorporates parts dating back to the 14th century. Due to the move from an original position on Kirk Road, the fact that it incorporates a large sundial, it has been placed at an unusual angle at the centre of the'new' village; the mercat cross has become used as a symbol for the village. Both railway stations built within the parish in the 19th century – Houston and Crosslee Station and Georgetown station – bypassed the village itself; as a consequence, Houston did not experience the railway boom of nearby villages like Bridge of Weir and Kilmacolm, expanding until the half of the 20th century when it became a popular commuter settlement. The main industry of the Houston between the 17th and 19th century was weaving; the River Gryffe provided a cotton spinning industry with the creation of the Crosslee cotton mill with other small manufacturing concerns, such as embroidery opening in the village.
In July 2007, Houston was featured prominently in news reports around the United Kingdom after it was discovered that inhabitants of a house in the village were linked to the 2007 Glasgow International Airport attack of 30 June. The Houston Community Council observed that "it is a sobering thought that such a situation could happen on our doorstep and that in a quiet, rural setting such as ours there can be people intent on disrupting the natural balance of things by violent means." See also: Houston and KillellanHouston and its parish form part of the Renfrewshire council area. For the 2007 local authority elections in Scotland, Houston was entered into a new four-councillor ward, Ward 9, alongside Crosslee and the town of Linwood; the boundaries of the civil parish of Houston and Kilellan follow the creation of a united ecclesiastical parish centred on Houston in the 18th century. The parish spreads over a wide rural hinterland including a number of nearby settlements, the most significant being Crosslee and Barochan.
With the decline of significance of the civil parish in local government, this area has become part of the Houston Community Council area. The community council is chiefly a consultative body, forming a focus for local views, has no statutory powers of its own. Houston forms part of the Paisley and Renfre