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The Tail of the Bank is the name given to the anchorage in the upper Firth of Clydemarker immediately north of Greenockmarker and Gourockmarker. This area of the firth gets its name from the sandbar immediately to its east which marks the entrance to the estuary of the River Clyde.

The Tail of the Bank was a significant point of embarkation for many travellers, especially emigrants, to Canadamarker and the United States of Americamarker. Steamships of the Cunard Line en-route from Liverpoolmarker to New York Citymarker regularly called at Tail of the Bank to pick up additional passengers.

In the past this area was at times crowded with ships, particularly during World War II when the Home Fleet warships of the Royal Navy temporarily left Scapa Flowmarker after the sinking of HMS Royal Oakmarker and were based at the Tail of the Bank. Hundreds of merchant ships of the Atlanticmarker convoys also gathered there, as well as ships of the Free French navy. At this time the upper firth was protected by an anti-submarine boom stretching from Clochmarker point across the firth to Dunoonmarker. A monument in the form of a Cross of Lorraine combined with an anchor was erected on Lyle Hill overlooking the Tail of the Bank, to commemorate the Free French Naval Forces. It is also associated locally with the Vauquelin class destroyer Maillé Brézé which blew up off Greenock with heavy loss of life on 30 April 1940, before the Free French Naval Forces were established.

In 1974, the "sugar boat" Captayannismarker was at anchor at the Tail of the Bank when it was driven northwards by a storm and turned on its side on a sandbank midway between Greenock and Helensburghmarker, forming a large shipwreck which is still visible in the middle of the firth.

Though the sugar trade has been greatly reduced, Greenock's Ocean Terminal facility now handles container freight and regular Cruise Liner traffic. The Royal Navy HMNB Clydemarker bases on Gare Lochmarker and on Loch Longmarker are linked by this area of the Clyde, and the Greenock Great Harbour is one of the three main ports providing marine services support to the navy, formerly under the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service and currently operated by Serco Denholm.[231219] "Admiralty boats" are therefore a common sight, occasionally shepherding large navy ships.

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