A TANK at a Dumbarton museum has been recognised as one of the UK's most important sites of transport heritage.

The National Transport Trust has recognised the Denny Ship Model Experiment Tank at the Scottish Maritime Museum with a ‘Red Wheel’, commemorating the world’s oldest working model experiment tank as one of the UK’s most significant transport heritage sites.

The tank was built on the site of the William Denny shipyard (1844 – 1963) in 1882.

It was used to test model hulls and determine with commercially acceptable accuracy the power required to achieve the contract speed. 

The heritage plaque is part of the National Transport Trust’s Red Wheel Scheme which raises awareness of the most important sites of engineering and transport development across the UK.

The plaque was unveiled at the Museum by Mike Lunch, a Trustee of the National Transport Trust Council, Elliott Witherow deputy lieutenant for Dunbartonshire and David Mann, director of the Scottish Maritime Museum.

The Red Wheel at the Denny Tank is now also the first in the UK to have a QR code taking visitors directly to further information on the National Transport Trust’s database.

David Mann said: “We are thrilled to be recognised as one of the UK’s most significant transport heritage sites by the National Transport Trust’s Red Wheel Scheme.

“The Denny Tank, and the William Denny Shipyard which once stood on these grounds, have a rich and fascinating history.

"The tank was originally built in 1882 to test ship hulls for resistance, accuracy and speed. It wasn’t long though before the world-famous shipbuilder and innovator William Denny extended the Tank’s use to experiments on the components of submarines, yachts, barges and finally the ‘Denny Hovercraft’. 

“It’s also amazing to think that whilst all the engineering advances were taking place at the William Denny Shipyard, homing pigeons were used for transferring speed trial results back to the Tank for analysis up until 1939.

“Visitors to the Museum can see the vast Denny Tank in action and discover more about what makes it one of the UK’s most important sites of engineering and transport development. It’s also a fascinating place to visit for a rich insight into Scotland’s shipbuilding and Dumbarton’s local heritage.”

For more information visit the Scottish Maritime Museum here.