Vale of Leven

The broad valley of the River Leven which flows southwards for 5 miles (8 km) from Loch Lomond to the River Clyde is known as the Vale of Leven. It includes the settlements of Balloch, Jamestown, Alexandria, Bonhill, Renton and Dumbarton, once separate communities which have merged into a single conurbation. Industrialisation began in the later 18th C. and grew rapidly, with textiles bleached, dyed, printed and finished using the power of the river. Later, the Vale became associated with the grandiose Argyll Motor Works (built 1905) which became a Royal Naval Torpedo Factory in 1936. In more recent times light engineering has predominated. The growth and decline of these industries gave rise to radical politics amongst the workforce and the area became known as a 'Little Moscow'. Today, the Vale of Leven Academy, Vale of Leven Hospital and Vale of Leven Swimming Pool serve the community here.

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