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This Is a short history of Renfrew compiled by Alastair Dunsmore, the beginning of which was taken from a text I found written by the late William McMaster, and is not based on research, but childish and teenage memories.
So I will begin with the view of Canal Street looking down Ferry Road. The Pudzeoch was far longer then and probably came as far as where the old Regal Cinema, now a Bingo Hall stands today, so part of the Pudzeoch was filled in leaving the more spacious part as the Clyde Navigation Trust Dock. But to complete that part of the picture we have to view the Washing Green!, where the burn flowed by and entered the Pudzeoch. Today the Washing Green, or Washy Green as it was then known was a small piece of ground opposite the Browns Institute, now used as a car park by Safeway’s supermarket, and from there you crossed a small bridge which led you into the Elderslie Estate and from that vantage point you had a clear view of Kings Inch Station, this station served what was known as the high railway.
Adjacent to the Browns Institute there stood a Granary, and that site is now an embankment of flowers and shrubs. And so we walk down to the ferry green anal observe the pouts and ropes and chains to warn the unsteady pedestrian exiting from the Ferry Inn that he or she was in danger of falling into the river. The Ferry Green was a popular place in the summer and watching the ships go up and down the river was a popular pastime. Over the fence at the end of the green was Renfrew Wharf and watching the pleasure steamers call provided some interest, especially when the cattle boat called and disembarked the animals bound for Paisley abattoir, we would always expect some sort of excitement as a drover named “Flannel Jaws” handled the situation.
So back to Renfrew Cross, where we find it very much different from today, it was much narrower then because a row of small houses a dividing line, with the High Street on one side, and Pinkerton Lane on the other. At the end of the lane was Church Street providing an entrance to the Parish Church, and the fountain, now at the entrance to Robertson Park was then situated at Renfrew Cross.
To walk farther along would take us up old Govan Road, with Elderslie Estates on one side and farmland on the other, and you could walk along Hillington Road, through the countryside to Paisley Road West, the area now utilised by the Braehead Shopping and Retail Complex.