The Debra Rose (Yard No. 93), the award-winning fish and chip restaurant, McMonagles, situated on the Forth and Clyde Canal, Clydebank, is perhaps one of Campbeltown Shipyard’s more unusual projects. “Bankie” John McMonagle, a tool-maker by trade, had been living and working in London, but he and his wife, Agnes, decided to return to Scotland. On their return John started working with his brother, William, who had a fish and chip van in their native Clydebank. John learned the trade and went on to own two chip vans, but dreamed of having a restaurant on the canal near where he was born. His initial thought was to have a boat that was modelled on the Queen Mary but that proved to be too expensive. It took John two years to raise the money and then he commissioned the Debra Rose at Campbeltown Shipyard. At that time the yard had very little work, so the £250,000 order must have been very welcome. The boat is named Debra Rose after John and Agnes’s older daughter.
The boat was completed in 1993 and towed by tug up the Clyde to Clydebank as far as Rothesay Dock – unfortunately the canal from Bowling was not then navigable. She had to be cut up into 8 sections to be transported the last 400 metres up Argyll Road to the section of the canal where the restaurant was to be located. Debra Rose was then reassembled in situ at an additional cost of £20,000. At that time, while that particular section of the Forth and Clyde Canal wasn’t open, the boat was a floating restaurant but, perhaps ironically, when the canal was officially re-opened in 2000 the boat then had to be landlocked and weighted down with 100 tons of concrete.
Our restaurant seats 80 people indoors and we also have seating for a further 100 people out of doors. It’s popular with walkers, cyclists and we even have some guys who sail over from Ireland now and again, for fish and chips! We added the “sail through” on the canal side of the Debra Rose so you can order fish and chips and other take-away meals.
Agnes McMonagle, McMonagles Restaurant, Clydebank