Kirky Puffers were small steamships built in Kirkintilloch, which plied up and down the Forth and Clyde Canal, alongside this pub. Kirkintilloch was the only place in Scotland where ships were built inland. A boat yard was established by Townhead Bridge in 1866, where canal barges and ships called puffers were built. These small steamships, known as Kirky Puffers, were made famous by the books and TV programme featuring Para Handy and his puffer the Vital Spark.
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