Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire

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Coordinates: 55°59′N 4°35′W / 55.98°N 4.58°W / 55.98; -04.58

Alexandria (Cathair Alastair in Gaelic) is a town in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. The town is situated on the River Leven, four miles (6 km) north-west of Dumbarton.

As of 2001, the population of the town is 13,444. It is the largest town in the Vale of Leven, the others being Balloch, Renton, Jamestown and Bonhill; their combined population is over 20,000.

The town's traditional industry, most importantly cotton manufacturing, bleaching and printing, have been phased out. The town was redeveloped in the 1970s with a new town centre layout and traffic system. Local landmarks include the Christie Park, the Fountain (a traffic junction in the town centre, although there has not been a working fountain there for some years), Lomond Galleries, a former factory with an impressive dome and an even more impressive marble entrance hall and staircase. It was originally built for the Argyll car works. (A carving above the main door is of one such car). After the car factory decline, it was used by the M.O.D. for torpedo manufacture (which were test fired in Loch Long) and then in the early 1970s was the scene of the Plessey sit-in. The town had the curious distinction of having the only unemployment benefit office in Britain with the insignia of King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom above the door, until the building was closed and redeveloped as housing, but the insignia was retained. It is also reputed to be the only UK town with a railway station and a pub in the middle of a roundabout. A. J. Cronin's paternal grandparents owned a pub in Bridge Street.

Alexandria sits on the former A82 main road between Glasgow and Loch Lomond. There are regular bus services on the route and the town has a train station on the rail line between Balloch and Glasgow Queen Street.

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