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Wednesday, 11 November 2015


Lest we forget

The 11th hour of the 11th Day, of the 11th Month

Wednesday, 14 October 2015


We could not resist showing this great photograph taken by D. Shackleton and sent into the Leith Shipyards website by L. Pollard.
 Same photographer took the almost identical shot of her sister ship the SA JOHN ROSS which had been built at a local South African shipyard and was launched a bit after the Leith built SA WOLRAAD WOLTEMADE which just looked right.


They show the two mighty ships arriving at Cape Town for the first time ready to go about there work.

Don’t know about you but I know which ship looks the better and leave you to choose your own preferred picture.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Container Ship "El Faro" missing in hurricane.

As if it needed any reaffirmation of just how dangerous a life at sea can be we bring you the story of an American registered Container ship which is reported missing of the Bahamas as Hurricane Joaquin continued on it destructive way.

El Faro in this BBC Picture

The US Coast Guard says it has resumed its search for a cargo ship with 33 crew that vanished in Bahamian waters during Hurricane Joaquin.
The 224-metre (735ft) El Faro, with 28 Americans and five Poles on board, was last heard from on Thursday and was reported to be taking on water.
The ship - which was travelling from Florida to Puerto Rico - was also believed to be listing at 15 degrees.

For more on the story see the BBC website.
Our thoughts go out to the crew and there families at this time.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Leith Built Ships: RSS BRANSFIELD The Bransfield at Halley Bay, Antarctica

Leith Built Ships: RSS BRANSFIELD The Bransfield at Halley Bay, Antarctica

Fairfields Shipyards

The launch of HMS DRAGON in this posed picture

Another fine use for some of the shipbuilding heritage and history in Scotland has arrived with the opening of the former head offices and old drawing office of the Fairfields shipbuilding company.

The Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company opened its new Govan yard in 1864 and was named after the once agricultural land it occupied.
Fairfields would become the greatest shipyard in a city that was responsible for 20 per cent of global production by 1913.

At its peak, the industry on the Clyde employed 100,000 staff at more than 40 yards.

While shipbuilding of course continues at the Govan yard on a somewhat smaller scale the The A-listed former Fairfields head offices and drawing rooms, which had lain empty for several years, were bought in 2009 by social enterprise Govan Workplace.

The refurbished buildings now provide office space for local businesses and is home to the Fairfield Heritage centre.

Surely a better use than turning it into another shopping centre?

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Last Surviving Building from Leith Shipyards to Re-Open

We are pleased to be able to tell you that the only remaining building from the Leith Shipbuilding era is to be re-opened as an art studio for budding artists to present there work.

This is the only remaining building that Forth Ports at the time never managed to knock down, which was no surprise as it was originally built to sustain attack from German Bombers during the dark days of World War Two.

The last remaining building of hundreds of years of shipbuilding at Leith

Built at the request of the Admiralty to help protect all the many ship plans and drawings that were required to build all the many warships at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Ltd, such as Corvettes and Frigates for the Royal Navy during the six years of War.
They required a secure facility from the threat of fire from incendiary bombs dropped by German aircraft.

Hell what chance had Forth Ports of knocking it down when the German bombers could not do it.

The building was constructed the same as a traditional riveted ship's superstructure complete with riveted seams and ships portholes.

Also used as a first aid station and latterly as a chemical/paint store it is just good to report that some use has been found for the building.

The building is now some 150m away from where it was originally in what may be the only "Listed" building in Scotland to have been physically moved from its original place. (Read more on the website)

There are also plans to turn some of the building into a small museum space to show some shipbuilding items from this long almost lost history of hundreds of years of the art of shipbuilding at Leith, Scotland.

You will also see more of what the art group intend to do here at

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Leith Built Ferry leaves the U.K.

ST HELEN Ship No 535 now named as ANNA MUR

The ex ST HELEN now named as ANNA MUR owned by Delcomar has now left the waters of the U.K. heading for her new home port in the Island of Sardinia.

The last ship built at Leith as Ship No 535 has finally left the British Shores for warmer climes. She will soon join her sister ship the ex ST CATHERINE (GB CONTE) working in the warmer waters of the Mediterranean. ST HELEN sailed for Italy as Delcomar's Anna Mur on Thursday 17th September, leaving Southampton at just gone 13:00.

She left via the Western Solent via the needles and gave several blasts to those of us who came to see her off near Hurst point. The following video is shown here and produced by Anni at (Wightlink) who was there to see her off, Anni spent many years working on both the Saint Class ferries built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Ltd.

Here's some video of her blasting farewell...

You will be able to see much more about the last two ships built at Leith on the website Many more stories and photographs to go in so keep checking back with