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Sunday, 13 December 2009

Henry Robb Shipyard.

The Rise and Fall of British Shipbuilding The Rise and Fall of British Shipbuilding
This is the story of how, from modest beginnings, Britain rose throughout the 19th century to become the greatest shipbuilding nation in the world. It begins with the age of sail, then moves on to the days of iron-hulled steamers. It shows how conflicts arose between the traditional shipwrights and the new men who came from the metal industries, leading to the infamous demarcation disputes. It is also the story of men like Brunel and Armstrong, geniuses who were always looking for change and development. It is also the story of decline in the 20th century, when yards were no longer as innovative as their foreign competitors and the British merchant fleet shrank from being the biggest in the world at the start of the century to ranking number 38 at the end of it. It is a story of great achievements and tragic collapse.

Many years ago I promised myself that there should be some kind of record of the men and the Ships that were built in the Henry Robb Shipyard in Leith, Scotland.
Although the information I have up to this time is a bit sketchy, I do have a full list of all the Ships built in Leith by Henry Robb. For this info my thanks go to Jim Russell one of the former Loftsmen from the yard.
There are also some photographs of a small amount of the Ships, which we hope to add to along the way, along with I hope lots of stories from the men who worked in the yard, who it is hoped will add there own stories to this blog once they know it is available here on the internet.
While searching the internet it is good to see that there is now a hell of a lot more information about the yard available now, although it is varied and scattered, with any luck and some time we should be able to record it all here under the banner of this blog.
As you can imagine it takes a wide and varied amount of skilled tradesmen, labourers, office workers and Draughtsmen among others to bring a ship from a contract quote to the time when she will sail away from the Shipyard to begin a hoped for long life, dealing with all the elements that mother nature can throw at her while at sea, it is also hoped that she will be a safe and lucky ship as she will be looking after the life’s of all the men who will sail on her.
Would like to hear from the Men/Women who sailed on Robb’s Leith built Ships as well, they are a large part of a Ships story as well as the guys that designed and built her.

The Ferry St Helen Yard No 535
The last Ship to be launched from Henry Robb Shipyard, Leith
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fergismailbox said...

St Helen the last ship I worked on in the Yard looks like she could do with a lick of paint

Anonymous said...

i also worked on st helen and st catherine i have photos of both ships on launch day great memorys no other job gives satisfaction like building ships did