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Friday, 31 December 2010

ST HELEN

ST HELEN (Ship No 535)
Ship No 535




It is perhaps fitting that on this the last day of 2010 that the last ship built and launched in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb (Robb Caledon) should be featured.

We would also like to thank all the visitors to the blog and to the new website at www.leithshipyards.com over this past year.

Offshore Ferry Services of England and Scotland
ST HELEN was the second of a two ship order that the yard had won, and for a short time things were beginning to look a little bit brighter. Little did we realise that this was to be the last launch!

She was a passenger/vehicle ferry from use on the south coast of England between the mainland and the Isle of Wight, the ships where for Sealink and she is still in service today under the banner of Wrightlink ferries.

She was a twin screw vessel of 2893 grt,(A bit more room than her sister ship ST CATHERINE) with a length between perpendiculars of 77.6 metres, and a beam of 16.8 metres, with design draught at 4.5 metres.

ST HELEN was launched from the Leith Shipyards of Robb Caledon on 15th of September 1983.

She still had to be outfitted of course and there was still the small experimental submarine being worked on, more of which will be on the new website.

ST HELEN (Ship No 535)

Monday, 27 December 2010

ST CATHERINE

ST CATHERINE(Photo from simplonpc.co.uk)

Ship No 534


ST CATHERINE was the first of a two ship order that the yard had won, and for a short time things were beginning to look a little bit brighter.

She was a passenger/vehicle ferry for use on the south coast of England between the mainland and the Isle of Wight, the ships where for Sealink and she is still in service today under the banner of Wrightlink ferries.

She was a twin screw vessel of 2036 grt, with a length between perpendiculars of 77.6 metres, and a beam of 16.8 metres, with design draught at 4.5 metres.

Offshore Ferry Services of England and Scotland Offshore Ferry Services of England and Scotland
The United Kingdom comprises thousands of islands and for many centuries transport between the main islands and the outlying communities has required reliable shipping routes, both long and short-haul, for commerce, trade and travel. Ferries have become an essential means of transport for many outlying populations and down the years routes have continually changed and been adapted to meet the requirements of the period. This remains so today, with established ferry routes in a constant state of flux, with the dire economic circumstances of the present imposing their own financial restraints upon routes and timetables. This volume presents a snapshot of the major Offshore Ferry routes as they currently stand, with details of the routes, the ships and the amenities; added to which are the outline histories of companies and links. This volume encapsulates all these strands and should prove a useful aide to all travellers.


ST CATHERINE was launched from the Leith Shipyards of Robb Caledon on 30th of March 1983.

 
You will be able to read a lot more about her on the new website at http://www.leithshipyards.com/






ST CATHERINE in her "Sealink" Livery
(Photo is courtesy of Ian Boyle at http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/)

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Ship No 533

Ship No 533

This was a small order from the Ministry of Defence (Navy) for rework and upgrading on a small Experimental Submarine Test Vessel.


The order was given to the yard at a time of great unrest in the shipyards of the U.K. The implications at the time were that more orders would be released from the government of the day. This was to prove yet another blatant lie, from a government that was hell bent on turning the British manufacturing industry into a mere side show and the way forward was in “Service industry” whatever that really meant.

The small submarine was in fact never fully completed in the Leith Shipyards of Robb Caledon.

You can read a lot more about this topic and others on the new website at www.leithshipyards.com

Sunday, 19 December 2010

BALDER LEITH

Ship No 532


The second of the two ship order for oil rig supply ships for work in the North Sea. Ordered by Seaforth Maritime BALDER LEITH was a little lighter than her sister ship SEAFORTH SOVEREIGN.

She was 1032 grt, and had a length between perpendiculars of 56.4 metres, with a beam of 13.8 metres, and a design draught of 6.9 metres.

BALDER LEITH was launched from the Leith Shipyards of Robb Caledon on the 18th of January 1983 She has had a few names since and is has now been converted to an Anchor Handling vessel.

You will be able to read a lot more about her on the new website at www.leithshipyards.com

www.leithshipyards.com

The new website is now online.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

SEAFORTH SOVEREIGN

Ship No 531


GH4E9X3S4AGZ

Was the first of a two ship order for oil rig supply ships, the order from Seaforth Marine was to build the ships for service in the North Sea.

Considering all the oil found in the North Sea and the amount of vessels required to maintain and supply all the rigs, Robb Caledon as part of “British Shipbuilders” never received anything like the amount of ships that were being tendered at the time.

SEAFORTH SOVEREIGN was the first on the stocks, and was 1199 grt, with a length between perpendiculars of 55.2 metres, with a beam of 13.15 metres and a design draught of 6.15 metres.

She was launched from the Leith Shipyards of Robb Caledon on the 20th of May 1982

You will be able to read a lot more about her on the new website at www.leithshipyards.com

Thursday, 16 December 2010

THV PATRICIA






Trinity House Vessel PATRICIA


Ship No 530

The Lighthouse Stevensons
This was an order for a fine looking ship that still sails around the coast of the British Isle's looking after and tendering all things connected with Lighthouses and buoys around the coast.

The Trinity House Vessel PATRICIA was built for Trinity House the organisation responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of such in English waters.

(Scotland has her own organisation called the Northern Lighthouse Commission)

This ship was built and outfitted to a standard far above most of the ships built in the yard, and she was to act as a temporary replacement for the Royal Yacht Britannia if required at the time.

At 2639 grt, with a length between perpendiculars of 77.8 metres, with a beam of 13.8 metres and a design draught of 6.9 metres, she was launched from the Leith Shipyards of Robb Caledon on 30th of September 1981
You will be able to read a lot more about her on the new website at www.leithshipyards.com



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Friday, 10 December 2010

MERSEY MARINER

MERSEY MARINER Ship No 528
Ship No 529


The next order was from the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board for a new Grab Hopper Dredger, to work on the Mersey and help to keep this very busy and important maritime gateway open for large ships.

Robb Caledon had built many such dredgers and MERSEY MARINER was to continue this fine tradition of building one off complex vessels.

She was 2191 grt, with a length between perpendiculars of 73.5 metres with a beam of 15.5 metres and a design draught of 6.25 metres.

She was launched from the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb on 4th of February 1981

MERSEY MARINER worked the waters of the River Mersey for many years before being sold to South American interests this past year.

You will of course be able to read much more about this ship on the new website at www.leithshipyards.com which is now live on the internet.

Ship No 528

MacBridge Unit


Now this order was pretty ironic, considering that it was an order for the Dundee Harbour Authority.

Remember it was not long since the Dundee half (Caledon) of Robb Caledon had been forced to close down due to lack of support and orders from British Shipbuilders.

The order was to build a Mac Bridge Unit for the port, in effect a bridge connection, ship to shore that can move up and down with the tides. It measured 33 metres long by 23 metres wide and had a height of 1.5 metres.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

BURUTU

Ship No 527


The sister ship to BAJIMA part of the two ship order from the Nigerian Port Authority, was next on the berth.

The Second of the two tugs BARUTU was 326 grt, with a length between perpendiculars of 34 metres, and a beam of 9.2 metres, with a design draught of 4.5 metres.

She was launched from the Leith Shipyards of Robb Caledon on 15th of May 1980.


This same year saw the closure of the fine shipyard in Dundee which was part of the “Nationalised British Shipbuilders” The Caledon yard was closed down due to lack of orders and all the men were made unemployed at a time when work was scarce to say the least.


Tough times for shipyard workers in the U.K. and not helped in the least by a government who were hell bent on there ongoing policies of turning the U.K. from a manufacturing powerhouse into a “Service based non industry country” (You will be able to follow more on this subject on the new website at www.leithshipyards.com )
The results of those decisions taken all those years ago, are all around us today in this country. 

Friday, 3 December 2010

Scot II Restoration.

SCOT II Ship No 184

Happy to be able to say that you will be able to follow the restoration project to get the "Ice/Breaking Tug" SCOT II back to the way she looked when she was a very familiar sight on the Caledonian Canal.
We shall feature her progress here on the Leith Built Ships blog and also on the new website to be found at
http://www.leithshipyards.com/  Week by week we will follow the progress of this great project.
The SCOT II was of course built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Shipbuilders in 1931, and she is now still afloat but only a hull is left of her, but thanks to the efforts of the "Save the Scot II" Group it looks like she could be on the way to a long recovery.
Look out for updates here on the blog or at the new website.

Leith Shipyards Website.

Pleased to announce that the new website is now live on the internet, please take a look at the website which we hope will do justice to all the ships built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Shipbuilders and Engineers, known in later years as Robb Caledon Shipbuilders.


And in time will record all the fine ships built in Leith! 

BAJIMA

Ship No 526




In the continual fight for ship orders, the yard was awarded an order from the Nigerian Ports Authority for two harbour tugs, the same as three others that had been built in the yard during 1975/76 (POCHARD etc)

The first of the two tugs BAJIMA was 326 grt, with a length between perpendiculars of 34 metres, and a beam of 9.2 metres, with a design draught of 4.5 metres.

She was launched from the Leith Shipyards of Robb Caledon on 28th of March 1980.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

DP-ZPS-7 (Crane Barge)

Ship No 525

The second of the 2 dumb barges from a dumb government in the “Quango” shape of “British Shipbuilders” which was run at the time by a guy who had already closed down most of the British Automotive industry (He would have known a lot about shipbuilding eh!.)

The order had been secured from the Polish Government, and it did amount to a fair size of ship orders, but for the men in Leith it was just crumbs.

While work of any kind was welcome at the time, they were in fact just large boxes with a crane on top, work that the men of the Leith Shipyards of Robb Caledon just got on with, in fact they may even still be operating in Poland.

They were for the port of (Zarzad Portu) Szczecin.

With a tonnage of 290 grt, and a length of 36.6 metres, and a beam of 18.5 metres they had a shallow draught of 3.66 metres, with this one being launched on 10th of May 1979.

Watch out tomorrow for some "BIG" news about the new website.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

DP-ZPS-6 (Crane Barge)

Ship No 524


This was the yards slice of the huge shipbuilding cake promised by the government of the time, 2 dumb barges from a dumb government in the “Quango” shape of “British Shipbuilders” which was run at the time by a guy (Hachet man) who had already closed down most of the British Automotive industry (He would have known a lot about shipbuilding eh!.)

The order had been secured from the Polish Government, and it did amount to a fair size of ship orders, but for the men in Leith it was the crumbs from the cake.

While work of any kind was welcome at the time, they were in fact just large boxes with a crane on top, in fact they may even still be operating in Poland.

They were for the port of (Zarzad Portu) Szczecin.

With a tonnage of 290 grt, and a length of 36.6 metres, and a beam of 18.5 metres they had a shallow draught of 3.66 metres, with this one being launched on 27th of February 1979.