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Sunday, 4 December 2011



Yet more of the history of this fine old vessel continues to unfold with the latest story from one of her old Captains, telling of a life at sea in this old converted ex-Army ship doing the dangerous work of transporting explosives across the North Sea (Although you would never think it to read the Skipper and the Mate's stories)
Also updates on the last of the "River Class" Frigates built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb. HMS WYE and HMS LOCH ACHANALT renamed as HMNZS PUKAKI
Just click on the highlighted text to be taken right to the story.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011


for the updated story on this fine old Ocean going tug, that also played her part in the Falklands war visit  her page at the Leith Shipyards website.

eBooks Search

Tip: Include the term ReadAloud in the search box if you only want titles that can be read aloud.


ABEILLE NO8 seen here on a tow (right) with the tug Abeille No22 towing a floating dock in 1939

ABEILLE NO8 Ship No 226

This order from the famous French towing company Comp.De Remarquage & De Salivatage, was built to help the two new "Cunard Queens" manoeuvre in the port of La Harve before they took of on there trans Atlantic voyages.

Built and launched in 1936 only three years before World War II was to start, once the port had been over run by the Blitzkrieg of the German advance into France in 1940 this modern powerful tug was taken over as a war prize by the Germans and used by them in the war against the British, but 2 years to the day that she was commissioned into the German navy she was sunk by Allied war planes who bombed the port and any shipping in the port.

It would seem from photographs that I have received that she may have been salved after the end of the war and she went back to work. For more on ABEILLE No8 visit the Leith Shipyards website.
Now seems that she was not so lucky and she was indeed destroyed by bombs.

Should you know different then please get in touch with the website and we will bring her history right up to date

Sunday, 6 November 2011


Builders Plate Ship No 449

The plate above is from the M.V.TENNYSON launched from the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb 1956

More at the website about this ship and lots of other updates on the ships built at Leith and more.

Saturday, 5 November 2011


Ship No 194 THE MILLER is an old coaster which is thought to be a preserved ship so is she still around?

Seen here at Fowley, England in this photo from 2007 (Photo by Alan Faulkner)
Does anyone out there know if she is still around as the old ship looks pretty good in the photo above, she was launched from the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb in 1932 so is getting on for 80 years.
This little coaster is a little bit like the more well known Clyde "Puffers" that were/are around from the same time, for more on THE MILLER go to the website by clicking on the highlighted name.

Saturday, 22 October 2011


The M.V.SANDPIPER seen here during her trials in the Firth of Forth flying her Henry Robb flag.

Thanks to P&O Heritage we now have some photographs and information that was not previously available on some more of the ships built in the Leith Shipyards at Henry Robb

As you can see from the postcard above the SANDPIPER was a very nice looking vessel, built and launched in 1957 as Ship No 458 for the P&O subsidiary company of the General Steam Navigation Company Ltd, she was to serve with GSN Co Ltd until sold to a French shipping Company in 1966.

Tramp Ships Tramp Ships
The tramp ship was the taxi of the seas. With no regular schedules, it voyaged anywhere and everywhere, picking up and dropping off cargoes, mainly bulk cargoes such as coal, grain, timber, china clay and oil. It was the older and slower vessels that tended to find their way into this trade, hence the tag 'tramp', though new tramps were built, often with the owner's eye on chartering to the liner companies. In this new book by the well-known author Roy Fenton, their evolution is described over the course of more than 100 years, from the 1860s, when the steam tramp developed from the screw collier, until it was largely replaced by the specialist bulk carrier in the 1980s. An introduction looks at the design and building of tramps before going on to describe the machinery, from simple triple-expansion turbines to diesel engines. Their operation and management and the life of the officers and crews is also covered. The meat of the book is to be found in the 300 wonderfully evocative photographs of individual ships which illustrate the development of the tramp and its trades through the last years of the 19th century, the two world wars, and the postwar years. Each caption gives the dimensions, the owners and the builder, and outlines the career, with notes on trades and how they changed over a ship's lifetime. Design features are highlighted and notes on machinery included. This will become a classic work, to inspire all merchant ship enthusiasts and historians.

The M.V.SANDPIPER was to continue sailing for different owners until broken up in 1989 in the ship graveyard that is Gadani Beach, Pakistan

More about SANDPIPER on the website at 

Saturday, 8 October 2011



KATHARINE II was a an order from the then known as “War Department” which is of course now known as the Ministry of Defence or MoD for short.

She was in fact the very first of many ships built for the services by the shipbuilders at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb.
This ship was not for the Navy but was an order for the Army who had ships in the branch known as the Royal Army Service Corps.

KATHARINE II was to serve throughout the 6 years of World War II and she no doubt had many adventures supplying clandestine operations against the coasts of mainland Europe and perhaps landing Commando’s in strikes against the might of the “Third Reich”

She was used by the services for a further 14 years after the war and was then sold to Government contractors for further work.

Find out more about KATHARINE II on the website by clicking on the highlighted name.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Leith Shipyards website

Just to say that there have been some technical difficulty's with the website at  which have now been fixed and we apologise for any inconvenience.
So many updates on the website it is well worth a few Min's of your time for a visit.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

P&O Ships built in Leith

The twin screw motor vessel MOMBASA Ship No 379

While research has been going on into all the ships built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb an amazing fact has come to light.

Many Were Held by the Sea
Where it was thought before that (apart from the Royal Navy) the biggest customer of the shipyard was the Ellerman Wilson Line, when in fact it turns out to have been the giant shipping group P&O.

The P&O group owned a number of the shipping lines that were big customers of the yard, such as the British India Steam Navigation Company (6 ships built) Coast Lines (4 ships built) The General Steam Navigation Company Ltd, (11 ships built) along with the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand (with more than 20 ships built)

Last minute cruise deals at!

P&O being the huge concern that it is are also very proud of there history and have a very good website with a lot of history and data on the ships that they through there many various companies owned and had built over the years. You can find more here at P&O Heritage.

The P&O Heritage collection have been very helpful in collating some of the information on ships built in Leith and have also supplied some of the official photographs from there vast collection to be shown on the website of leithshipyards.

Expedia's Top Deals

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Updates-July 2011

Lots of new information on ships built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb, including new info on the Luxury motor cruiser ANNABELLA along with some info on ships built for BI lines which was part of P&O lines and have to say thanks to P&O Heritage Collection for help and permission to use photographs of the many ships built in Leith for P&O Companies.
For the latest new info on MOMBASA and MTWARA just click on the highlighted name.
And we keep adding as information becomes available and of course photographs.

Friday, 22 July 2011



by kind permission Claire Belton
Which was Ship No 206 launched at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb, was a small luxury Motor Cruiser which we had little knowledge off, that is until Claire Belton, got in touch with the Leithshipyards website, to tell us that she had been rescued from mud flats in the South of England in the late 1960's restored and cruising around the Med, she was even on the BBC Holiday program of the time.
So there will be a lot more about her on the Leith Shipyards pages very soon, along with all the other updates, and in fact the ANNABELLA was by no means the only Leith buit Ship to feature on T.V. or Films for that matter, we even have the story of a Robb built ship that was in a James Bond film.
So dont forget to keep visiting  and if you have some story or photograph of a Ship built in Leith then please get in touch through the website and we shall feature it on the site.

Saturday, 2 July 2011


Hello All,

The website has had some work done to it in the last month or so, as there was a couple of technical problems which have now been solved.
Along with some new photographs and updates to the ships pages, you will find some more news on the Coaster "SPINEL" Ship No 244 and updates to HMS NITH and HMS NESS two of the "River Class Frigates" that were built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb.
Some more photographs have been secured showing the old Irish Lightship "ALBATROSS" at her new berth on the river Medway in Kent.
A start has also been made on the pages about the "Bustler Class" recue/salvage tugs  built during the Second World War.
Pretty soon you will be able to read about the ex-warship built in Leith that ended up being a luxury liner.
You will find all this and more at the website of  and a big thank you to all who have helped contribute to the site.
Remember any and all stories or photographs of the yard or ships will be most welcome, as we continue to grow the site.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

ALBATROSS-Home to Roost!

ALBATROSS the Lightship that was yard No 30 which was built around 1924/5 has now been berthed at a marina on the River Medway, close to the Historic Chatham Royal Dockyards.
She now awaits conversion to be a floating Bed & Breakfast ship, thanks to Simon for the photograph of her under the watchful attached tugs, being towed into position on the Medway.
 ALBATROSS being towed to her berth on the Medway.
She is believed to be the oldest floating ship built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb.

Sunday, 29 May 2011


It is really amazing the interest that the old ships of the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb seem to generate, stories come in all the time that such and such a ship has been found rusting away, usually half sunk, and we now have some information on the Dredger GALLIONS REACH Ship No 229 which it seems is resting half sunk against a wharf in Greece, after being salvaged from her sinking in the River Tees in 1971, she must have been sold on to Greek owners for use around the coast as intended. Our thanks go to Pam for finding her and letting us know, along with supplying some photographs as well.

No doubt as in the life of most ships she became too expensive to upkeep and now she awaits her inevitable fate at the hands of the breakers, perhaps to be turned into razor blades or some other commodity, better this than the way she is now rusting away in the sun.

So along with the dredger WANGANUI it now looks like both ships await the burning torches of the ship breakers.

There are many more ships out there in the 4 corners of the world that we have still to track down and as long as there are people out there interested in ships then we shall find out what happened to most of them, and the story will be updated on the Leith Shipyards website as we go along.

Sunday, 15 May 2011


The PORT WAIKATO at anchor in the Chatham Islands circa 1949

Ship No 113
This is the ship that was built twice and we now have some great stories from Trevor Gibson, who sailed on her for a couple of years after the end of World War II.

Amazing to see how some things have changed in that time.

The coaster PORT WAIKATO was the vessel tasked with keeping the small Islands off New Zealands coast supplied with all of lifes little essentials and she was a means of the Islanders getting there livestock to market.

Loading sheep, can you imagine the outcry today.

Saturday, 30 April 2011


It’s only right I suppose that what was once a thriving shipyards should now continue in some form or other but in a different medium, in this age of the internet the Leith Shipyards story continues in the shape of the website at where as much good information and histories about the many ships built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb will be laid out for posterity.

There is of course so much more to the website than the ships built in Leith, as this is a site for anyone with an interest in ships or the sea.

As it is an ongoing and ever changing subject, more information and interesting stories come to light all the time and they are in turn included into the website, including updates to the Naval Ships pages where the feature recently has been on the “Flower Class Corvettes” built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb, a fascinating story as those little fighting ships helped the British Isle ability to continue on with the fight against tyranny just as much as the famous “Spitfire” but without the glory and proper recognition.
HMS LOTUS Ship No 317

So this and so much more is all included at the website, and the maritime shop is building as well with lots of new museum quality fully assembled models along with some great maritime artwork, not to mention maritime books as well.

Museum quality fully assembled model of the Cutty Sark
For price and shipping see

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Leith shipyards Maritime Store is now open!

We are pleased to let you know that as part of the: website we have teamed with some committed artists and model making craftsmen and women to offer some real quality products with a nautical theme and some of the models are museum quality and are not kits, but fully assembled models as accurate as historical research permits and made by some of the best model makers in the U.S.A.

The range of models is huge and we only feature a very small range of them, if you do not see the model that interests you then just get in touch and we shall see if a model has been made of the ship of interest.

One of the artists who’s work we feature was an ex sailor on some of the ships built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb, and his artwork is created with a real passion for scenes he created and remembers from his time at sea.

Original oil painting by Charles Fawcett
Called Picking up the Pilot.

The maritime store will grow and other quality and interesting maritime related goods will be added in time.

So keep checking the website for all thats the best in ships, shipbuilding and all things of maritime interest. 

We also now offer our new maritime E-Book Library

The Royal Navy and the Battle of Britain The Royal Navy and the Battle of Britain
This persuasive study attacks the key myths surrounding the Battle of Britain to revise the relative status of maritime and aviation factors in the defense of Britain. Without denigrating the heroism of the fighter pilots, Anthony Cumming challenges the effectiveness of the Royal Air Force in 1940 and gives the Royal Navy much greater prominence than others have. He vigorously asserts the ability of British warships to frustrate German plans for Operation Sea Lion and to repel Luftwaffe attacks. The author argues that the RAF took the lion s share of the glory only because its colorful image could easily be used to manipulate American opinion. Cumming contends that the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain should celebrate the contributions of the many rather than focusing on the pilot elite, an assertion certain to provoke discussion.

The Royal Navy and the Arctic Convoys The Royal Navy and the Arctic Convoys
Published here for the first time, this volume presents a superb range of insights into this crucial effort of the Second World War. This Naval Staff History describes the vital role of the Arctic Convoys, 1941-1945 and was first issued by the Historical Section of the Admiralty as a confidential study for use within the Royal Navy in 1954. It grew out of the earlier Battle Summary No. 22 compiled by Commander J. Owen of the Admiralty's Historical Section and issued in 1943 to cover the convoys run to North Russia in the last half of 1942 and early 1943. That wartime Battle Summary was subsequently revised and expanded by Commander L.J. Pitcairn-Jones to include all the main convoys run from August 1941 until the end of the war using all the historical records which were at hand after the war. A new preface provides additional context for the convoys, highlighting support provided to Russian forces in their struggle against Germany, for the original Staff History was narrowly focused on the naval aspects of the Arctic Convoys to Russia. This is an excellent resource for all students with a particular interest in the Arctic Convoys, the Second World War and in maritime and military history.

Friday, 15 April 2011


The oldest ship still afloat (we think) built at the yards, The Lightship ALBATROSS seen in this photo painted in green for an art contest. She was Ship No 30 built in 1924.

With this now being the month of April it is perhaps fitting that this post about the yard is sent out in the same month that British Shipbuilders was to closed the yard officially the year was 1984. (Robb Caledon shipbuilders as they were then known)

After lingering on and completing the work in the yard, all but an experimental small submarine that is, (which was taken out of the yard under cover by the authorities) there was nothing left, but empty promises from a government that did not give a toss what was to happen to a small shipyard in Scotland.

All the protests and petitions to government were ignored, so after more than ½ million tons of steel had been shaped and formed into all makes of specialised ship types, barges, pontoons and lighters, the shipyard was closed down and the commercial property developers along with the Forth Ports authority rubbed their hands and wondered what to do with the huge piece of land that had built and launched so many ships over a time frame of around 65 years.

Then with the signature of some government flunky 600 years of shipbuilding in Leith was consigned to history. The stories and history of the ships and the yard will continue though on the website perhaps also fitting in today’s world that their will be a virtual shipyard now at

This blog will also of course continue to feature anything of interest with regard to the ships built in Leith, and in general feature shipbuilding and ships in today’s fast and constantly changing world.

Ship No 535 the final ship built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb.
(People associated with ships and the sea are a superstitious bunch so note how the numbers of the last ship add up to 13? could not mean anything, could it.)

Sunday, 10 April 2011

ALBATROSS “Lost now found again”

With the news from one of the crew of the tug Sea Trojan, that was towing the ALBATROSS to her new home on the River Medway, close to the historic royal dockyard at Chatham.

The “oldest” surviving ship from the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb is to be used as a Houseboat/bed & breakfast on the river, what a great use for an old ship that has not only stood the test of time but the worst weather over many years that the volatile Irish sea could throw at her.

We wish her new owner well and hope to get some photographs of her to show on the website where you will see many updates on the ships built in Leith and so much more.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

ALBATROSS “Found then Lost”

Mast and Lantern from the LightShip ALBATROSS (Photo by Peter Goulding)
Seen here being used as Monument outside some housing development in Dublin.

With the news that the oldest existing ship built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb was tied up in a basin in Dublin, our local contact (Thanks Peter) went down to where she was to try and get some photographs of ALBATROSS but she had mysteriously flown! After some questioning of locals it was discovered that she had been towed away the previous weekend, it would appear she had been bought and was being taken to London to be berthed some where on the river Thames to undergo a re-furb and the intention is to use her as a floating pub/restaurant, so with time we shall see how this new use for her pans out.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Found- Henry Robb “Oldest” Ship

It looks like we have managed to track down what may well now be the oldest surviving ship built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb.

She is the Lightship ALBATROSS Ship No 30 and built for the Irish Lighthouse commission in 1924, with the help of a German lightship enthusiast we know now that she is still afloat and although without her light lantern she is at a berth in Dublin, Ireland. We hope to have some photographs to show soon.

We will bring more info soon, and you will be able to find out more about this 87 years old ship on the website at where a lot more info and photographs have now been put onto the site.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Photo Updates

Lots of new photographs now on the main website of the pages
For the latest pictures in the shipbuildng category click through to see.
For the latest update to the famous ships category click through to see. You will also find a bit of video and a famous song as well.

Shipbuilders Plate from the SCOT II (Ship No 184)

Wheelhouse Rescued

SCOT II Wheelhouse being loaded for transportation.
The wheelhouse for the SCOT II is now back with the owners of the ship, it was rescued from the Muir of Ord in the Scottish Highlands just last week, and after a bit of a struggle it is now safe back in Fort Augustus close to the hull of the SCOT II.

The wheelhouse is still in pretty good condition considering it had been used as a hen house and for keeping sheep in. This is yet another testament to the workmanship of the men at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb.

The wooden wheelhouse it is hoped can be restored and will sit proudly back on top of the superstructure of the old tug once restored.

You can see more photographs of the wheelhouse rescue here.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

More press for SCOT II

The project to help restore the old ice breaking Tug SCOT II continues with this fine story in the Press & Journal, and you can read the latest story of the SCOT II project, by clicking on the highlighted words.

Flyer from SCOT II from 1984

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Moving into position

She begins to turn around.

A couple of photographs showing the U.K.’s largest crane being moved in the Firth of Forth, for delivery into the Rosyth Dockyard, the ship is being towed into position to enter the channel into Rosyth by four tugs.
Slow ahead does it.

On her way.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Biggest in U.K.

(This photograph was taken by Craig Leitch on the way to check the crane, one of the first scots to work on it in British waters)

Last week there arrived in the Firth of Forth a crane carried by ship. No ordinary crane this, in fact the largest in Britain, and she hove to just opposite the site of the old Leith Shipyards in the river Forth, awaiting clearance and inspection to ensure that she could safely pass under the famous old Forth Rail Bridge and the Forth Road Bridge.

She managed to navigate her way through the channel at max ballast and at low tide. The crane will be used to assemble the two new aircraft carriers being built at Rosyth.

It's a tight squeeze but with 2m to spare she made it under the Forth Rail Bridge.
It is good to see that the river is once more seeing more marine traffic. Remember to keep checking the Leith Shipyards site for all maritime enthusiasts.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Update-Naval Ships

Latest update on the are some photographs in the Naval Ships built in Leith page, showing some of the many non warships built in the yard.Just click on the highlighted words to be taken right there.
Also some amazing pictures of a real tough little Mississippi Tugboat.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011


The BBC Video of the story of the SCOT II now playing.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Update to Royal Navy Ships

Recent update on the Leith shipyards website, at the Royal Navy Ships page.
Loch Class Outline

Royal Navy, The Royal Navy, The
Since 1900, the Royal Navy has seen vast operational changes. This book tells the story, not just of victory and defeat, but also of how the Navy has adjusted to a century of rapid technological and social change. The extensive reforms made by Admiral Fisher at the dawn of the twentieth century saw the navy's nineteenth-century wooden fleet replaced with the latest modern technology - battleships (including the iconic dreadnoughts), aircraft carriers and submarines. In World War I and World War II, the navy played a central role, with unrestricted submarine warfare and supply blockades becoming an integral part of combat. However it was the development of nuclear and missile technology during the Cold War era which drastically changed the face of naval warfare - today the navy can launch sea-based strikes across thousands of miles to reach targets deep inland. This book places the wars and battles fought by the navy - from Jutland to the Falklands - within a wider context, looking at political, economic, social and cultural issues, as well as providing a thorough operational history.

Saturday, 19 February 2011


Recent update to the history of the New Zealand Navy ship MOA can be found on the Leith Shipyards website. (Just click on the highlighted name MOA)
HMNZS MOA (RNZN Museum Photo)

The fight goes on

During the winter of 1983 the fight to try and keep shipbuilding in Leith continued, and in particular I remember one trip to London to hand in a petition to the then Prime Minister M.Thatcher, and it was surely a surprise on us getting to No 10 Downing Street to be told that the incumbent Prime Minister had, to leave the country that weekend.

We met with the then Trade minister (who was also Scotland minister at the time) and what a waste of space he turned out to be.

All typical yes’s and agreements (so no arguments of course) and you just left this type of meeting with a bad taste in the mouth.

As time was going on it was starting to become clearer that this was a battle that we at the worker level just could not win. If shipbuilding was to continue at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb then it was ship orders and not talks that would be conclusive and save the jobs, but we could see no concrete orders in the pipeline and still the management continued with there stance that the 2 ships being outfitted had to be finished to stand any chance of securing further orders.

Of course the men also knew that as soon as the ships were finished off then there was absolutely no bargaining position left.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011


Happy to say that no less than the BBC is featuring a news story on the old ice breaking tug SCOT II,
built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Shipbuilders Ltd, in 1931 as Ship No 184.
You can see the story of SCOT II here or read more about it on

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Favourite ROBB SHIPS-3

(Photograph is courtesy of the Plymouth RFA Assocciation)
The following completes the list of favourite Robb ships compiled while doing the research and actually working on some of the ships.

While any list is purely subjective this is my one and will show my top 30 Robb built Ships, with the final  10 shown below.

If you click on the ships name it will take you to more on the ships at the website. (Remember this website is ongoing)

Should you have a favourite list or wish to add to this existing list then send it in to the blog or the new website at

21. HMRT BUSTLER Ocean Rescue Tug

22. HMS DERG River Class Frigate (In Tokyo Bay at Jap Surrender)

23. M.V.POOLTA (Last of the U.S.S.Co ships for New Zealand)

24. MSC ROVER (last of the Manchester ship canal Tugs)

25. HMS LOCH KATRINE (New Zealand Navy ship ROTOITI)

26. M.V.ARCADIAN (Ellerman Wilson Line Cargo Ship)

27. HMS CARDIGAN BAY Frigate of the Bay Class

28. WESTMERE (First ship built)

29. HMS BASSET (First in the Dog Class armed trawlers)

30. M.V.LIGAR BAY (Cement ship for New Zealand)

SCOT II Publicity

Well it seems like the restoration of the old ice breaker tug SCOT II is beginning to gather some well deserved publicity and a television program on no less a station as the BBC is going to be featuring a story on her.

The story will go out on the television this Tuesday evening 15th of Febuary at 18:00 GMT and is being done by the news program BBC Reporting Scotland.

We believe it will also be featured on there website at

As ever if you feel that you would like to contribute anything to the restoration of this fine old vessel, then please get in touch.
You can also find out more about her at Scot II Restoration Project

Friday, 28 January 2011

Favourite ROBB SHIPS-2

Continuing the list of favourite Robb ships compiled while doing the research and actually working on some of the ships.

While any list is purely subjective this is my one and will show my top 30 Robb built Ships, with the next 10 from number 11 to 20 shown below.

If you click on the ships name it will take you to more on the ships at the website. (Remember this website is ongoing)

Should you have a favourite list or wish to add to this existing list then send it in to the blog or the new website at

HMS LOTUS Ship No 317

11. LLOYDSMAN Ocean Salvage Tug
12. HMS LOTUS Flower Class Corvette
13. MV RAPALLO Cargo Ship
14. HEDWIN Grab Hopper Dredger
15. HMCS HESPELER Castle Class Corvette
16. ST HELEN Passenger/Vehicle Ferry
17. WANGANUI Grab Hopper Dredger
18. HMS WINDRUSH River Class Frigate
19. HMRT TURMOIL Navy Salvage Tug

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Favourite ROBB SHIPS

The following is a list of favourite Robb ships compiled while doing the research and actually working on some of the ships.

While any list is purely subjective this is my one and will show my top 30 Robb built Ships, with the first 10 shown below.

If you click on the ships name it will take you to more on the ships at the website. (Remember this website is ongoing)

Should you have a favourite list or wish to add to this existing list then send it in to the blog or the new website at

Wolraad Woltemade underway
1. SA WOLRAAD WOLTEMADE Ocean salvage Tug

2. SCOT II Ice Breaker Tug  and to follow her restoration and find out more about SCOT II

3. HMS HERALD Royal Navy Survey Ship

4. TRIBENI Survey Ship and to see her being built

5. HMNZS MOA Armed Trawler/Training Ship

6. BRANSFIELD Antarctic Survey Ship

7. SOUTH STEYNE Classic Australian Ferry

8. PORT TAURANGA Classic Cargo Ship

9. BRITISH COAST Classic British Coaster

10. MV KARITANE Twin Screw Cargo Ship

Look out for the rest of the list, and further history of the fine ships built in the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb and later of Robb Caledon

Friday, 7 January 2011

The yard goes on.

With the launch of the ST HELEN and the fact that her sister ship was nearing completion (ST CATHERINE) and would soon be doing her trials before being handed over to her owners Sealink Ferries.

The sh*t was starting to hit the fan, with no new orders and only broken promises from “British Shipbuilders” the future did not look good for Robb Caledon Shipbuilders.

Outfitting work still required to be done on ST HELEN of course and the mood between the men and management was getting close to break point.

A load of different initiatives were started although as it turned out as ever too little and too late.

The men were put under further pressure with the threat that the ferries had to be completed in time, as the owners had started taking summer bookings .

You will be able to read much more on the struggle to keep the Leith Shipyards open on the new website at

This blog will also continue to feature updates and news about the website.

Along with the progress of the Save the SCOT II campaign which intends to restore the only ice breaking tug on the British Historical Ships Register.

And when restored perhaps the oldest ship still working from the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd.