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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.