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Sunday, 29 December 2013

Leith built Treasure Ship Found

As this is the last post of the year 2013 it should be a special one and this is news about an old Leith built Ship with a tremendous and varied history which now due to the efforts of  Dr Lee Spence the well known maritime expert and discoverer of shipwrecks we can tell you about the wreck of the
SS CRAIGALLION Ship No 29 from the R & F Shipbuilders yard (later to be known as Ramage & Ferguson Ltd)
The SS CRAIGALLION was launched from the Leith Shipyards in May of 1881 and she was to go on to have many adventures most of them would be very politically un-correct to-day, but she was involved in everything from towing a dredge to work on the Panama Canal build to gun running and supply of bullion and money to fund uprisings in Caribbean countries along with being previously wrecked before she became a "Prize" was refitted out and re-named as the SS OZAMA
Named after a river and not to be confused with any other connotation of the ships name.

Artefacts brought to the surface from the wreck of the SS OZAMA ex SS CRAIGALLION and shown here by the kind permission of Dr Lee Spence who was responsible for the discovery of the old Leith built Ship
For a whole lot more on the history and the discovery of this amazing ship with a real treasure tale to tell visit  and read for yourself.
There will be a whole lot of features on more of the ships built at Leith through-out the course of next year so keep checking back and wishing everyone the best for 2014

Shipwreck, Scuba Diving and Fossil e-Books

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas and good health to all contributors and visitors to the Blog and website
The numbers are now well over 150,000 for both since this project started so a big thank you to all.
Lets also spare a thought for all who may not get to spend Christmas at home this year.

HMS LOTUS Ship No 317 during the Second World War

We will have lots more about the ships built at the Leith Shipyards next year along with some job openings if you happen to be looking for work in shipbuilding so keep checking back and a Happy New Year to all..

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Shipbuilding Positions available in Europe

As mentioned in a previous post we are now pleased to be able to help with finding good long term positions for experienced shipbuilders. Please go to the "Shipbuilding Jobs" pages of the Leith Shipyards website to find more details about these new positions now available.

what where

job title, keywords or company
city, state or zip jobs by job search

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Remembrance Day 2013

Poem by Geraldine Durrant titled Ypres

visit the Royal British Legion


Thursday, 7 November 2013

Jobs in Shipbuilding!

Well it looks like we beat the politicians squabbles by at least 24hrs, all there squawking and blame laying isn't going to help create one new job.
We hope to be in a position pretty soon through the job pages on the website to try and help workers who may want to move on to work in Europe or further afield or even help some of the guys who fear they may be laid off from the Clyde yards or from the closing down of shipbuilding at Portsmouth.
So keep checking here and the website pages on jobs in Shipbuilding for more info to come soon.

From a well know Leith Mural painted on the side of a building showing a scene from a shipyard of old in Leith


Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Shipbuilding to cease in Portsmouth

Well BEA systems? have finally made a decision and part of this decision is that after more than 500 years of Naval Shipbuilding at Portsmouth they will no longer have the capability to build warships at Portsmouth some time in 2015
While this is devastating news for the guys who will lose there jobs the suits at BEA systems? are saying that along with the further loss of jobs on the Clyde (approx. 900) the two remaining yards on the Clyde will be used to build the Navy's future combat ships once design is finalised.
Again crazy to think that the U.K. is an island which imports around 80% of its needs and they no longer even have a shipbuilding capability to build a cargo vessel, this is politics and shipbuilding once more and this has to be one of the only industries there is where the harder and better you work the closer you are to losing your job.
Still they do build lots of ships in China now, perhaps Salmond can arrange for some of the lost jobs to be transferred?
The politics behind this decision are very suspect given the political climate in Scotland at the moment and of course it just happens to be another Tory government in power for now.
For more on this story see the BBC link

Philip Hammond told the Commons the job cuts were regrettable but inevitable (Spoken like a real politician?)

The following is a little bit of history about Shipbuilding on the River Clyde in Scotland

Monday, 21 October 2013

S.S.SOUTH STEYNE is 75 years old this year

Even if a bit late in the year it was brought to my attention by a couple of knowledgeable Australians who had spent many a happy voyage on this famous old ferry across Darling Harbour and up to Manly and beyond that the SS SOUTH STEYNE Ship No 267was launched from the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Ltd 75 years ago this year. She was launched into the sea at Leith in the April of 1938. Interestingly she was but one of ten (10) ships launched by the shipyard that year.

Two very well known Sydney sights one being built during the 1960's (Sydney opera house) and the famous old ferry much used by Sidneysiders the SS SOUTH STYNE built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Ltd in 1938
(Photo credit unknown for now)

Royal Australian Navy & MacArthur Royal Australian Navy & MacArthur
By 1945, General MacArthur’s forces had advanced from Papua to the Philippines and to Borneo. The vast majority of the troops, supplies, and equipment for this campaign were transported by sea, and MacArthur’s success was based on 22 amphibious assaults. Soldiers and Marines did the ground fighting and MacArthur’s air forces eventually ruled the skies, but it was the ships of the United States and Australian navies that delivered them to the battlefronts and supported them. This book reveals facts of the Royal Australian Navy’s crucial role in World War II.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Update on the MV CUBAHAMA

A mahogany name plate which was retrieved from the MV CUBAHAMA sometime in the late 1980's by Edwin McGee who found her laid up near Galveston Texas. The photograph is show here by kind permission and is taken from the blog at Sonsofsavages.

The MV CUBAHAMA Ship No 262

The wherebouts of this old "Special Ship" built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Ltd in 1938 can no be revealed thanks to Edwin Mcgee and his father who re-discovered her in the late 1980's laid up and half sunk in an inlet in the Sothern States of America.
You can read all about the MV CUBAHAMA and her eventual fate by clicking on the highlighted link which will take you to Edwin's blog.

For even more on this fine old ship visit  for info on all the ships built at the shipyard. 

Saturday, 17 August 2013

RSS BRANSFIELD The Bransfield at Halley Bay, Antarctica

The BRANSFIELD unloading much needed stores at Halley Bay-Photograph by Graham Mawdsley and shown by permission

There are more stories and photographs on this pretty special ship No 508 built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb and launched as RSS BRANSFIELD in Dec 1970

Along with much more about all the ships built at the shipyard with more information being kindly supplied all the time the ships pages are becoming a must visit for researchers and interested people alike.

Ships and Shipbuilders Ships and Shipbuilders
In the past three centuries the ship has developed from the relatively unsophisticated sail-driven vessel which would have been familiar to the sailors of the Tudor navy, to the huge motor-driven container ships, nuclear submarines and vast cruise liners that ply our seas today. Who were the innovators and builders who, during that span of time, prompted and instigated the most significant advances?In the past three centuries the ship has developed from the relatively unsophisticated sail-driven vessel which would have been familiar to the sailors of the Tudor navy, to the huge motor-driven container ships, nuclear submarines and vast cruise liners that ply our seas today. Who were the innovators and builders who, during that span of time, prompted and instigated the most significant advances?In this new book the author describes the lives and deeds of more the 120 great engineers, scientists, philosophers, businessmen, shipwrights, naval architects and inventors who shaped ship design and shipbuilding world wide. Covering the story chronologically, and going back briefly even to Archimedes, such well-known names as Anthony Deane, Peter the Great, James Watt, Robert Fulton and Isambard Kingdom Brunel share space with lesser known characters like the luckless Frederic Sauvage, a pioneer of screw propulsion who, unable to interest the French navy in his tests in the early 1830s, was bankrupted and landed in debtor’s prison. With the inclusion of such names as Ben Lexcen, the Australian yacht designer who developed the controversial winged keel for the 1983 America’s Cup, the story is brought right up to date.Concise linking chapters place all these innovators in context so that a clear and fascinating history of the development of ships and shipbuilding emerges from the pages. An original and important new reference book.

Saturday, 8 June 2013


We now know what happened to the Dredger MV CRESWELL and lots of other stories about the ships built in Leith
The MV CRESWELL heading South from Newcastle to Lowestoft in 1992
Photograph from J. King and shown here by permission


New ship updates

So many new updates on the ships built at Leith all now on the revamped website.
The famous old veteran of the Dunkirk beaches GALLIONS REACH Ship No 229
seen here in dry dock in a photograph taken by one of her old crew Del Sowter and shown here by permission
We still have the Mystery of what or where is the GALLIONS REACH SHIP as the hulk seen in Greece is not the same ship. So where is she,

Sunday, 13 January 2013


For the latest update on HMS RINGDOVE Ship No 264

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.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Leith Shipyards

Hi all,
Just to let you know that one of the best maritime history websites out there is having some what they call technical problems, it would appear that some very, very, very, very, very, very, very clever A1 A-Hole has been messing about with the website so the technical people are working on it and we hope that the better of the maritime website's will be back to what you are used to seeing soon.


And thank you to all who have ever visited the website except for one of course.

The crew at