Help keep the site going

Friday, 15 August 2014

Ferguson No More

Last remaining commercial shipyard in Scotland Closed


A sad day in the history of a great industry as the last remaining commercial shipbuilder on the river Clyde closed down, not only the last commercial yard on the Clyde to close after some 110 years of building fine ships but the last commercial shipyard in Scotland is now closed for business.

The two upper Clyde yards are of course still going building parts for the Aircraft Carriers and other warships and long may they continue, but the closure of Ferguson Shipbuilders Limited of Port Glasgow really brings down the curtain on a very long list of great shipbuilding names which have plied there trade and used there unmatched skills to build ships in Scotland.

Better times at the yard from 2012 in this Herald newspaper picture, when they launched the Worlds first hybrid Ferry

Ferguson Shipbuilders Limited from a BBC website photograph Aug 15th 2014

It really is quite a list of shipbuilding names when you consider that this great and proud industry used to employ more than 100,000 people in its heyday, and that is only in Scotland, the industry was massive throughout the British Isles at one time when Britain and the Clyde primarily led the world in the building of fine ships.
Such as and by no means a comprehensive list and not in any kind of order, but names like Scott Lithgow, Barclay Curle, Scotts of Bowling, John Browns, Connell’s, Hall Russell, Caledon Shipbuilding, Ailsa Troon, Henry Robb Shipbuilders, Harland and Wolfe, and now add Ferguson Shipbuilders to the list of a role call of industry whose spectacular fall has had no equals in the United Kingdom.
This small yard could have been building small inshore fishery protection vessels and small patrol ships for the Royal Navy but once again they have been discarded by governments (successive) and after all it was less than 100 men and women who lost there jobs this morning so who gives a toss about this small number of highly skilled people. (Not many votes there in the grand scheme of things eh!)
Don’t see that it would even register with Salmond or Cameron although we are sure to see and hear some posturing about it, and the timing of such a closure with a Scottish Referendum on Independence just one month away, what were the politicians thinking about.
For another read on the closure of Ferguson Shipbuilders and perhaps a better reality than the wishy washy BBC news see the latest from the Herald newspaper who are closer to home in writing about the effects of the last commercial shipyard in Scotland closing down, interesting to hear all the rubbish spouted by the different politicians, who in fact rank lower in the list of non producing wage thief's than even the journalists, bankers and lawyers in the U.K. even lower than a second hand car salesman. 
Although it also shows just how impotent the Unions have become in Britain as well.

How long before we say “Shipbuilding No More” in the whole of the British Isles.

what where

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

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Scotland “YES” or “NO”

While the debate goes on whether Scotland should return to being a separate country as she was a few hundred years ago before union with England happened and the United Kingdom was formed or to stay as a part of the United Kingdom (Great Britain in other words)

This Blog is not really the place for too much comment on the subject but you can never separate Shipbuilding from Politics and they are all at it right now, as can be seen from this recent article in the Scotsman newspaper while written with some obvious bias and who in the United Kingdom would trust a journalist today, they are regarded with the same mis-trust as lawyers and bankers and rightly so.
Having had some small parts to play regarding politicians and Shipbuilding in the past, it is my own opinion that they are at the lowest of the tree when it comes to trust and it makes no difference be they Scottish politicians or United Kingdom politicians or indeed English politicians they are all out of the same mould.

BEA Shipyard at Govan on the Clyde in this Royal Navy photograph

The only thing I can comment on is, would a vote one way or the other mean securing any more or less shipbuilding jobs and I feel that it would make no difference whatsoever what way the vote goes the politicians will do as they see fit (They are qualified you know)

And the people will get what the people want?


what where

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

Saturday, 9 August 2014

The Thames Tug GENERAL IV

GENERAL IV Ship No 222 built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Ltd and launched in 1936


Last heard/seen at Bowling Harbour half sunk just a hull sitting in water now wasting away a bit similar to the state of the SCOT II BEFORE SHE WAS MOVED TO THE Caledonian Canal  (Whatever happened to the rescue attempts to restore the SCOT II)
 On Tugboats

Seems like the same story with the old GENERAL IV very similar lines to the SCOT II as well and looks like there is no one around to attempt a restoration project on this fine old Steam Tug.
You will see a photograph of her here from early this year.
Do not know how she has ended up here but there was another far more recent tug that also sank at Bowling Harbour


We cannot save then all, but still a shame to see such fine plate work rusting away.

what where

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

Friday, 8 August 2014

The Irish Lights Ship ALBATROSS

Earn More in One Day Than a Professional Athlete.
Looks like she was or still is up for sale, although she may even have been scraped by the time of writing.
The LS ALBATROSS sits at a quayside somewhere in Kent her fate at this time unknown
Photo credit from shipspotters website and if the owner contacts us we shall credit the photograph

Takes a real will and very deep pockets to take on a large project such as converting or even partially restoring such a large ship

Check out this link to see the ship in better times when she was used to train Irish Sea Cadets


Thursday, 7 August 2014



The Shipwrights


It is clear for anyone who knows the Shipwrights Build Ships, they always have done and I don’t care what names they give the trades today it is Shipwrights who build ships.

Yes the Platers have had a large part to play in the process of shipbuilding for the past 100 years or so but the Shipwrights have been around since before recorded time so I thought it well past time to give the Shipwrights of Leith there own page on the website at Leith Shipyards.

For the record while I am at it and controversial it may well be but “Welders” do not build ships they are a relative newcomer to the shipbuilding process and although some are very highly skilled in the trade they are no matter how you look at it in the end just a “Service Trade” only been around for the past 60 years or so in the shipbuilding process, most yards still stuck to tradition and riveted there ships up into the 1960’s as the welded ship had a slight stigma attached deserved or otherwise, the riveted ship had the seams that cannot be replicated today with most welded ships ending up looking like half starved carcasses of a dead horse ribs, depending on how the light hits the shell.

So once more for the sake of clarity the Shipwrights build Ships, Platers mark and shape Plates and all the rest are service trades.

Leith Shipwrights


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Shipbuilding Jobs

For anyone who is looking for work in shipbuilding then find your job below and good luck

Jobs from Indeed

Sunday, 3 August 2014

The Leith Shipyards at the beginning of World War One

As Europe descended into death and destruction once more 100 years ago this month

We take a very quick snapshot back in time when there were three main shipyards all situated next to each other facing into what is now known as the western harbour at Leith Docks.

From West to East we had the smallest of the three shipyards namely the yard of

J. Cran & Co was engaged in the building primarily of Steam Fishing Trawlers and Tugs and they were about to launch the Steam Fishing Trawler ANWORTH while building was going on of a Tug called the VIGOREAUX


The next shipyard in line was the shipyard of Hawthorns & Co who had taken over the old shipyard of S & H Morton two years before.

Hawthorns had a couple of small Cargo Vessels on the stocks at the outbreak of WWI

The shipyard had an order book of Steam Fishing Trawlers to be built as well.


While last but by no means least the Leith Shipyard of Ramage & Ferguson Ltd Shipbuilders had just launched three large steam passenger/cargo ships with the last one launched in the December of 1914 was named as  CHAKDINA the second ship of an order by the BI Line and a ship that would survive WWI only to be involved in tragedy during the Second World War when sinking during an attack in the Mediterranean while full of wounded New Zealand and Allied Soldiers who had been fighting in the fearsome battle for Tobruk.


The shipyards would soon be involved in the repair of many battle scarred vessels from fighting around the British Isles and further a-field if the ship could be brought into Leith at all they could repair her.

Interestingly enough no warships were built at the Leith Shipyards during World War One although many Landing Craft were, unlike the part played by the Leith Shipyard of Henry Robb (the shipyard that over time took over the three shipyards mentioned)

during the Second World War.


The 4th of August 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the day Britain entered one of the costliest conflicts in history – the First World War – with fighting continuing until the 11th of November 1918, Armistice Day.

The Royal British Legion was founded by British veterans in the aftermath of the First World War and is at the forefront of Centenary commemorations. As we come together in Remembrance of events a century ago, we are reminded of the important welfare work the Legion continues to provide today and will need to provide in the future.

For more on the commemorations of this terrible conflict please visit the British Legion website above.

The Centenary of the First World War

The 4th of August 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the day Britain entered one of the costliest conflicts in its history, the First World War, which ended on Armistice Day, 11th November 1918.

Almost everyone in the UK has an ancestor directly affected by the First World War. The losses were felt across every UK town and village as the lives of nearly one million lives men and women were sacrificed in service of the British Empire.

The Royal British Legion will be joining in the commemoration of all those who served and sacrificed from British, Dominion and Imperial forces from countries including the UK, Republic of Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa.

Remember to buy a Poppy.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Sign of the Times?

Download an eBook today
Well the time has finally come when I need to set some adverts onto this Blog and in time you will also see them appear on my website as well.

It is an expensive business the upkeep of the website and up to now all the cost has been carried by me.

So perhaps with some little advertising revenue coming in it may help offset some of the cost of keeping the website up to date and enable me to keep it going as there is so much more to go onto the website.

Up to now partly due to time constraints I have only put some small pieces onto the Leith Shipyards website about the 4 previous Shipyards that eventually morphed into the shipyard known as the Henry Robb yard.

So please help to support the website by clicking through on any of the advert that you may find of interest as any little helps.

There are also many more job adverts on the Blog and will be on the website and if we can help to even get one person a job then wouldn’t that be a fine thing.

Your support and interest during this journey is much appreciated.
A scene from a once busy Leith Shipyard around the mid 1970's
and the Hibs also had a pretty good team in them days as well 7-0 springs to mind.

The new maritime E-library is now open at Ships and the Sea