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Sunday, 27 September 2015

Leith Built Ships: RSS BRANSFIELD The Bransfield at Halley Bay, Antarctica

Leith Built Ships: RSS BRANSFIELD The Bransfield at Halley Bay, Antarctica

Fairfields Shipyards


The launch of HMS DRAGON in this posed picture

Another fine use for some of the shipbuilding heritage and history in Scotland has arrived with the opening of the former head offices and old drawing office of the Fairfields shipbuilding company.

The Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company opened its new Govan yard in 1864 and was named after the once agricultural land it occupied.
Fairfields would become the greatest shipyard in a city that was responsible for 20 per cent of global production by 1913.

At its peak, the industry on the Clyde employed 100,000 staff at more than 40 yards.



While shipbuilding of course continues at the Govan yard on a somewhat smaller scale the The A-listed former Fairfields head offices and drawing rooms, which had lain empty for several years, were bought in 2009 by social enterprise Govan Workplace.

The refurbished buildings now provide office space for local businesses and is home to the Fairfield Heritage centre.

Surely a better use than turning it into another shopping centre?



Sunday, 20 September 2015

Last Surviving Building from Leith Shipyards to Re-Open

We are pleased to be able to tell you that the only remaining building from the Leith Shipbuilding era is to be re-opened as an art studio for budding artists to present there work.

This is the only remaining building that Forth Ports at the time never managed to knock down, which was no surprise as it was originally built to sustain attack from German Bombers during the dark days of World War Two.

The last remaining building of hundreds of years of shipbuilding at Leith


Built at the request of the Admiralty to help protect all the many ship plans and drawings that were required to build all the many warships at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Ltd, such as Corvettes and Frigates for the Royal Navy during the six years of War.
They required a secure facility from the threat of fire from incendiary bombs dropped by German aircraft.

Hell what chance had Forth Ports of knocking it down when the German bombers could not do it.


The building was constructed the same as a traditional riveted ship's superstructure complete with riveted seams and ships portholes.

Also used as a first aid station and latterly as a chemical/paint store it is just good to report that some use has been found for the building.

The building is now some 150m away from where it was originally in what may be the only "Listed" building in Scotland to have been physically moved from its original place. (Read more on the website)

There are also plans to turn some of the building into a small museum space to show some shipbuilding items from this long almost lost history of hundreds of years of the art of shipbuilding at Leith, Scotland.

You will also see more of what the art group intend to do here at http://www.dokartistspace.org/

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Leith Built Ferry leaves the U.K.

ST HELEN Ship No 535 now named as ANNA MUR


The ex ST HELEN now named as ANNA MUR owned by Delcomar has now left the waters of the U.K. heading for her new home port in the Island of Sardinia.

The last ship built at Leith as Ship No 535 has finally left the British Shores for warmer climes. She will soon join her sister ship the ex ST CATHERINE (GB CONTE) working in the warmer waters of the Mediterranean. ST HELEN sailed for Italy as Delcomar's Anna Mur on Thursday 17th September, leaving Southampton at just gone 13:00.

She left via the Western Solent via the needles and gave several blasts to those of us who came to see her off near Hurst point. The following video is shown here and produced by Anni at (Wightlink) who was there to see her off, Anni spent many years working on both the Saint Class ferries built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Ltd.

Here's some video of her blasting farewell...

https://youtu.be/CLI4gTwuG1o


You will be able to see much more about the last two ships built at Leith on the website Many more stories and photographs to go in so keep checking back with www.leithshipyards.com



Leith Ferry in warmer waters



The ex ST CATHERINE now named as GB CONTE and owned by Delcomar seen in warmer waters.


GB CONTE ex ST CATHERINE


GB CONTI seen here in Sardinia on the right of this photograph from Anni (Wightlink) taken on a visit to see the ex ST CATHERINE now working away in the sunshine for Delcomar.

She is looking as good as new some 30 years after being launched as Ship No 534 from the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Ltd.

Here is a nice video taken by Anni as she joined the old ferry for a few trips in the warm waters of the Island of Sardinia.


https://youtu.be/5rDkQVm1hcQ


She is soon to be joined by her sister ship the ST HELEN now called ANNA MUR

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Merchant Navy Day

The Red Duster


Merchant Navy Day

Since 2000, Merchant Navy Day on 3 September has honoured the brave men and women who kept our island nation afloat during both World Wars, and celebrated our dependence on modern day merchant seafarers who are responsible for 95% of the UK's imports, including half the food we eat.

For more click here