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Saturday, 31 December 2016

Awe the very best for 2017

Let's wish for a fair wind and calm waters ahead for all our many readers in 2017

"Happy New Year"

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Classic Ships - RMS AQUITANIA

As we approach the new year of 2017 we continue with a look back the way at some of the classic ships built not only at Leith but all over the world, as shipbuilding is a truly global industry now.
It is debatable if we could feature a finer vessel in this classic ship series than the Liner that was to be known as "The Ship Beautiful" the RMS AQUITANIA built and launched at the John Brown Shipbuilding yard on the Clyde in Scotland.

If ever a ship deserved her given title it was the grand old AQUITANIA a vessel that was to serve through two world wars and survive is a real testament to the shipbuilding skills on the River Clyde.

The AQUITANIA on the stocks at John Browns at Clydebank almost ready to launch in 1913

RMS AQUITANIA was ordered by the Cunard Line and designed by Leonard Peskett. and built by John Brown & Company in Clydebank, Scotland.
She was launched on 21 April 1913 and sailed on her maiden voyage to New York on 30 May 1914.

The RMS AQUITANIA was the third in Cunard Line's "grand trio" of express liners, preceded by RMS Mauretania and RMS Lusitania, and was the last surviving four-funnelled ocean liner.

Widely considered one of the most attractive ships of her time, AQUITANIA earned the nickname "The Ship Beautiful".

In her 36 years of service, AQUITANIA survived military duty in both world wars and was returned to passenger service after both the First World War and the Second World War.

AQUITANIA held the record for the longest service career of any 20th-century express liner until broken by Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) in 2004, became the longest serving Cunard Line vessel.

You will find a great many more classic ships photographs at the website, the collection is being added to continuously, so why not check it out. 

Friday, 11 November 2016



2 minutes of your time at 11:00 GMT

Stuff FIFA an organisation now so far removed from the people who have put them in the Ivory Tower, an organisation for football which should stick to football and sorting out the corruption within, who are they to tell anyone when or how they can wear a poppy of remembrance in the oldest football international game in the world, between two countries who gave the game and so much more to the world.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Good for Clyde Shipbuilding

Work on building eight Type 26 frigates at Clyde shipyards will start next summer, the defence secretary has said.
Michael Fallon said the date for cutting the first steel would help secure new investment and safeguard hundreds of skilled jobs until 2035.
He also announced that a contract for two new offshore patrol vessels would be signed shortly.
This will secure jobs before the Type 26 frigate work is fully under way, he said.
An £859m deal to build the ships on the Clyde was signed in February 2015.
But the project has been scaled back and hit by repeated delays, with concerns that jobs could be lost as a result.

'Value for money'

During a visit to the Govan area of Glasgow, Mr Fallon said: "Backed by Britain's rising defence budget, the Type 26 Programme will deliver a new generation of cutting-edge warships for our Royal Navy at best value for taxpayers.
"The UK government's commitment today will secure hundreds of high-skilled shipbuilding jobs on the Clyde for at least two decades and hundreds more in the supply chain across Britain."
The defence secretary also announced a £100m contract with the consortium MBDA to deliver the Sea Ceptor missile defence system for the ships.
Gary Smith of the GMB union said it was "fantastic news" for the upper Clyde shipyards - though he said the UK government had not delivered on all its promises.
He told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland programme: "We were told there was to going to be a 'frigate factory' built on the Clyde that would allow us to deliver ships more efficiently.
"It would perhaps have given us the facility to build ships that could be exported.
"And Michael Fallon in truth was dragged kicking and screaming to this announcement today after we exposed the fact that his government did plan to move some of the work originally planned for the Clyde, down south.
"But cutting through it all great, news for the workforce and great news for the economy in greater Glasgow as well."
The promise of new Royal Navy orders to secure the Clyde shipbuilding industry was made before the Scottish independence referendum in 2014.
The number of planned new frigates was later scaled back from 13 to eight, although the MoD retained the option to build five smaller and cheaper general-purpose vessels.
The Type 26 Global Combat Ships will be built by BAE Systems at the company's Glasgow yards in Govan and Scotstoun.
For more see the BBC website at

Of course that is from the official press release which will not mention all the Government interference and dodging that has gone on over the past 18 months or so and the word on the street is that they even intended to shift some of the work if not all of it down South, but nothing new in that, it would appear that for now at least the shipbuilders (the few that remain) will have work for the foreseeable future which has to be regarded as a good thing, although the number of ships has been cut from lucky "13" down to eight this is still a very large project which now has the few remaining yards around Britain all crying out for their bit of the pie.

This may or not come about with a release of news as it gets closer to election time that the 5 remaining smaller ships will indeed be built elsewhere, for now it is looking good for shipbuilding in the two remaining main shipyards on a river that could at one time boast of close to Fifty (50) shipyards on this relitivly small stretch of water.  

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Classic Ships - SOUTHERN CROSS

we continue with the series on "Classic Ships" and you can see many more of these photographs at the

We start off her with one of the many fine ships built in the Dundee Caledon shipyard a yard which was to join with the Henry Robb Shipyard for a while and the company was renamed as Robb Caledon Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd, before the Caledon Shipyard was closed down in 1982 and the Leith yard reverted back to the Henry Robb name, before it too was closed down in 1984

The SS BAROSSA was launched in 1938 built at the Caledon yard of Dundee, Scotland

The picture below is a ship that was built and launched in a shipyard that was almost directly opposite the Leith Shipyard of henry Robb, The Burntisland Shipyard also built many fine ships over the years, they had the capacity to build larger vessels than the Leith Shipyard, and during World War II they did indeed build many Escort Aircraft Carriers.

The WARRINGA was built at the Burntisland shipyards, Scotland in 1955

Last but by no means least the old Liner SOUTHER CROSS which was built by Harland & Wolff in Belfast Northern Ireland

 The SOUTHERN CROSS was launched in 1954 and completed in 1955

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Classic Ships

We have now started a new feature on the Blog to be called Classic Ships which will feature Classic Ships from around the world, as many ships were in fact built at Leith, a great many more were built all around the world, so we have decided to honour them in our own small way, no bloody "Box Ships" here, they will all be ships that had form and shape to them.

The first ones and they will be in no particular order are a ship from Italy and another built in Denmark, all ships that look like ships.


She was built in Denmark by Flensburger and launched in 1938


She was built in Italy by Ansaldo and launched in 1952


 Look out for many more in the new "Classic Ship" series


Sunday, 12 June 2016

SCOT II - Model build begins

The building of the model for the SCOT II ice-breaking tug is now underway and being put together by Steve, working to original shipyard drawings and ships lines.
The model starts off being assembled upside down and then at a later stage she will be turned right way up to continue the build of the model.

SCOT II Model build begins

SCOT II - Stern

It is hoped that the actual restoration of the hull and build of the old original SCOT II Ship No 184 originally built at the Leith shipyards of Henry Robb in 1931 will begin again to progress by this autumn and the Blog and website will of course be first with any news on this.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Even Sherlock Holmes is Celebrating

Nothing to do with ships but everything to do with where the ships used to be built.

A little bit of History was created at the weekend with Hibernian Football Club persevering for over 114 years to break the curse that has hung over the club, by winning the Scottish Cup and there were some famous supporters celebrating including the top detective Sherlock Holmes (Who just may need to investigate the claims made by the beaten side) as seen below sporting the colours of the original "Greens"

Sherlock Holmes was given the job of finding someone in Edinburgh/Leith who did not think that Hibernian deserved to win the Scottish Cup, and despite the great sleuths best efforts he is still looking.

Sherlock began his searching in Edinburgh (BBC photograph)

His search took him up and down Leith Walk

Sherlock Holmes even enlisted the help of the local constabulary and there horses but still no luck in finding anyone with half a brain who thinks that Hibernian did not deserve fully to win the Scottish Cup 2016 

His full day search took him from the High Street in Edinburgh down to Princes Street (BBC photograph below)

 This was perhaps going to be the only case in the famous detectives whole career that he was unable to solve, he even tried asking the people down at Leith Links (The original home of Golf)

 If you think you can help Sherlock please do, the great man is almost at a loss to explain the lack of people who think that Hibernian do not deserve to be the new proud owners of the Scottish Cup (The oldest original cup in Association Football)

So who was the beaten opponents of the Hibernian Football Club, well I am afraid that we cannot really answer this question as the team in question seem to continually change there name, all we can say for certain is that they where/are a team from Glasgow.

We Persevered and Hibsed it.

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Tribute to a "Real Leither"

His association with ships was in the fact that he used to land aircraft onto them and more than anyone else for that matter.

One of the most famous British pilots, Capt Eric "Winkle" Brown, has died at the age of 97.
He was the Royal Navy's most decorated pilot and held the world record for flying the greatest number of different types of aircraft, 487.
During the Second World War Capt Brown flew fighter aircraft and witnessed the liberation of Bergen Belsen concentration camp.

"Eric was the most decorated pilot of the Fleet Air Arm in which service he was universally known as 'Winkle' on account of his diminutive stature.
"He also held three absolute Guinness World Records, including for the number of aircraft carrier deck landings and types of aeroplane flown."
Born in Leith on 21 January 1919, he was educated at Fettes College and the University of Edinburgh, where he learned to fly.

More on the story from the BBC website

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Replica "TITANIC" may yet be built?

Would you fancy a cruise on a replica ship, if so then what better than a replica TITANIC
Complete with all the modern aids to safety at sea of course, although still maned by humans and expected to make a profit (A bit like the replica of the BOUNTY?)

The rendering as seen above keeps pretty much with the original look of the ship although reports say that she will be some 4 metres wider than the original (Dont know how this will effect her stability, may even make it better) and she will of course have her full compliment of lifeboats as per SOLAS requirements.
I for one am all for replica ships being built, would just prefer if it was being built in Europe or in the States rather than China, as there pedigree with shipbuilding still leaves a bit to be desired shall we say.
Slated for a launch date some time in 2018 after being delayed or put back a couple of years it will be interesting and full on publicity should it happen.

Friday, 1 January 2016

A Happy and Peaceful 2016

A Happy and Peaceful 2016

We would like to wish all of our many visitors both to this Blog and the Leith Shipyards website a very Happy and Peaceful 2016

Ship No 347 started out with the name LOCH KATRINE one of the Loch Class Frigates built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb Ltd, in the dark days of the Second World War
She went on to become part of the New Zealand Navy, as HMNZS ROTOITI and spent some years based in the far south of the Southern Ocean on station as a rescue and weather ship as support to the bases in the Antarctic.

So please spare a though or two for those who may not be able to be at home at this time of the year.