Saturday, 21 September 2019

SOFALA Ship No 241

The Twin Screw Motor Vessel SOFALA I can confirm was a motor vessel with 2 engines leading to twin screws, in responce to Gordon's question. He served on her when named Vorlooper and was unsure if she was single screw or twin. Happy to put the record straight about ships built at Leith and you will be able to find out so much more about the ships built at Leith, in my second book in the series which is almost complete.
In the meantine you can read about the ships from 1850 to the end of WW1 in the new book to be published next month.

The details of the book can be found at the publisher’s website as follows-

You can also pre-order the book from Amazon at the following link


Many thanks.

Friday, 6 September 2019

They Once Were Shipbuilders

Well at long last the first in the series of books on Ships built at Leith is now ready for pre-ordering.
The details of the book can be found at the publisher’s website as follows- You’ll see that the book is now available to order and that it’s available at a special pre-publication price of £14.99 which will run until 20th September.

Or the book can now be pre-ordered at Amazon by following the link shown below.

Saturday, 10 August 2019

New book Leith-Built Ships Vol 1-now ready

Well at long last the book is now ready for pre-order- details from the publishers as follows- You’ll see that the book is now available to order and that it’s available at a special pre-publication price of £14.99 which will run until 20th September.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Launch of the ST CATHERINE

Pleased to be able to show you this video clip of the launch of the passenger ferry ST CATHERINE ship No 534 from the Henry Robb (We had reverted back to the original name)
Shipyard on 30th March 1983. This fine ship is still going strong working in the Med, now run by Delcomar and named GB CONTI.
The video clip was sent in by Charlie who was a welder in the yard; he managed to get up one of the cranes just before the launch to record this wee bit of history.
Watch her go into the water here.

Look out for an announcement soon about my new book
Leith-Built Ships Volume 1

Monday, 31 December 2018

Goodbye 2018

Goodbye to 2018 & Hello to 2019

As we consign another year to history we will be bringing you right up to date in the New Year of 2019.

Lots to look forward to including news on the new book about shipbuilding at Leith with Volume One due to be published.


The new website will also begin to take shape so look out for that as well.

All that remains is to wish all the very best for 2019

many thanks for all the support over the years.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Leithshipyards website

Hi all,

Some of you good people may have noticed that their has been ongoing problems with the existing website, all due to a-hole hackers it has to be said.

Not to worry though there will be a brand new much more secure website arriving soon.

So look out for the new website, it will take some time but it should be even better than before.

New books on ships built at Leith will soon be ready as well, so keep checking back to find out how things are progressing.

Many more great ideas and news still to come about the ships built at Leith and the books all about them.

Thanks for your time.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Shipbuilding and Asbestos use.

While their may be little doubts about the merits of our once great shipbuilding industry, an industry that powered a country and right or wrong at one time the largest empire the world had seen.

An industry full of innovation and new technology for the time, making vast fortunes for the ones at the top all this came at a terrible price for the men who had to build the ships.

Working in conditions that were not conducive to good health shall we say, with one of the terrible materials being the wide use of red lead a paint coating used on all ships for many years? The dangers of lead are now well known.

 Above picture shows the lower bow unit of HMS HERALD being erected in 1974, with red lead paint all over used for protection and as a primer before the final finished coats of white paint would have her looking all ship shape and Bristol fashion. The date is correct it was only in 1974.

There was a worse material used with the knowledge of those involved in its continued use long after the dangers of using Asbestos were well documented, this knowledge was suppressed by successive governments and owners alike. White asbestos or blue asbestos it made little difference if inhaled into workers lungs.

Many men have paid the ultimate price and still many are afflicted with the results of working with asbestos, while the government lawyers produce reams and reams of paper-work and laws to try and prevent people making a claim for working with this fatal material. Mesothelioma  will result in a truly horrific way to died.

They are well aware that most if not all claimants will died off, the relatives will not have the wherewithal to continue the fight and the government of the day will not have to pay up or take responsibility yet again.

I often question what type of government treats its citizen so.

Anyone affected by this can contact the following organisation for help

My name is Bradley Welch and I work in the Public Outreach Department of The Mesothelioma Center (

Those who have worked on shipyards, ports and aboard ships were at risk of asbestos exposure and developing mesothelioma, a rare cancer that can take 20-50 years to develop. Our website features extensive information on asbestos and we work 1-on-1 with individuals to help them find local doctors, treatment centers and support groups all at no cost.

More information can also be found at the following - Please take a look at some of the great information we have at or

Public Outreach Team
The Mesothelioma Center

As is usual most of the above is aimed at U.S. Citizens not just shipyard workers but for anyone who served onboard any number of navy ships as they too were in danger.

In the U.K. you can go to the following -

The two links above are charitable organisations, as you have to be careful with many of the websites offering support on the internet are in fact just ambulance chasers, fat lawyers who want to take a stake of any compensation claim.

Leithshipyards website is more than pleased to be able to raise just a little bit more awareness on this terrible result of our shipbuilding past, no matter what country they all used the same materials long after they were well aware of the dangers of using such materials, all done in the name of profit.