Friday, 15 April 2011


The oldest ship still afloat (we think) built at the yards, The Lightship ALBATROSS seen in this photo painted in green for an art contest. She was Ship No 30 built in 1924.

With this now being the month of April it is perhaps fitting that this post about the yard is sent out in the same month that British Shipbuilders was to closed the yard officially the year was 1984. (Robb Caledon shipbuilders as they were then known)

After lingering on and completing the work in the yard, all but an experimental small submarine that is, (which was taken out of the yard under cover by the authorities) there was nothing left, but empty promises from a government that did not give a toss what was to happen to a small shipyard in Scotland.

All the protests and petitions to government were ignored, so after more than ½ million tons of steel had been shaped and formed into all makes of specialised ship types, barges, pontoons and lighters, the shipyard was closed down and the commercial property developers along with the Forth Ports authority rubbed their hands and wondered what to do with the huge piece of land that had built and launched so many ships over a time frame of around 65 years.

Then with the signature of some government flunky 600 years of shipbuilding in Leith was consigned to history. The stories and history of the ships and the yard will continue though on the website perhaps also fitting in today’s world that their will be a virtual shipyard now at

This blog will also of course continue to feature anything of interest with regard to the ships built in Leith, and in general feature shipbuilding and ships in today’s fast and constantly changing world.

Ship No 535 the final ship built at the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb.
(People associated with ships and the sea are a superstitious bunch so note how the numbers of the last ship add up to 13? could not mean anything, could it.)

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