John Brown and Company, Clydebank, UK
The Clydebank shipyard of John Brown and Company, Clydebank, Scotland, is probably the best known of any of the Clyde shipyards world wide even by non- maritime people.
The shipyard was founded by brothers James and George Thomson who established two shipyards in Glasgow in 1847 and 1851. Forced to move because of the expansion of Glasgow Harbour, the Glasgow docks system they found a new location downriver near Dalmuir in 1871 at the mouth of the river Cart at Newshot . This allowed very large ships to be launched. A new town was built for the workforce and appropriately named Clydebank.
Due to various factors, John Brown and Company, a Sheffield steel-making firm took over the yard in 1899 and it became one of the leading shipbuilding yards in the world.
At the end of World War I in 1918 there was a great lack of naval orders which had kept the yard in work and this proved to be a near disaster. They managed to survive but only just, the 1930s recession seeing work on the Cunarder QUEEN MARY stopped for 3 years. However another conflict from 1939 to 1945 saw a rise in work.
After WW2 there was a great boom in merchant shipbuilding but this steadily declined by the late 1960s. The yard was forced to take loss-making contracts most notable of which was the Swedish liner KUNGSHOLM in 1966 and to a certain extent QUEEN ELIZABETH 2.During this time the yard became part of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders, which collapsed in 1971 resulting in the famous workers' "work in" . The last true ship to be built at the yard, a humble general cargo ship Alisa, was completed in 1972 by the liquidator of UCS. The yard then was taken over by an American firm Marathon and a new era began building offshore oil rigs. Marathon pulled out and the French firm UIE took over till about 2001, the last order being a massive floating production platform BLEO HOLM. for the North Sea oil fields. The site was levelled and is now the location of the new Clydebank College and other developments are scheduled to take place there also. One last reminder remains, the large Arrol Titan hammerhead fitting out crane which is open as a tourist attraction.
The roll call of famous ships apart from the 3 QUEENS from the yard would take up too much space but a few are: LUSITANIA,AQUITANIA, HMS HOOD, HMS DUKE OF YORK, HMS VANGUARD, HMY BRITANNIA and some of the biggest tankers for BP of the 1950s and 60s such as BRITISH QUEEN, DUCHESS, HUSSAR and MARINER.
With many thanks to Paul Strathdee
Queen Elizabeth 2
Year built: 1969
Builder: John Brown, Clydebank, UK
Former names: ...
Queen Elizabeth 1
One of two pictures to be found at my home, picture taken in 1960 at Southampton.
Editor: RMS Q...
HMS INTREPID L 11
HMS INTREPID @ the Portsmouth Naval Day 1987.
Editor: the HMS Intrepid (L11) was a Landing Pl...
OTAKI in Glasgow
New Zealand Shipping Co's cargo liner in Glasgow's King George V Dock in July 1973. A Clyde product,...