Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,400 pages of information and 233,519 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Ayrshire Dockyard

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of Irvine, Scotland

1888 Company founded

1907 Became private company

1912 When Mackie and Thomson sold their old Govan yard to Harland and Wolff in 1912, part of the deal was that a four ship contract would be given to them to build four ships at their new six berth yard, based at Irvine on the coast of Scotland.

1915 Name changed

WWI the yard built fleet tugs for the Admiralty along with merchant ships, Indian coastal passenger steamers and three standard "B" types (of an ordered six) were completed.

1920s The main customers of the yard were Clan Line Steamers and from 1919 to 1928, they built 25 ships.

1928 The yard was bought by Lithgows. A couple of tramps were completed, and work started on a couple of others, but production came to a halt when the Depression hit the shipbuilding industry badly.

1930s No shipbuilding happened in 1933 and manufacturing only really picked up from 1936 onwards. However, soon after, the yard was purchased by National Shipbuilders Security. The yard's main function became that of a ship repairer which it continued doing throughout the 40s and 50s.

1959 The yard discontinued shiprepairing, and started making cold rolled metal sections for Ayrshire Metal Products. This company still uses the site today. The Scottish Maritime Museum also uses the old platers shed to house boats and engines.

1961 Engineers, sheet metal workers and specialists in metal sections and metal partitioning. 500 employees. [1]

See Also


Sources of Information

  • British Shipbuilding Yards. 3 vols by Norman L. Middlemiss