Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Blythswood Shipbuilding Co

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April 1952.

Blythswood Shipbuilding were a Scottish yard specialising in tankers, and operated for forty years before the size of its yard prevented it from competing effectively with its competitors.

1919 The Company was set up on 6th October 1919 by Hugh H. Macmillan and Donald Bremner, both of whom had had impressive careers in shipbuilding already.

1920s Initial orders were made for tankers and the yard expanded its berths to deal with these. Sadly, some of these orders were cancelled due to the freight slump and the following Depression. No work was undertaken by the yard in 1923 but it began building tramps again in 1924. In 1925 the yard returned to making tankers.

1926 Received contract for four twin-screw motor ships of 10,000 each on behalf of Furness, Withy and Co

1927 See Aberconway for information on the company and its history

1928 The yard was bought out by the Northumberland Shipbuilding Co, going on to build 120 ships over the following 40 years.

1930s Having forged a close relationship with Furness, Withy and Co, the yard received orders for a wide variety of vessels. These ranged from tankers to cargo liners, refrigerated fruit carriers, coastal tankers and passenger ships. In addition, a number of tankers were produced for the Admiralty during World War II.

1940s The yard continued making dry cargo ships along with over 36 deep sea tankers between 1946 and 1961.

1960 Acquired by Norcros

1960s Converted some tankers but the commissions for large tankers began to dry up and the yard began building caravans and mobile homes.

1964 The yard was closed.

1965 The yard was bought by Yarrow and Co to extend their warship yard[1]

Renamed Blythswood and Yarrow? [2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Dec 30, 1964
  2. The Engineer 1966 Jan-Jun: Index
  • L. A. Ritchie, The Shipbuilding Industry: A Guide to Historical Records (1992)
  • British Shipbuilding Yards. 3 vols by Norman L. Middlemiss