Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Cammell Laird (Shipbuilders and Engineers)

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1965 June: Cammell, Laird and Co was split into two subsidiary companies[1]:

1969 Established a new subsidiary for sea-bed engineering; announced a wheeled sea-bed vehicle incorporating a Sperry navigator system[2]

1969 Launched HMS Conqueror, which would be the last nuclear-powered submarine built by Cammell Laird[3]

1970 The company made major loss due to problems in shipbuilding, exacerbated by the investment in establishing the capacity to build Polaris submarines, and losses on existing contracts[4].

1970 After the financial crisis, the parent company was renamed as Laird Group; it held 50 percent of the shipbuilding business (the government took on the other 50 percent), as well as the other activities of the former company.

1971 Graham Day was appointed chief executive[5]

1970s The company offered six standard designs: two cargo liners, two bulk carrier and two tanker sizes which were known as StaT32 and StaT55. It went on to build a number of these for Norwegian, South American and Dutch companies.

On 1st July 1977 Cammell Laird Shipbuilders was nationalised and became a member of British Shipbuilders

1980s The yard moved away from building tankers and towards constructing oil rigs and warships. There was a "sit in" by workers at the yard which led to the whole of the workforce being laid off and the yard was effectively closed. There was a split in the workforce between those on strike and a group of "back to work" committee members who marched into the yard everyday. Work at the yard began building up again in the mid-80s.

1985 the yard was merged with the Barrow yard of Vickers. It was then privatised later in the same year and became a subsidiary of VSEL.

1990 Vickers decided to close the yard in October 1990 and this came into effect on 30th July 1993 when the yard was then placed on a "care and maintenance" basis. The last ship to be launched at the yard was Unicorn.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Dec 29, 1965
  2. The Times, Apr 11, 1969
  3. The Times, Aug 29, 1969
  4. The Times Feb 05, 1970
  5. The Times, Aug 12, 1971