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British Industrial History

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Simons-Lobnitz, dredger builders, of Renfrew

1857 Henry C. Lobnitz, a Dane, joined the Renfrew yard of James Henderson.

1886 Andrew Brown became the controlling partner of William Simons and Co, a major dredger builder. Andrew Brown managed the yard along with William Simons Jr and Walter Simons; he was a respected designer of dredging equipment. Brown's innovations led to a long association with the Clyde Navigation Trust (which had been formed in 1809 to take on the management of the river Clyde. This allowed the shipbuilding industry to develop, and allowed Glasgow to develop into a major seaport).

By 1894 Henry C. Lobnitz was the owner of the James Henderson yard. Lobnitz used his Danish connections to generate trade for his yard. The Lobnitz yard built a wide variety of ships but was most known for its dredging fleet made for Weetman Dickinson Pearson.

The yard also made ships for the US Government

WWII Made many small gunboats and warships for the British Military during the First World War.

After the War, the yard made large suction dredgers and sludge carriers.

1957 The Simons yard was taken over by the Weir Group who then went on to buy out the Lobnitz yard in 1959. This was the genesis of Simons-Lobnitz.

1960 'Two famous Clydeside dredging firms combine their resources for Alluvial Dredging'.

1960 Name changed.

1961 Engineers and shipbuilders specialising in the construction of dredgers and harbour craft and alluvial dredgers for mining properties. 1,800 employees.

1961 The first vessel to be built by the Company was a large suction dredger Churni and a tug for Shell Venezuela.

1963 The company closed due to financial difficulties. However, the Simons and Lobnitz names were sold on to Stephen and Sons who built dredgers under that name.

1964 The yards were closed due to financial difficulties after building a hopper barge.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • L. A. Ritchie, The Shipbuilding Industry: A Guide to Historical Records (1992)
  • John Shields, Clyde Built: A history of Shipbuilding on the River Clyde (1949)
  • Fred M. Walker, Song of the Clyde: A History of Clyde Shipbuilding (2001)
  • British Shipbuilding Yards. 3 vols by Norman L. Middlemiss
  • Mining Year Book 1960. Published by Walter E. Skinner. Advert inside front cover
  • 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE