Records of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Ltd, Clydebank Division, shipbuilders, Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Minute and agenda books 1890-1971
  • Reports to board and committee 1930-1962
  • Board papers: James & George Thomson Ltd 1863-1900
  • Board papers: Clydebank Engineering & Shipping Co Ltd 1896-1966
  • Board papers: John Brown Engineering (Clydebank) Ltd 1902-1968
  • Annual general geetings, directors' reports, accounts 1930-1967
  • Financial records 1846-1969
  • Administrative files 1903-1969
  • Shipyard diaries 1871-1968
  • Letter books of the Directors and Secretary; customer letter books, general letter books and registers of correspondence, 1857-1968
  • Enquiries, tender and contract files 1886-1973
  • Shipyard and plant files 1884-1967
  • Clydebank property, workers' houses etc. files 1855-1946
  • Valuation books 1884-1967
  • Plant and property registers 1899-1917
  • Staff and staff wages records 1853-1967
  • Contract records 1899-1962
  • Apprentice registers 1888-1969
  • Production records 1871-1973
  • Cost books 1881-1970
  • Plans, including ship plans (ships nos. 599-1025), small boat plans, standard tracings (293 drawings) 1852-1970
  • News cuttings, launch invitations and brochures, 1880-1970
  • Photographs (prints, negatives and albums) including ships nos. 184-740 and miscellaneous others, 1880-1972
  • Publications 1893-1970

Administrative / Biographical History

The firm was established in 1847  when James and George Thomson set up an engine and boiler works at Clyde Bank Foundry, Finneston, Glasgow, Scotland . Four years later they commenced shipbuilding with the establishment of the Clyde Bank Iron Shipyard at Cessnock Bank, Govan, Glasgow . In 1871  this yard moved to a greenfield site down river and in 1884  the engineering works also moved to this site, which had given its name to the burgh, which grew up around it, Clydebank. In 1890  the firm was incorporated as a limited liability company, James & George Thomson Ltd . It changed its name to the Clydebank Engineering & Shipbuilding Co Ltd in 1897  and two years later was taken over by John Brown & Co Ltd , steel manufacturers, Sheffield, England and was renamed John Brown Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd . The company had a long association with the Cunard company, building the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth in the 1930s  .

With effect from 31 December 1953  a new subsidiary, John Brown & Co (Clydebank) Ltd was set up to operate the Clydebank works. The engineering side of the business was separated in 1963  with the creation of John Brown Engineering (Clydebank) Ltd and John Brown Shipbuilding (Clydebank) Ltd. In 1968  the shipyard became the Clydebank Division of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Ltd , but following the recommendations of the Geddes Committee of Enquiry into the Shipbuilding Industry (1965). Following the collapse of Upper Clyde Shipbuiders in 1972  the yard was taken over by Marathon Shipbuilding Co (UK) Ltd for the building of oil rigs. In 1980  UIE Shipbuilding (Scotland) Ltd succeeded Marathon in the yard. The yard finally closed in 2000 and was scheduled for regeneration.

Ritchie, L A (ed),The shipbuilding industry: A guide to historical records, (1992, Manchester)


This material is arranged into series, which consist of numbers of items related by function and/or format. Within series, the items are generally arranged chronologically.

Access Information

Requests for access for legal, business or commercial purposes must be referred to the Keeper of the Records of Scotland (UCS 001 only).

Open (UGD 348 only).

Acquisition Information

National Archives of Scotland 1974-1998

Held under the charge and superintendence of the Keeper of the Records of Scotland

Private deposits 1989-1991; John Brown Engineering (Clydebank) Ltd 1992


This material is original

Other Finding Aids

Manual file level list available in searchroom

Manual file level list available at the National Registers of Archives in Edinburgh (NRA(S)535) and London (NRA14659)

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

See separate copyright regulations (UCS 001 only)

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the University Archivist (UGD 348 only)

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & conditions of documents (UGD 348 only)

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with National Archives of Scotland procedures

Custodial History

Records held by Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Ltd, Clydebank Division prior to acquisition by the National Archives of Scotland


Accruals possible

Related Material

See source list on Shipping and Shipbuilding Industry available via the Glasgow University Archive Services homepage

GB 248 UGD 355 and GB 248 UCS 005 Records of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Ltd (shipbuilders and engineers: 1968-1972: Glasgow, Scotland)

GB 199 Records of John Brown & Co (Clydebank) Ltd, summary ledgers, jounals and photograhs, 1890s-1940s (Sheffield Archives)

GB 234 CS 96/4820-1 Records of John Brown & Co (Clydebank) Ltd, riveters' piece work book and squad book, 1906-1907 (National Archives of Scotland)

GB 064 Records of John Brown & Co (Clydebank) Ltd, hydrodynamic testing records, 1906-1907 (National Maritime Museum)

GB 243 TD232/140 Plans of HMS Australia, 1911-1913 (Glasgow City Archives)

For contact details of all repositories with a GB code, see the Archon repository search page


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

The fonds level of description was compiled by Jenny Bunn, Assistant Archivist, 3 April 2000

Revised by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 19 October 2001

Geographical Names