Clyde Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Ltd

Scope and Content

  • Cost books c1918-1922;
  • Cost sheets 1901-1923.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Clyde Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Ltd existed at the Castle shipyard in Port Glasgow from 1900 to 1929 and in that period launched approximately 100 ships. They succeeded the shipbuilders Blackwood & Gordon who had been constructing ships on the same site since 1860. In early 1900 this latter company was in financial difficulties and the firm was reconstructed. Registered as The Clyde Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd in 1900 with a capital of £30,000 in £10 shares, amongst the principal shareholders were Sir William Arrol, John Reid (of Alexander Stephen & Sons) and Robert Carswell (of Ailsa Shipbuilding Co). The shipyard was then considerably extended with Sir William Arrol's firm supplying much of the necessary plant. In the period prior to the First World War the company built a wide selection of cargo and cargo-passenger vessels up to a maximum size of 4000 gross tons for owners that included those in Australia, Canada and Austro-Hungary. During the Great War ship production was almost entirely taken up with the construction of minesweepers for the Royal Navy. In 1919 Amalgamated Industrials Ltd, a newly formed concern, secured all of the ordinary and preference shares in the company. Production continued, but at a much slower pace, with the maximum size of vessel built increasing to 5700 gross tons. The financial collapse of Amalgamated Industrials Ltd in 1927 resulted in the forced closure of the shipyard. Sold to James Lamont & Co of Greenock in 1929 the yard was initially used for ship repairing only, however, Lamonts returned the premises to shipbuilding in 1940.