Collection of Hay and Woolfson Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Ephemera collection

Scope and Content

  • Various pamphlets from UCS and communist groups, such as the International Marxist Group, 1968-1972;
  • Various newspapers and articles (as well as underground press articles), from local and international newspapers, 1971-1977;
  • Various periodicals, including Agro and Press Ups, 1970-1973;
  • Xeroxed typescript (untitled) of a manifesto, 1973;
  • Various printed publications of communist writings, including Problems of Entrism, 1959-1974;
  • Essay on experiences in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow, undated;
  • Printed circular letter from Stuart Borthwick on the UCS crisis, 1971;
  • Papers concerning the Council of Academic Freedom and Democracy, especially its activities at the Universities of East Anglia and Glasgow, 1970-1972;
  • Parliamentary reports, 1971-1972;
  • Various press cuttings and reports, 1971-1980;
  • Notes for J Roy Hay and John MacLauchlan's interim bibliography of UCS ephemera, 1966-1972;
  • Papers relating to Fairfields, UCS and Clyde Shipbuilders Association agreements and Marathon agreements, 1965-1972;
  • Case studies of industrial relations in shipbuilding in the West of Scotland, 1970;
  • Papers concerning the campaign against the Housing Finance (Scotland) Act, 1971-1974;
  • Papers concerning industrial disputes and the work-in campaign at UCS, 1971-1972;
  • Report of the official liquidator on UCS Ltd, 1972;
  • File from the Clyde District Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions, undated;
  • Records of Babcock and Wilcox, Dalmuir, 1866-1968;
  • Reports and minutes from the Clydebank and District Christian Action Group and Clydebank Town Council linked to UCS dispute, 1971;
  • Memoranda relating to proposed merger of Govan, Linthouse, Scotstoun and Clydebank yards, 1971;
  • Annual Reports of Scottish Trade Union Congress, 1971-1972;
  • Statement from the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and from the directors of UCS, 1971;
  • Papers and Reports submitted to the Committee of Enquiry of the Scottish TUC, 1971-1973;
  • Papers concerning event leading up to the collapse of UCS, 1971;
  • Papers and correspondence dealing with financial aspects of UCS crisis, 1969-1971;
  • Estimated statement of affairs of Scottish News Enterprises Ltd, 1975;
  • Posters and cartoons related to UCS crisis, 1970s;
  • UCS employment charter, 1967;
  • Questionnaire for Glasgow General Strike Project, undated;
  • Audio recordings of interviews with participants in UCS struggle, 1971-1980;
  • Publications on UCS work-in, 1972-1986;
  • Transcripts of interviews with some of the participants in UCS struggle, 1979;
  • UCS work-in posters and other outsized ephemera, c1971-1986.

Administrative / Biographical History

In  1968 , the Labour government pronounced that  Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Ltd  (UCS) was to be responsible for shipbuilding in the Glasgow area. This decision resulted mainly from the findings of the Geddes Report on British shipbuilding. The report led the government to force the merger of the five existing shipbuilding companies from Clydebank to Govan, into one, which would be known as the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Ltd. The five yards merged were:  John Brown & Co (Clydebank) Ltd in Clydebank;  Fairfields (Glasgow) Ltd in Govan;  Alexander Stephen & Sons Ltd in Linthouse;  Charles Connell & Co Ltd  in Scotstoun; and  Yarrow & Co Ltd also in Scotstoun. The Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Yard was to set the bench mark not only for shipbuilding, but for industry as a whole in Britain. At its formation, there were nearly 14,000 people in the work-force. Yet, in  1971 , the company went in to receivership. A work-in was staged, led by two shop-stewards,  Jimmy Reid and  Jimmy Airlie, who were members of the Communist Party of Great Britain. Their action was partly successful, as in  1972  the government sanctioned the formation of  Govan Shipbuilders Ltd, with  Scotstoun Marine Ltd a wholly owned subsidiary. However, the existence of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Ltd was ended.

The collection of emphemera is one of the most extensive and comprehensive records of any industrial struggle in post-war Scotland. It was originally established in  1973  by J[ames] Roy Hay and John MacLauchlan with assistance from the Department of Economic History of the University of Glasgow, and an interim catalogue was published in the Journal of the Scottish Labour Society No. 8, June 1974, pp. 21-30. Since then Charles Alexander Woolfson has considerably augmented the collection with the material recovered during the course of his research for his PhD thesis Working class culture : the work-in at Upper Clyde Shipbuilders in 1982.


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received.

Access Information

Most of the records in this collection are open, however a number are restricted under Data Protection legislation as they contain sensitive information. These records will not be fully accessible to the public until 100 years from the date on each file, although they may be accessible to bona fide researchers and academics.

Please contact the Duty Archivist for advice on how to apply for access to these files. Contact details are as follows: Duty Archivist, University of Glasgow Archive Services 13 Thurso Street Glasgow Scotland United Kingdom G11 6PE Email:

Acquisition Information


Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Not all of the audio tapes have been digitised.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 procedures

Custodial History



None expected

Related Material

  • See also Glasgow University Archive Services source list on Ship Building, Ship Repair and Allied Industries;
  • GB 0248 DC 187 Papers of David Flint, fl 1920-2001, Professor of Accountancy and Vice-Principal, University of Glasgow, Scotland;
  • GB 0248 DC 455 Papers of James Reid, 1932-2010, Rector and Scottish trade union official, University Of Glasgow, Scotland;
  • GB 0248 UGD 180 Transcripts and reel to reel tape recordings of media reports of the UCS work-in, Glasgow, Scotland ;
  • GB 0248 UGD 181 Records of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Shop Stewards Committee, Govan, Glasgow, Scotland;
  • GB 0248 UGD 348 and GB 0248 UCS 001 Records of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Ltd;
  • GB 0248 UGD 349 and GB 0248 UCS 003 Records of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders Ltd;
  • GB 0248 ACCN 0989 Upper Clyde Shipbuilders liquidation material;
  • GB 0248 ACCN 3613 and GB 0248 ACCN 3629 Papers of Sir Robert Smith, 1928-, chartered accountant and official Upper Clyde Shipbuilders liquidator, Glasgow, Scotland;
  • GB 0243 UCS 002 Records of Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, 1801-1969 (Glasgow City Archives)
  • For contact details of all repositories with a GB code, see the ARCHON repository search page

Location of Originals

This material is original


Woolfson, Charles and Foster, John, The Politics of the UCS Work-in (1986, London)

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives, ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999and National Council on Archives, Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names


Fonds level description created by Andrew Thomson, Hub Project Archivist, 17 December 2004. Lower level descriptions compiled by Vikki Laidlaw, Hub Project Assistant, 17 December 2004. Catalogue converted to Encoded Archival Description by Victoria Stobo, Retroconversion Cataloguing Assistant, 29 May 2012. Fonds level description updated by Victoria Stobo, Retroconversion Cataloguing Assistant, 29 May 2012. Catalogue edited by Michelle Kaye, Archives Assistant, 22 June 2012. Amended and updated by Sam Maddra, Assistant Archivist (cataloguing), 25 November 2013 and 13 January 2014.