Records of the Gourock Ropes & Canvas Ltd, rope and textile manufacturers, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Scope and Content

  • Annual accounts and reports 1939-1963;
  • Balance papers and correspondence 1944-1955;
  • Correspondence 1954-1959;
  • Sales figures and related correspondence 1959-1963.

Administrative / Biographical History

The  Gourock Ropeworks Co, rope makers and textile manufacturers, Port Glasgow, Inverclyde, Scotland, created the wholly owned subsidiary  Gourock Ropes & Canvas Ltd in  1888  to deal with the overseas trade. The first branch was opened in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1888 and in  1902  a branch in Sydney, Australia was opened.

The Buenos Aires branch traded chiefly in manila rope, cotton and flax sail cloth and Birkmyre's waterproof cloth. Until  1906 , when machinery was sent out from Britain and a small factory established, all covers and tents were hand sewn. Trade with shipping companies for awnings, ropes, hatch and cargo covers increased. The factory closed in  1918  and new purpose built works were erected in  1924  providing both a factory and a store. Supplies of manila ropes, which were imported from Port Glasgow, often were insufficient and it was decided in the  1930s  to start production of ropes in Buenos Aires, a main buyer of which was the Argentine government. In  1940  a proofing department was installed to produce a lower quality waterproof canvas that would compete with the rivals that were coming onto the market. During the Second World War the materials needed to produce rope that were normally imported from Port Glasgow were no longer available and it was decided that hard fibre spinning plant be installed to allow the manufacturer of the yarn needed for rope. By  1954  the plant was running successfully. The company appears to have ceased trading in the  1960s  and the Gourock Ropes & Canvas Ltd was dissolved in  1999 .



Access Information


Acquisition Information

Gourock Ropeworks Co Ltd : Port Glasgow : c.1971

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Manual file level list available at the National Registers of Archives in Edinburgh (NRA(S)1717) and London (NRA10832)

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

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

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures

Custodial History

The bulk of this material was received directly from the creator by the Economic History Department, Glasgow University in c1971. Management of the collection transferred to Glasgow University Archives in 1975.


None expected

Related Material

GB 0248 UGD 42 Records of Gourock Ropeworks Co Ltd

The Gourock Ropeworks Co had a number of subsidiary companies whose records survive:

GB 0248 UGD 42/6/1 Records of Govan Ropeworks Co Ltd

GB 0248 UGD 42/6/2 Records of Archibald Thomson Black & Co

GB 0248 UGD 42/6/3 Records of Gourock Ropeworks Export Co

GB 0248 UGD 42/6/4 Records of Gourock-Bridport Ltd, Montreal, Canada

GB 0248 UGD 42/6/5 Records of Greenock Ropework Co

GB 0248 UGD 42/6/6 Records of Gourock Ropes and Canvas (Africa) Ltd

GB 0248 UGD 42/6/7 Records of Gourock Ropes and Canvas Co Ltd, Australia (including Birkmyre Canvas Co Pty Ltd)

GB 0248 UGD 42/6/8 Records of Birkmyre Brothers (Calcutta) Ltd

GB 0248 UGD 42/6/9 Records of Gourock Ropes & Canvas Ltd, New Zealand

GB 0248 UGD 42/6/12 Records of miscellaneous companies related to the Gourock Ropeworks Co Ltd

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

Material in other repositories: no material associated by provenance


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original

No alterations made to date