Records of Scott Lithgow Ltd, shipbuilders, Greenock, Inverclyde, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Board papers 1968-1988
  • Directors' reports and accounts 1969-1988
  • Directors' correspondence files 1968-1988
  • Company secretary's files 1967-1988
  • Financial records 1966-1987
  • MOD department files 1979-1987
  • Technical department files 1975-1985
  • Planning department files 1969-1985
  • Estimating department files 1960s-1980s (unlisted)
  • Cost books 1960s-1980s (unlisted)
  • Plant and property 1969-1988
  • Personnel and industrial relations 1966-1987
  • Retirement and death benefit scheme files 1971-1981
  • Marketing and public relations papers c.1970-1987
  • Merger files 1951-1975 (for material relating to 1969 companies see individual company records)
  • Cochin Shipyard files 1973-1981
  • Ships papers 1960s-1980s, (unlisted)
  • Technical - general and machinery 1960s-1980s (unlisted)
  • British Shipping Research Association reports 1970-1983
  • Records and published material received from, and relating to, British Shipbuilders 1977-1987
  • Records and published material received from, and relating to, Trafalgar House plc 1983-1992

Administrative / Biographical History

Established on 1 January 1970  , Scott Lithgow Ltd was the product of an amalgamation of the business interests of Scotts' Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd , Greenock, Inverclyde , Scotland established in 1711 and Lithgows Ltd , Port Glasgow , Scotland, established in 1874. The merger was established as a direct result of the Geddes Committee of Enquiry into the Shipbuilding Industry (1966) on a 60/40 share basis with Scotts' having control of the larger portion.

Only the shipbuilding and engineering business of the two companies was merged and a number of other companies were established to operate their interests:

The Scott Lithgow Training Centre , formed in 1968, also became part of the group. The (1969) set of companies emerged as the operating interests of Scott Lithgow Ltd .

In 1971, Newark Ferguson Ltd was formed as a wholly owned subsidiary of Ferguson Bros (Port Glasgow) Ltd to act as an agent for the engineering industry.

On 30 April 1973, the company acquired Cowal Engineering Co Ltd which had two wholly owned subsidiaries, Greenock Engineering Co Ltd and Inchgreen Engineering Co Ltd . Inchgreen Engineering Co Ltd changed its name in December 1976 to Scott Lithgow (Offshore) Ltd to become the outlet for the company's offshore work.

In June 1974, Ardgowan Shipping Co Ltd and Blackhall Shipping Co Ltd were formed. Neither company traded and both were subsequently sold to the Furness Withy Group as part of the financial arrangement for the sale of two ships.

In 1975 Newark Ferguson Ltd was sold by Ferguson Bros (Port Glasgow) Ltd to Scott Lithgow Ltd . This followed the transfer of the Newark stern gland business, the development of propeller shaft seals, to Cowal Engineering Co Ltd .

Scott Lithgow Ltd became part of the nationalised British Shipbuilders Corporation in 1977. The Corporation was initially organised into four industrial sectors but by 1980 this had been rearranged to create five trading divisions - merchant shipbuilding, warship building, engineering, ship repair and an off-shore division. Scott Lithgow Ltd became part of the off-shore division.

In April 1981, following a steady contraction of the shipbuilding and offshore construction industry, British Shipbuilders embarked on a re-organisation programme. As part of this programme, the Scott Lithgow board decided to dissolve its individual operating companies and have all future operations dealt with through one company, i.e. Scott Lithgow Ltd . Shipbuilding operations at Cartsdyke Shipyard and Bowling ceased and Cowal Engineering closed. The Caledonia Joinery transferred to Lithgows and the Caledonia Fabrications transferred to the Scotts Engineering Company and Ferguson Bros (Port Glasgow) Ltd becoming a separate profit centre within British Shipbuilders.

In 1984, as part of the Government's privatisation plan, Scott Lithgow Ltd was sold to Trafalgar House plc , to become a non-trading branch of that company's off-shore engineering division. The Port Glasgow yard was placed on a care and maintenance basis in 1986/7. Scott Lithgow ceased to trade in 1993 and the yard was offered for sale.


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


Acquisition Information

National Archives of Scotland : 1994

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

Other Finding Aids

Manual file level list of the Scott Lithgow Group collection available in searchroom

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for large scale copying must be referred to the Keeper of the Records of Scotland

Any requests to publish or reproduce documents from the collection must be referred to the Keeper of the Records of Scotland

Appraisal Information

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

Custodial History

Records held by Scott Lithgow Ltd prior to acquisition by the National Archives of Scotland


None expected

Related Material

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

GB 248 GD 319 Records of Scotts' Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd

GB 248 GD 320 Records of Lithgows Ltd

GB 248 GD 321 Records of Ferguson Bros (Port Glasgow)

GB 248 GD 322 Records of Scott and Sons (Bowling) Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/2 Records of Scotts of Greenock (Est'd 1711) Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/3 Records of Scotts Shipbuilding Co Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/4 Records of Scotts Engineering Co Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/5 Records of Scotts and Son (Bowling) Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/6 Records of Cartsdyke Dockyard Co Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/7 Records of Greenock Dockyard Co Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/8 Records of Cowal Engineering Co Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/9 Records of Inchgreen Engineering Co Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/10 Records of Greenock Engineering Co Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/11 Records of Ardgowan and Blackhall Shipping Companies Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/12 Records of Lithgows (Holdings) Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/13 Records of Lithgows Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/14 Records of Ferguson Brothers (Port Glasgow) Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/15 Records of Caledonia Fabrications Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/16 Records of Caledonia Joinery Co Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/17 Records of Newark Ferguson Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/18 Records of Kingston Marine Technology Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/19 Records of Scott Lithgow Training Centre Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/20 Records of Scott Lithgow (Offshore) Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/21 Records of International Marine Constructors Ltd

GB 248 GD 323/22 Records of Scott Lithgow Drydocks Ltd


There are no known publications using this material

Additional Information

This material is original

The fonds level of description wascompiled by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, 10 October 2001

No alterations made to date