Charles Connell & Company

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Charles Connell & Company was a shipyard on the River Clyde in Scotstoun , Glasgow , (Scotland). The company, which was founded in the mid-19th century, ceased operations in 1980.


Start time

The company was founded in 1861 by shipbuilder Charles Connell in Scotstoun, Glasgow. Connell previously gained experience in shipbuilding in several shipyards. He completed his apprenticeship at the Robert Steele and Co shipyard before later becoming the managing director of Alexander Stephen and Sons' Kelvinhaugh shipyard, now known as Yorkhill Quay . The shipyard launched the first steamship, the Palermo, as early as 1861/62 . The first construction contracts for conventional sailing ships , but also tea clippers, were accepted immediately , which resulted in more than 20 sailors, such as the 630-ton steamer Huntley Castle . The 1870s were characterized by increased steam construction and in the 1880s production was switched to the construction of steel ships. Charles Connell died on February 14, 1884, after which the management of the shipyard was passed to his eldest son, Charles B. Connell and his younger brothers and half-brothers. Steel yachts continued to be made, the only surviving being the Balclutha on display in the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. At the turn of the century, the shipyard's output shifted to freight and passenger steamers, mainly for liner services, but steam yachts were also built. 1902, the company is to "Limited" Aktiengesellschaft converted

World wars

During the First World War , the shipyard built seven sloops , 17 cargo ships for the liner service, six standard tramp ships and tankers. After the end of the war, the shipyard was modernized, with the new tower cranes particularly eye-catching. Connell continued to build freighters and passenger ships for liner services and tramping in the 1920s, building a very good reputation for the quality of the shipyard's passenger ships. After around 30 ships had been built by 1930, the shipyard was closed in the wake of the economic crisis. Shipbuilding only started again in 1937/38, after the longest closure of all British shipyards during this period. During the Second World War , Charles Connell & Company built twelve trampers, twelve liner freighters for civilian clients, and one fast freighter , but no warships in the traditional sense. The only exception was the construction of a kind of ferry or a large landing craft for the transport of tanks towards the end of the war.

post war period

In the first post-war years the focus was mainly on replacing lost and damaged tramp ships, after which, in the 1950s, in addition to building line freighters, building tankers and ore freighters increased. In 1961 the shipyard employed 950 people and soon got into a difficult business phase. The Geddes Report , produced in the wake of the crisis in the British shipbuilding industry, recommended merging with five other shipyards under the umbrella of a holding company . After 107 years in family hands, Connell merged on February 7, 1968 with Yarrow Shipbuilders in Scotstoun, Alexander Stephens & Sons in Linthouse , Fairfield Shipbuilders in Govan and John Brown & Company of Clydebank to form Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (UCS).

The shipbuilding group becomes insolvent after just three years . The Tory government, led by Edward Heath ’s, refuses to grant required loans of a further six million pounds, whereupon instead of the expected protests and strikes, the historic "work-in" takes place, a kind of "protest by continuing to work". The unusual strategy of the trade unions won the sympathy of large sections of the population and finally managed to persuade the government in February 1972 to partially give in. Connell was then merged with Yarrows and Fairfields to form Govan Shipbuilders and put back into regular service. Connell is renamed Scotstoun Marine in 1973. On July 1, 1977, Govan Shipbuilders was incorporated into the state-owned British Shipbuilders Corporation , with Connell operating as a subsidiary of Govan Shopbuilders. Furthermore, cargo ships were built at Scotstoun Marine, including two reefer ships and, towards the end of the 1970s, a series of six extremely large liner cargo ships for the United Arab Shipping Company .

In 1980 Scotstoun Marine, formerly Charles Connell & Company, finally closes its doors after 119 years of shipbuilding and 516 ships built. The shipyard's last ship was the bulk cargo ship Warka , which was completed in June 1980 for Polish clients. The site was cleared and the cranes dismantled. The buildings were taken over by the steel trading company GKN, while the wharfs are used by Motherwell Bridge Engineering for the assembly of heavy goods.

Well-known ships and series from Charles Connell & Company

See also

Individual evidence

  1. a b The Clydebank story (English)
  2. Yorkhill Quay at Historic Docks (English)
  3. Entry on Scotstoun Shipbuilding Yard  in Canmore, the database of Historic Environment Scotland (English)
  4. BBC News, January 1, 2002 on the shipbuilding crisis
  5. Hansard, June 4, 1971 on the parliamentary debate (English)

Web links