Ferguson Shipbuilders

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Ferguson Shipbuilders Limited is a shipyard in Port Glasgow on the Clyde in Scotland . Ferguson is the last shipbuilder on the lower reaches of the Clyde and the last merchant shipyard on the whole river. Well-known products of the shipyard were dredgers and car ferries .


The company was founded in March 1903 as Ferguson Brothers by four brothers Peter, Daniel, Louis and Robert Ferguson. Before they all worked at the Fleming & Ferguson shipyard in Paisley and had briefly run a technical advisory office before they were transferred to Clyde Shipping Co. Ltd. had received a construction contract for two steam tugs and for this purpose leased the former Newark shipyard in Port Glasgow for 500 pounds per year. The brothers continued to build tugs and dredgers and in 1907 they bought the property from Messrs. W. Hamilton. After the company became Ferguson Brothers (Port Glasgow) Ltd. in 1912 . Company was converted, John Slater Ltd. (Amalgamated Industries) to take over the company after the end of the First World War . In addition to hopper dredgers and cargo ships, the shipyard also produced the polar research and discovery ship Discovery II . However, the Ferguson family managed to regain ownership of the company in the late 1920s.

During the Second World War Ferguson built trawlers , corvettes , net-laying machines , naval tugs, two-screw suction dredgers and four passenger and vehicle ferries for Turkey .

In the post-war period, the pre-war construction program was followed up and bucket chain and other dredgers were again manufactured until the 1970s. Only after the death of Bobby Ferguson in 1955 were larger shares from Lithgows Ltd. acquired, which took over the shipyard with its approximately 500 company employees in 1961. The shipyard formed an independent unit within the Scott Lithgow Group from 1969 to 1977.

On July 1, 1977, the shipyard was incorporated into the state-owned British Shipbuilders Corporation . From 1980, a cooperation between Ferguson Brothers and the Ailsa Shipbuilding Company began before they were legally merged to Ferguson-Ailsa, Limited in 1983 . As early as 1986, however, the two companies separated again in order to sell Ailsa and to merge Ferguson with Appledore Shipbuilders in Devon to form Appledore Ferguson . In the late 1980s, the relatively small Appledore and Ferguson shipyards were among the last remaining state-owned. Ferguson and Appledore were split again in 1989 and Clark Kincaid acquired Ferguson in the same year to continue operating the yard as Ferguson Shipbuilders . In the following year, Clark Kincaid was taken over by Kvaerner and renamed Kvaerner Kincaid. Just one more year later, Kvaerner Ferguson Shipbuilders Ltd. in turn to Ferguson Marine plc. The complete stake in Ferguson Marine was taken over by Holland House Electrical Group in 1995. On August 15, 2014, the insolvent shipyard ceased operations and is looking for a buyer.

Construction numbers

The construction numbers of the Ferguson shipyard are special. The build numbers of the ships built by Ferguson followed the build number sequence used by Fleming & Ferguson until 1902. A new numbering system was only introduced in 1985 by simply continuing the construction number sequence used by Ailsa.

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e History of a shipbuilding family The BBC News on March 5, 2007 (English)
  2. Britain misses the boat after years in the doldrums The Independent on September 4, 1994 (English)
  3. Goltens News ( Memento of the original from August 19, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (English)  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.goltens.com
  4. The last family run shipyard Das Clydesite Magazine, 2005 (English)
  5. Clyde shipyard Ferguson goes into receivership with 80 job losses at stv-news , August 15, 2014 (English)

Web links