Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Company

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Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Company short Scotts was a shipbuilding company in Greenock , Scotland, on the River Clyde . It was considered the world's first industrial shipbuilding company .


The beginning time

The shipyard was founded by John Scott in 1711 and initially built small vehicles, mostly fishing boats, for 55 years. The first larger new buildings were added from the mid-1760s. The Scott family took over the Greenock Foundry in 1790. For the Clyde-Liverpool service, the shipyard built its first steamship on a trial basis in 1819 . This was so successful that the William Brownlie Iron and Brass Foundry (iron and brass foundry) in Greenock was acquired in 1825, mechanical engineering began and a first dock was built. Soon it was possible to offer ships that were also suitable for the long routes to the Middle and Far East.

In 1881 the ships Clyde , Solway , Tweed and Dee were built for the liner service of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company. Around 1849 the company built the steam powered frigate HMS Greenock . As Scott Sinclair and Co , seventeen steam locomotives were built in the same year, but Scott quickly ended this line of business. In 1850 Charles G. Scott took over the company and began building the Cartsdyke Dockyard .

Expansion of the company

Site map of Taikoo Dockyard and Engineering Co.

John Scott and Robert Sinclair Scott acquired the opposite shipyard, R. Steele & Company, in 1883, which concentrated as the Cartsburn Dockyard on naval shipbuilding. Between 1876 and 1908, 24 steam yachts were built for wealthy owners. In addition to the continuously built trampers, the manufacture of tankers began very early, beginning with the Narragansett built in 1903 for the Anglo-American Oil Co. In total, over 40 ships were built between 1895 and 1905.

Henry Scott worked as a technical advisor to Swire well into the 1880s, and he also worked on the designs for Swire's Taikoo Dockyard and Engineering Co. in Hong Kong . From 1900, after Scott & Company had been converted to a limited company with John Swire & Company as majority owner, he acted as director of Swire Scotts . Swire's was again 25% owned by the Scott family. In 1904, Scott's Shipbuilding and Engineering Co and the mechanical engineering division were also incorporated into the new company. After the armored cruiser HMS Argyll was built in 1906 , the HMS Colossus was built in 1910 and the HMS Ajax in 1913 . Since 1912 they began, on an Italian design Laurenti shipyard building, the construction of submarines of the S-Class to. The first boat to be launched was the S1 on February 28, 1914 , followed by two more boats, the S2 and S3 . Another type of boat that followed E31 on August 23, 1915 and the E51 of the E-Class .

World Wars and Depression

HMS Caradoc and submarine G14 at the equipment pier

At the beginning of the First World War, Scott's, with its 5000 employees, had some experience in warship and submarine construction and was the only shipyard on the Clyde to have even built battleships of the dreadnought class . Therefore a number of ships were launched on behalf of the Royal Navy during the war . This is how the light cruisers HMS Caradoc and HMS Dragon were built . Especially in the 1910 / 1920s, a number of developed destroyers of the M-Class , a modified R-Class and W-Class and the two S-Class -Zerstörer HMS Swallow and HMS Swordsman (which was sold to Australia in 1919). The construction of further destroyers of an improved W-class , the Oxley-class , was planned, but was discarded after the end of the First World War. Due to the need for emigrant ships, of which Scott's delivered over thirty units between 1920 and 1934, and a cushion of military orders, the company was relatively well utilized until the Depression that began in the early 1930s.

In 1924 the shipyard delivered the cargo ship Dolius , the first ship with a Scott Still engine to the Blue Funnel Line . After the Cartsdyke Mid Yard shipyard was taken over by Ross & Marshall's in 1925, Scott's achieved an exchange of land with Greenock Dockyard Ltd. in 1934 against the backdrop of the global economic crisis . and received their Cartsdyke Mid Yard against their own Cartsdyke East Yard site.

The production of naval units took place exclusively at Cartsburn Dockyard during World War II . A total of sixteen submarines and the same number of destroyers were delivered between 1930 and 1944 alone, but also the cruisers HMS Galatea and HMS Glasgow in 1935 and 1937 , as well as the HMS Bonaventure , HMS Scylla and HMS Royalist during the war .

In 1941 two air raids destroyed the main administration building and the machine and boiler workshop, which was then paralyzed for half a year. During the attacks, ships under construction and almost completed were damaged to such an extent that they could only be delivered with a delay.

The first two post-war decades

In 1947 and 1948, the company was redesigned, modernized and reoriented towards merchant shipbuilding. From 1947 to 1962, 22 ships were built, from passenger ships to small liner ships. During the 1950s, Scotts created tanker lines for Norwegian, British and Greek shipping companies. In the mid-1950s, a welding workshop was opened, which increased the shipyard's possible ship sizes. Therefore, special sugar freighters , conventional bulk freighters and ore freighters will soon be built for the Lyle family.

Reefer Clan Ramsay Greenock Dockyard

The 1960s brought another two-year modernization, which increased the possible new build to around 40,000 tons of carrying ships. The first ship of this size was built for the government of Guinea, with comparable ships for other countries to follow. Military shipbuilding also developed to the shipyard's advantage during the 1960s and 1970s. After Scott's & Sons (Bowling) Ltd had been incorporated into the company in June 1965, it merged with Greenock Dockyard in December 1965. The two Cartsburn and Cartsdyke shipyards were united on April 1, 1966 to form a large, connected shipyard, which had been a long-held wish of the company's management.

The Geddes Report

From 1968 the concentration recommendations of the Geddes Report were implemented and a merger with Lithgows was decided to create a new corporate structure. One of the first measures was the Scott Lithgow Training Center, opened jointly with Lithgow. On January 1, 1970, Scott Lithgow Limited was founded as an umbrella company, which was 60 percent owned by Scotts. Under the Scott-Lithgow umbrella, in addition to the two independent shipyards Scotts Shipbuilding Co. (1969) and Lithgows (1969), a number of subsidiaries were established:

View of the former Scotts shipyard
View of the former Scotts shipyard
  • Scotts Engineering Co (1969) Ltd
  • Scotts and Sons (Bowling) 1969 Ltd
  • Ferguson Bros (Port Glasgow) 1969 Ltd
  • Caledonia Joinery Co (1969) Ltd
  • Caledonia Fabrications (1969) Ltd

Scotts Shipbuilding Co. (1969)

Scotts continued with shipbuilding in the years that followed with varying degrees of success. After Scott Lithgow in the July 1, 1977 British Shipbuilders were incorporated, was at Scott while still drilling ship Ben Ocean Lancer , but already in 1977 no further new orders were won. The last ship was launched in Cartsdyke on August 8, 1979, and the shipyard was closed at the end of the same year. The last launch took place in Cartsburn on February 19, 1980.

On March 28, 1984, the Scott-Lithgow company and shipyards were sold to Trafalgar House . Shipbuilding at Scotts was not taken up again under the new owners. In the same year, after 270 years and 1,250 ships, Cartsburn in Greenock was finally closed. In the years from 1988 to 1997 the traditional shipyards were demolished and the site was converted into an office and business district. The Scott's Dry Dock was preserved and is now a monument .

In retrospect, the shipyard's main customers were Alfred Holt & Co's Blue Funnel Line with 88 ships, John Swire's China Navigation Co, which took over 95 ships, and the Royal Navy, which ordered a total of 114 ships from Scotts in Greenock.

Web links

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