An aerial view from the south of the Fairfield Shipyard, taken around 1932. In the background are the River Clyde and Merklands Lairage in Partick.
Between the two World Wars Fairfield, Glasgow's largest shipyard, built many famous ships for customers which included Anchor Line, Donaldson Line, Canadian Pacific Line and Orient Line. A financial crisis at Fairfield in 1965 led to the formation of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders. UCS collapsed in 1971, but a determined campaign by shipyard workers ensured that the yard survived as Govan Shipbuilders.
The yard was sold in 1988 to the Norwegian company Kvaerner. Kvaerner Govan specialised in the design and build of large, sophisticated gas and chemical carriers as well as specialist, one-off vessels for a wide range of uses. Defence contractors BAE Systems acquired the yard in 1999, after Kvaerner decided to pull out of shipbuilding. As the sole remaining builder of merchant ships in Glasgow, the yard has strong hopes of future prosperity in the 21st century.
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
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