Posts Tagged ‘shipbuilding’

From the Clyde to Rotterdam: intro.

April 8, 2008
On 10th March 1868 the Buffel, a new warship for the Royal Netherlands Navy, slipped into the waters of the Clyde from the shipyard of Robert Napier and Sons.

Robert Napier

Nothing too remarkable about that perhaps: Robert Napier, often described as the “father of Clyde shipbuilding,” had built warships for Denmark, Turkey, and the Royal Navy, as well as passenger and cargo vessels for most of the leading shipping companies of the age including Cunard, the Royal Mail line and P & O.  Napier’s fame was great and a reputation for high quality work had won orders from all round the world for his Govan shipyard.
What makes the Buffel memorable is the fact that she survives as the centre-piece of Rotterdam’s Maritime Museum.  That Buffel still is afloat after a career of 140 years is a tribute to the skills of her Govan shipbuilders, the careful restoration she received and the loving care with which she is maintained today.
In 1864 the Dutch Government set up a commission to consider the country’s needs for coastal defence.  As the Dutch shipbuilding industry at this time did not have the technical capacity or experience to build the type of ships the commission considered necessary the orders for the new ships went to British and French builders; two of them, for the monitor Tijger and the ram turret ship Buffel (the name is Dutch for buffalo) coming to Robert Napier’s yard.


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The Clyde at War

March 26, 2008


The River Clyde, its shipyards, anchorages, harbours and defence installations was critical to the British war effort in two world wars. In this splendidly illustrated book Ronnie Armstrong and I tell something of the story of the Clyde and war from the dawn of recorded history – Dumbarton Castle [pictured above]  is the oldest documented fortified place in Scotland- to the modern age of nuclear submarines.

Click the image below and you will be taken to the website where you can buy this book in either the hardback version or the paperback version. Both are the same format and have identical text and pictures.

Glasgow: a City at War

March 26, 2008

When Ronnie Armstrong and I were asked to write this book we were at first a little puzzled how to take the story beyond air-raids in the Second World War. However when we looked into the matter it became more of a problem to keep the material in check rather than finding enough.

In both World Wars Glasgow was a huge arsenal turning out weapons of war, and not just the ships that one might first think of.  Tanks were produced in large numbers, aircraft, guns and bombs all came out of Glasgow as did vast quantities of men and women for the forces.

We were able to assemble a wonderful collection of photographs to complement our text and would encourage you to look at this book if you have any interest in Glasgow – we are sure you will find much to interest you.

Click this image below and you will be taken to the website.  There are two editions of this book available – a hardback (ideal as a gift!) and a more economical paperback – both are the same format and identical text and pictures.