In 2013-14, the P5/P6 pupils of Loudoun Montgomery Primary School (pictured) adopted the Shipyard as a local heritage project. They researched shipbuilders, the ships built, the local companies who supplied parts, and much else. The pupils also created personal responses to the sea and the ships, in stories and poems (including the now-departed 'City of Adelaide'). Below is a selection of the work produced (with a link to a second page of their work), in photo and in video - reflecting the hard work and enjoyment of the pupils during the project. Congratulations to the Loudoun Montgomery team for their excellent contribution to the Harbourside Heritage project.
Shipbuilding in Irvine - a summary
The earliest record of shipbuilding in Irvine dates from 1759, and this activity continued for almost 200 years, until 1936. In 1759, John Webb started a shipyard at the Brae. In 1791, "three master shipbuilders" are recorded by the Statistical Account, though only one was to survive; they were Gilkison, Mair & Co (at the Brae) and Martins and Munns on or near the later timber yard. In 1814 Gilkison Thomson & Co occupied the yard, launching their biggest ship ever, the 309-ton 'Montreal', and, in 1819, the 169-ton 'Jean', which became the first ship of the Allan transatlantic shipping line. Charles Samson of Laurel Bank took over the site in the 1830s and built tea clippers. Peter Murchie then took over the site and developed two berths to enable two ships to be built at the same time. Thereafter, Calderwood & Co from Ardrossan, followed by a cooperative of local workmen took over the shipyard, but with limited success. Clark Marr & Co took over, but at a time when steel was starting to replace wood, followed by Ebenezer Ballantyne. The 1888 sale of assets raised £315 (see shipping notes). McGill & Co took over in 1886, employing 30-50 men, with a new dock capable of taking vessels up to 100ft in length. John H Gilmour then owned the yard from 1892 to 1894, one of his boats being the Clyde canal steamer 'Fairy Queen'. From 1898 to 1904, the site was occupied by Irvine Shipbuilding & Engineering, their 1899 production being 12 vessels totalling 3,410 tons. In 1912 the Council took over the by-then unused shipyard and leased it to Mackie & Thomson, who had sold their Govan shipyard to Harland & Wolff. The shipyard was extended, leading to an influx of workers, and a 1920 housing programme. War work kept the shipyard busy in 1914-18. At its peak in the 1920s, the shipyard employed 2,-3,000 men. In 1920, two Clan line ships were launched, each of 7,600 tons, the largest ever built in Irvine. In 1928, the Irvine yard was taken over by Sir J & H Lithgow, and the last Irvine-built vessels, the 'Coulmore' and the 'Coulbeg', cargo ships which had been lying on the stocks for five years, found purchasers and were launched, in 1936. Thereafter, Ayrshire Dockyard Company Ltd developed the shipyard to carry out ship repair work, advertising (1935) a "Modern slipway for repairs for vessels up to 28ft long by 60ft beam and 2,000 tons displacement". During the Second World War, work included the servicing of landing craft. Then ADC Ltd diversified into steel sections for post-war homes, ship repairing ended in 1959, and the company was renamed Ayrshire Metal Products Ltd in 1961.
The wall displays at Loudoun Montgomery Primary School
Search for the hotspots & click them !! (then back button to return) . . . and More on a second page)
More of the pupils' work >> (on a second page)
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