Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,355 pages of information and 245,904 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Ailsa Shipbuilding Co

From Graces Guide
1966. "Aberthaw Fisher" built for James Fisher and Sons Ltd.
1971.

Ailsa Shipbuilding Company was a shipbuilding company based in Troon, Scotland. The company was founded in 1885 by Archibland Kennedy, the 3rd Marquess of Ailsa.

History of Shibuilding in Troon[1]

The fourth Duke of Portland founded the Ailsa Shipbuilding Yard; he built his own ships there for the conveyance of the coal from his own pits to Troon for shipment. He employed as his designer and builder Mr. William Symonds.

1831 Symonds designed and built the Pantaloon, a 10 gun brig of 320 tons, for the Duke of Portland.

1854 Ailsa built the largest wooden ships that had been constructed in Scotland up to that time.

In the 1860s built three East Indiamen - the Silver Eagle, the Fire Queen, and the Salisbury

1886 the Troon yard was re-modelled and equipped with modern appliances for building iron and steel ships, and passed into the tenancy of the Ailsa Shipbuilding Company.

Formation of the Company

1886 Company founded.

1889 See 1889 Shipbuilding Statistics for detail of the tonnage produced.

1900s Alexander McCreadie, Peter Wallace and the Marquis of Ailsa jointly purchased the yard. In 1901 the Ailsa Shipbuilding Company Limited was incorporated as a private company, with capital of £100,000, to acquire as a going concern the business of shipbuilders carried on at Troon by the Ailsa Shipbuilding Company.[2]

In 1902 the company took over a six berth yard based at Ayr. The yard built two hundred more ships before briefly closing in 1929 including sailing ships, coasters and coastal ships. The Ailsa yard fitted out the polar exploration ship Scotia for the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition of 1902-04. The Scotia sailed from Troon for the South Atlantic on 30 October 1902. The 100th anniversary of the sailing of the Scotia was celebrated in 2002.

WWI During the First World War, the shipyard built the Royal Navy's first paddle minesweeper of the Bird class. The yard also built minesweepers, river gunboats and sloops for the Admiralty.

1920s The main customers of the Troon yard were the General Steam Navigation Co who commissioned a number of coasters. this led on to orders for many other coasters, coastal liners and paddlers.

WWII During the Second World War, Ailsa built vessels for the Navy, including several Bangor class minesweepers. In addition, the yard made a hospital ship, and two standard coasters, eight standard engines amidships "Scandinavian" types.

1940s During the latter half of the 40s, the yard specialised in colliers, cargo-liners and coasters.

1960s The yard began making large and small ferries to meet the global demand for car and passenger transportation.

1961 750 employees.

1978 Ailsa was nationalised into the British Shipbuilders

1981 The assets of Ailsa and those of Ferguson Brothers were merged to form Ferguson-Ailsa. This grouping was split and privatised in 1986, the Ailsa yard being acquired by Perth Corporation as Ailsa and Perth. Ailsa stopped large-scale shipbuilding in 1988 and finally closed in 2003. The company's papers are archived at Glasgow University.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1899/07/14
  2. The Scotsman 5 October 1901