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British Industrial History

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William Beardmore and Co: Shipbuilding

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1910. HMS Gloucester on trial.
1920. HM Light Cruiser Raleigh.
1928. Duchess of Atholl.

Note: This is a sub-section of William Beardmore and Co.

  • 1899 A shipyard, The Naval Construction Yard, was opened at Dalmuir in 1899 and was the most advanced yard in Britain at the time. The yard however had problems attracting work and nearly closed. The Anglo German shipbuilding arms race rescued the fortunes and several dreadnought orders were secured.
  • In 1899, Beardmore bought the world famous yard of Robert Napier and Sons at Govan, on the Clyde, and diversified his business in the following years to include the production of vehicles, armaments including shells and tanks, aircraft, airships and motorcycles. The original forge business continued to produce a wide array of steel materials including armour plate, castings, axles, railway equipment, boiler plate and wheels.
  • In 1900, Beardmore purchased land on the north bank of the Clyde at Dalmuir, adjacent to the famous yard of John Brown and Co at Clydebank. This he developed into one of the largest and most modern shipyards in the world but the post war decline in shipbuilding saw this yard close in 1936.
  • Among other ships built by William was the SS Warilda, later the HMAT Warilda, for the Adelaide Steamship Company.
  • 1911 HMS Conqueror.
  • 1913 HMS Benbow.
  • 1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of Marine Motors see the 1917 Red Book
  • 1917 HMS Ramillies.
  • 1917 Many cruisers, destroyers and other ships were also built, including the world's first aircraft carrier HMS Argus.
  • 1924 Advert says 'The Beardmore shipyards are amongst the most complete in the world. The slipways accommodate vessels up to 1,000 feet . . .'. Their Naval Construction Works are at Dalmuir.
  • 1925 See Aberconway for information on shipbuilding h.p produced in 1904 and 1925.
  • 1930 The post war recession hit the firm hard, and the shipyard was forced to close in 1930, one of the first to be closed by National Shipbuilders Security in 1930. Part of the site and some of the existing buildings later became incorporated into the Royal Ordnance Factory Dalmuir; and part was used by the General Post Office's cable laying ships.

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