Scottish Maritime Museum Project

30th April 2019, 11:36
Hello! My name is Alyssa Shepherd, and I am the Oral History Project Coordinator at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine, Scotland. At present, I am working on a project entitled, "The Working Voices Project". I am looking to interview people who have experiences of working in maritime industry in the towns of Irvine, Ardrossan, Stevenston, Ardeer and Saltcoats.

Did you work at Irvine or Ardrossan harbours or shipyards? Did you perhaps work on any of the ICI boats that operated out of the explosives factory at Ardeer? If so, we would love to hear from you!

Even if you personally did not work there, but you have memories from close family members or friends who did, please do not hesitate to get in touch!

For more information on how to get involved, you can contact me by email: [email protected], or telephone: 01294 278 283 :)

Barrie Youde
30th April 2019, 13:02
Hi, Alyssa,

Welcome aboard here at SN.

You have certainly come to a proper place in seeking authoritative maritime information. My only regret is that I have no personal information which might help you in your specific search, but there are no doubt many here who will be able to do so - and with pleasure.

Robert Hilton
30th April 2019, 19:51
No doubt many of us have visited the ports you mention on board ship. I was only once in Ardrossan. In a pub there a ball came flying towards me from the pool table. I bent forward to catch it and my trousers split down the back seam. You need not add this to your annals.

1st May 2019, 11:49
Perhaps not quite what you are looking for, Alyssa, but I joined the Shell tanker TES Helcion when she was discharging crude oil at Ardrossan in July 59. We left there for the Maracaibo Lake.


Alistair Macnab
1st May 2019, 17:43

My uncle, Arthur Macnab was an apprentice something or other at the Ayr Shipyard and during the Depression in the 1930s, the Ayr shipyard closed down due to lack of work and their apprentices (who were under an Indenture of Employment and could not be laid off) were seconded to the Ardrossan Shipyard, some 16 miles away.

All this is family hearsay so the details may be wrong but as a Macnab, he was present at the launching of Clan Line's "Clan Macnab" at Ardrossan and had something to do with the knocking away of the wooden bilge supports under the hull just before launching.

At the end of his apprenticeship he was let go as there was no future employment available for time-served apprentices.

You might want to look into the beneficial ownership of the local shipyards at Ayr, Troon, and Ardrossan. I'm sure I heard that by the time of my Uncle Arthur's employment, were the three shipyards not all owned by the Ailsa Shipyards?

Good luck with your project!
Alistair Macnab
Brooklyn NY USA.

2nd May 2019, 00:49
No doubt many of us have visited the ports you mention on board ship. I was only once in Ardrossan. In a pub there a ball came flying towards me from the pool table. I bent forward to catch it and my trousers split down the back seam. You need not add this to your annals.

Ha ha, did you pocket the brown, Robert?

John T

2nd May 2019, 00:52
Also not what you're looking for, Alyssa, but I was reminded of when the Baron Ardrossan (Hogarth's), registered in Ardrossan, was alongside in Ardrossan, South Australia, she made the news in the local paper along with a photo. Maybe it was a quiet news day.

John T

Robert Hilton
2nd May 2019, 08:17
Ha ha, did you pocket the brown, Robert?

John T

That wasn't an 'issue,' luckily bearing in mind that my breeks were split.

Davie M
2nd May 2019, 10:56
A book published by the World Ship Society and titled A Short History by A.A.McAlister goes into detail about Hogarth and the connection with Ardrossan where Baron boats were registered.
Might help in your quest.

2nd May 2019, 13:06
Hello Alyssa,
Not sure if any of the following is of any interest,but in the 1980s I served as 1st officer on a couple of ships that called in to Irvine to load explosives,to take to a long forgotten port in France.

I joined the " David Dorman " at Irvine on 08/05/85 whilst she was loading explosives for France,then I was back there on 05/06/85,same vessel,for another cargo.

I recall that on completion of loading, the carpenters arrived on board to construct an asbestos lined fireproof bulkhead,this was to separate the detonators from the explosives.

The other ship was the "Peacock Venture" again similar cargoes between 19/10/85 and 23/08/86.I think that the discharge port was Le Havre,we were invariably sent to a remote anchorage,well away from other shipping, for obvious reasons,to await berthing instructions.

Best Regards
Brian Mc Inally

2nd May 2019, 21:59
Hi Alistair,
Clan Macnab was built in 1920 by Ayrshire Dockyard, Irvine which is where the Scottish Maritime Museum is located.
No records for any Clan ships built at Ardrossan. Your uncle may have transferred to the Irvine yard which was closer to Ayr and not so far to travel.

3rd May 2019, 00:48
Hello Alyssa,
I had the pleasure, as Clyde Pilot 1992 (I think), of bringing "Carrick" downriver from Princes Dk., Glasgow to Greenock en route to Irvine.
A precarious and delicate operation given her condition at the time. The journey down to Greenock took about 5 hours and with the very delicate assistance of for'd tug 2nd Snark with Graham at the helm plus two other small tugs, the voyage passed without incident.
She left Greenock a couple of days later bound Irvine but was forced to turn back due to inclement conditions.
It was a poignant trip for me as I had enjoyed a Christmas dinner aboard "Carrick" around 1956 when my mother was an RNVR member having served in the Wrens during WW2.
I visited "Carrick" again some years later, around 2010 whilst on the hard at Irvine and was totally shocked by her condition.
I Piloted only a few ships into and out of Ardrossan Hbr., small coastal vessels in the early 90's.
Now retired and living up the road in Largs.

3rd May 2019, 09:16
#12 ( You do realise of course Neil that referring to ships as 'she' or 'her' there are now hords of LGBT, ZXCV, QNBV and other groups now congregating to march towards Largs and burn you at the stake, naturally they will be using non-fossil fuels

3rd May 2019, 11:34
2nd. Mate ICI vessel Lady Roslin 1973/74 out of Ardeer, vague memory stopped in Irish Sea by RN and boarded to be checked out while bound for Drogheda or Dundalk can't remember which it was at the height of the NI troubles, Falmouth Roads, Port Jerome on the Seine so long ago.