Paisley Shipyards

PAISLEY SHIPYARDS. On the White Cart.       From Songs of the Clyde by Fred M. Walker

Thistle

Merksworth

Phoenix

Cartvale

Abercrombie furthest up river and only yard on East bank.

Over a 130 year period almost 2,000 ships were built by these yards.

The yards were upriver of the Inchinan Bridge with a width restriction of 45 ft. Which in 1921 a new Bridge with a width of 90 ft. Was built. 

By the 1960’s only one yard was left , in 1969 the last ship to be built in the town was delivered, the suction dredger ‘Bled’ for Yugoslavia.  

The earliest shipbuilder of any importance on the Cart was J. McKenzie who started in 1837 and Barr and McNab who set up the following  year but later transferred  to Renfrew. 

Major Shipbuilders in date order.

Owner years Shipyard Builds

J. McKenzie 1837

Barr and McNab 1838-1844 Abercorn Shipyard     7

Hanna and Donald (and successors) 1851-1895

Black-wood &Gordon 1852-1860 Cartvale Shipyard   36

John Fullerton 1866-1892 Merksworth. 1928 269

Donald & McFarlane 1867-1868 Cartvale Shipyard     4

H. McIntyre 1877-1885 Phoenix Shipyard 122

Campbell & Co 1880-1881 Thistle     5

J.McArthur 1882-1900 Thistle 137

Fleming & Ferguson 1885-1969 571

Bow McLachlan 1900-1933 Thistle 277

Vessels were also constructed by 

Millen Brothers 1939-1961 Saucel Iron Works   28

Reid &Hanna (predecessors Hanna &a Donald)1832-1845

P & W McLellan

Milne, Milne, Milne & McGilvary

Hanna, & Donald 1868-1869 4

Hanna, Donald & Wilson 1869-1874 8

The Second Oldest Surviving Clyde-built Ship (actually built on the White Cart River, a tributary of the Clyde) UPDATE: Actually the fourth oldest survivor – see note below

The coaster Kyles, berthed at the Braehead pontoon, was built in 1872.

Kyles was Yard No 11 from John Fullerton & Co’s Merksworth shipyard on the River Cart at Paisley. Fullerton built around 280 ships at Paisley between 1866 and 1928.

Several other shipyards existed at Paisley – the Phoenix Shipyard was operated by Hugh McIntyre from 1877 to 1885 during which he constructed a remarkable total of 123 ships. Fleming & Ferguson took over the yard in the latter year. They built well over 500 vessels there over the next 8 decades. The yard was the last to operate on the River Cart. J McArthur built about 80 ships at the Thistle shipyard in Paisley between 1881 an 1900 when the yard was taken over by Bow McLachlan which built about 100 ships there until the yard was closed in 1931 during the Great Depression. Finally at the Abercorn Shipyard in Paisley Hanna, Donald and Wilson built over 30 ships during the second half of the 19th Century.

Thus Paisley was the birthplace of well over 1000 vessels during the 19th and 20th Century but its shipbuilding past is virtually forgotten in the 21st Century.

Only Kyles remains as a reminder. 

She now resides at the Scottish Maritime Museum base at Irvine. 

Scottish Shipbuilding and Engineering.  Stewart Cameron 27/01/2019

Paisley Shipbuilding.

This list of Paisley shipbuilding yards and operators was compiled for another group but may be of interest here:

ABERCORN WORKS

Barr & Macnab, 1838-1844

Hanna Donald & Wilson, 1868-1874

Abercorn Shipbuilding Company, 1874-1913

CARTVALE YARD

Blackwood & Gordon, 1852-1861

THISTLE YARD

Campbell & Co, 1881

J. MacArthur, 1883-1900

Bow, McLachlan & Co, 1900-1931

P & W McLellan, 1941-1946

ATLAS WORKS

Donald & McFarlane, 1867

PHOENIX WORKS

H McIntyre & Co, 1877-1885

Fleming & Ferguson,1885-1968

MERKSWORTH WORKS

J Fullerton & Co, 1868-1928

SAUCEL IRONWORKS

Millen Bros,1939-1961

Reid & Hanna, 1832-1845

A few Paisley-built ships are still around.

Scottish Shipbuilding and Engineering.  Stewart Cameron 27/01/2019

Paisley Shipbuilding.

This list of Paisley shipbuilding yards and operators was compiled for another group but may be of interest here:

Now McLachlan & Co 1872 – 1932 originally building stern gear and marine engines then took over K McArthur &Sons 1900 – 1931 276 ships built 

Cartvale Shipyard (1852-1868)

Blackwood & Gordon 

Donald & McFarlane 

Merksworth Shipyard (1886-1928)

John Fullerton & Co 

Phoenix Shipyard (1877-1969)

H McIntyre & Co

Fleming & Ferguson Ltd

American Marine & Machinery Co Inc.

i

Other Yards/Works 

J McKenzie    (c1837)

Miller Brothers     (1819-1950s)  barge builders

Milne & McGilvary   barge builders

Reid & Hanna  1816-1851

It is difficult to be accurate on the total number of vessels built in Paisley but it was certainly in excess of 1500.    

PAISLEY SHIPYARDS. On the White Cart.       From Songs of the Clyde by Fred M. Walker

Thistle

Merksworth

Phoenix

Cartvale

Abercrombie furthest up river and only yard on East bank.

Hanna, & Donald 1868-1869 4

Hanna, Donald & Wilson 1869-1874 8

Major Shipbuilders in date order.

Owner years Shipyard Builds

J. McKenzie 1837

Barr & McNab 1838-1844 Abercorn Works.             7

Hanna and Donald  1868 – 1869 Abercorn Works     4

Hannah Donald & Wilson 1869 – 1869     9 

Black-wood &Gordon 1852-1860 Cartvale Shipyard   36

John Fullerton 1866-1892 Merksworth. 1928 269

Donald & McFarlane 1867-1868 Cartvale Shipyard     4

Abercorn Shipbuilding Co 1874 – 1913 Abercorn Shipyard   98

H. McIntyre 1877-1885 Phoenix Shipyard 122

Campbell & Co 1880-1881 Thistle Yard     5

J.McArthur 1882-1900 Thistle Yard 137

Fleming & Ferguson 1885-1969 Phoenix Works 571

Bow McLachlan 1900-1933 Thistle Works 277

Barr & McNab Renfrew 1845 -1863 7

Vessels were also constructed by 

Millen Brothers 1939-1961 Saucel Iron Works   28

Reid &Hanna (predecessors Hanna &a Donald)1832-1845

P & W McLellan

Milne, Milne, Milne & McGilvary