100 Years of Shipping on the River Clyde

Published Date

November 2014

100 Years of Shipping on the River Clyde

(Excludes any applicable taxes)

This 192 page illustrated book charts 100 years of the shipping industry on the River Clyde and marks an important era for the famous river, at a time when 1 in 5 of the world’s ships were produced here. This book will be of great interest to anyone with a link to the Clyde, maritime history or the Scottish Shipping Industry.

Accompanied by over 220 pictures, with chapters covering shipbuilding, marine engineering, ferries, Clyde shipping companies and nautical education, this book is a full historical narrative about the shipping activity on the River Clyde in the twentieth century.


‘100 Years of Shipping on the River Clyde’ was published to commemorate 100 years of the Scottish Shipping Benevolent Association.


All proceeds from the sales of this book will be disbursed by the officers of the SSBA to help support and comfort unfortunate members of the seafaring community, and their dependant relatives.


Development of River Clyde Ports, Docks and related marine sites etc.
Principal shipping Companies and cargoes carried
Shipbuilding, Marine Engineering and Ship Repairing
Impact of Royal Navy on River
Nautical and Technical Education
Ferries on the Clyde Estuary



For over 100 years, the SSBA has supported many people who have, at some point in their lives, been unable to support themselves or their families in times of need, whether through death, illness, redundancy, financial hardship, or where they are just unable to financially support their own or dependent’s ambitions for training and advancement.

The SSBA provides individuals in need with hardship funding for such things as paying winter fuel bills and buying basic food supplies. We also provide hardship funding to people indirectly through other related charities, such as the Scottish Nautical Welfare Society. SSBA bursaries may also be granted to members of the SSBA and their dependants for educational purposes, such as attending college or university.

Title: 100 Years of Shipping on the River Clyde
Number of Pages: 192
Product Code: WS1447K
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-0-9930793-0-6 (9780993079306), ISBN 10: 0-9930793-0-X (099307930X)
Published Date: November 2014
Binding Format: Paperback
Book Height: 300 mm
Book Width: 210 mm
Book Spine: 15 mm
Weight: 1.00 kg

Customer Reviews

Good Read Review by JTHK - November 2014
What a book, it is one of the best books I have bought and I can’t put it down.

Anyone who worked in the shipyards, this is a must read book .It is also a book that explains to the younger ones what the river Clyde was like. Also the photographs are brilliant.

What a good read.

As the book is so good I have bought one for my friend as a Xmas present

Well worth it.
(Posted on 17/03/2015)
The Glory Days of the Clyde Owners Review by IHS Maritime Fairplay - 8 January 2015
‘Glasgow made the Clyde, and the Clyde made Glasgow’ – this was a phrase extolled to countless school children in the west of Scotland by teachers proud of that irrefutable statement.

Alas, the inexorable impetus and impact of political, economic, and technical momentum has now consigned such a once apposite appellation to no more than a vapid axiom, or so says the author, George C O’Hara, in opening this special publication on behalf of the Scottish Shipping Benevolent Association.

At the inauguration of the Glasgow Shipowners Benevolent Association in 1899, established shipping companies registered in Glasgow exceeded 100. This dominant group of shipowners was gradually reduced in number.

Nevertheless, the companies that remained became more powerful as a result of natural attrition. Thus, by the First World War, the main Clyde shipping companies were Anchor Line, Burns & Laird Line, Henry Abram, Clyde Shipping Co, J&J Denholm, H Hogarth, Lyle Shipping, Paddy Henderson, Harrisons (Clyde), Steel & Bennie, Donaldson Line, and Bank Line.

Of course, many of the other UK shipping lines also traded regularly to the Clyde. The other activities of the ports, shipbuilding, and later containerisation, were all important in making this a centre for maritime activity.

After acknowledgements, the association’s presidents from 1899 to 2014 are listed. The foreword is from current president Ken Macleod, of Stena UK. The first chapter is on the development of Clyde ports, docks, and related marine sites.

Each chapter is profusely illustrated with black and white photographs that have been well researched and captioned.

Following chapters are on principal shipping companies and cargoes carried, plus shipbuilding, marine engineering, and ship repairing.

The book describes the impact of the Royal Navy on the Clyde. It also addresses nautical and technical education, Clyde ferries, yacht building, and includes sections called Allegory and Corollary. An addendum presents an authorised abridged history of Denholm Group.
(Posted on 13/01/2015)
The Telegraph - January 2015 Review by Poignant tale of success and decline on the Clyde
Published to commemorate the centenary of the Scottish Shipping Benevolent Association (SSBA), this substantial book comes at the bargain price just under a tenner – and you can buy it with the satisfaction of knowing that all proceeds go towards the seafarer welfare work the Association undertakes.

With just over 190 pages and more than 200 pictures, the book leaves few stones unturned in tracing the significance of the Clyde – not just for Glasgow and Scotland, but for the wider UK maritime sector – and explaining the reasons for its remarkable expansion during the late 19th century and the similarly rapid decline towards the end of the 20th century.

The book describes how the port and its ancillary services developed – with their impressive scale highlighted by a superb overhead shot of the docks, taken in 1965. There are potted histories of the key shipping companies, also supported with some fine shots showing the wide range of tonnage that they owned or managed.

It’s hard not to feel sad when seeing other pictures showing the extent of the shipbuilding facilities on the Clyde during the peak years and the many examples of the fine ships they produced. The author notes later the shocking pace at which such a strategic industry declined within the UK.

Other sections look at the influence of the RN and RFA, yacht building and ferries, and there is a fascinating piece dealing with maritime education and training along the river. A closing chapter offers a thoughtful, though somewhat depressing, analysis of the wider social, political and economic policies which have helped to shape the mixed fortunes of Clyde shipping over the period.
(Posted on 22/12/2014)

Bought this product? Why not review it?

If you have a question about this product, please contact us directly.