The Loftsman
Leith Shipyards

A history of the Ships built at the Henry Robb Shipyard in Leith, Scotland. Also a testimony to the men who built the Ships and to all who sailed in them.
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Leith Shipyards

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Credits and Acknowledgments

For all the people who, without there help this website would have taken so much longer and would have been much more difficult to complete.
Also to acknowledge the people who have contributed some great photographs.

In no particular order, I wish to say thanks to all the people who have help with this website up to now, and you will find the websites if available on the links page of this site.

To all the guys at the Oceaniashippingforum for all there help with the many Robb built ships for Australia and New Zealand, there collective knowledge, especially on the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand is second to non. So thanks to John Crossland for help with details on ships built for down under. Also to G. Ferguson, Jan and Gary who I am sure will be only to willing to contribute even more as the site grows.

Also to Lindsay Butterfield for the great story about his Dad’s time during the War with U.S.S.Co and for the many photographs contributed, well done to you all.

Many thanks to Dr Richard Walding and Chip Calamaio for there help with educating me on the work of the Indicator Loop cable laying ships, they also have a great website which you will find in the links page.

Thanks to Gordon Smith for help on the Loch and Flower Class ships and a wealth of other info, his site not to be missed is also on the links page.

Thanks to the Loftsmen who battered some knowledge of shipbuilding and Lofting into me when I served my time in the Loft at Henry Robb Shipyards. 

For some great and informative stuff on the New Zealand ships that took part in “Operation Deep Freeze” many thanks to Jim Dell and his crew.

For a photograph of the old coaster “Atlantic Coast” thanks to Ian Thirwell.

Sandy McClearn has been very helpful with information on one of the Bustler Class tugs called Samsonia, and his site at is also on the links page.

Thanks to for the use of some photographs.

Thanks to the U.S. Naval History & Heritage Command for help with info and photographs of USS Kopara and USS Kaula.

For some well researched info on the company of the Union Steamship Co of New Zealand many thanks at


Thank to the Royal New Zealand Navy Museum for there help with vessels built in Leith for them.

Many thanks to John Hoskins for his insights into some of the old ships built for trade in Australia his website can also be found on the links page at flotilla-Australia.

To John Flaherty, for some fantastic photographs of HMS WINDRUSH on the beach in France before being finally broken up.

For some info on HMS NITH thanks to the RNA Carmarthen Branch.

Also thanks to Derek Walker for photographs and info on the old tug ULUNDI

Tony Skilton for some great photographs and information on the Cement ships built in Leith for the New Zealand market; he has been a wealth of info having served on 3 of the ships as an engineer.

My thanks go to John Wilson as well for a great tale of his time with Ellerman Wilson Line.

Many thanks to, Sheila Boote at the Manchester Ship Canal Company for all her help and fantastic photographs of the old MSC tugs.

 Thanks to Trevor the ex Master of the Dredger Wanganui for some great photo's and story of his time on board the old ship.

Thanks to Rui Amaro for info and photographs of the Ellerman Ship DARINIAN

Thanks to Navsource in the United States for information on USS KAULA (CUBAHAMA) and the USS KOPARA

To Mike the Purser for great news about the RoRo Vessel “SPEEDWAY

Thanks to Malc Slater for great photographs of the “MERSEY MARINER" and please take some time to visit his great site on the links pages.

Many thanks to the Cambridge Navy Club in Ontario, Canada for there photographs of the Corvette HMCS HESPELER.

Many thanks to Dan Clark and Hector MacDonald for some great photographs and stories about the old ice breaker tug SCOT II for more info visit 

To be continued.

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