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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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Home Ships Built in Leith 1918 to 1939 ABEILLE NO 8 - Yard No 226 - Tug - Comp.De Remarquage & De Salivatage - Built 1936

Leith Shipyards

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ABEILLE NO 8 - Yard No 226 - Tug - Comp.De Remarquage & De Salivatage - Built 1936


ABEILLE No 8 Ship No 226

 ABEILLE No 8 Underway on a tow

 (photo credit unknown)

Owners    Comp.De Remarquage & De Salivatage
Registered    Le Harve Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Tug Launched    07/04/1936
      Handed Over    08/05/1936
Ship Details          
Length Overall     Launch Details    
Length B.P.    125' 0" Weather    
Beam    32' 0" Time to Water    
Depth Moulded     14' 0"      
G.R.T.    402 tons      
Engines   Triple expansion steam engine 3cylinder, producing 1265ihp. Built by Aitchison Blair.      
Props    1      
Other known names        
Current Status   Sunk by bombing 1942    
Content on ABEILLE No8 will be added as and when available. 

ABEILLE No 8 (in the background with Abeille No22 towing a floating dock circa 07/1939)


Ships History

Once a ship had been built and launched she then had to be out-fitted, and then complete sea trials
before being handed over to her new owners, who would look to have that ship at sea, as long as possible to pay for her build costs and of course to make the company good profits.

To this end one company may have had no requirement for a particular ship after a time and would then sell her on just like any other disposable commodity.

Hence a ship may have had a few owners and would go through many changes and names during what was hoped for a long and successful working life.

ABEILLE No 8 - This tug had an interesting history as she was built to handle the two new Queens that had been built on the Clyde, when they called into the French Port on the start of the Atlantic crossings.

The order for this large tug (for it's time) came from a famouse French towing and salvage company, Compagnie de Remorquage et de Sauvetage "Les Abeilles", Le Havre, it was to be built and launched from the Leith Shipyards of Henry Robb, and intended for use in towing in to port the new super liners the original Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth.

Then war broke out on 3rd September 1939, during the retreat from France of the British, Belgian and French troops she was captured by the German forces and commissioned into the Kreigsmarine Harbour service as an auxiliary minesweeper M 4008 30th July 1940

She was to be sunk by an allied air attack on 30th July 1942 near Le Harve, by coincedence to the day 2 years from her capture. 

So this fine old tug became another war casualty. (my thanks to Ted at the shipsnostalgia website for some of the above information)

We try here to give as full an account of her history as time and research permits, if you know of missing info or you have any photographs of her, then please get in touch and we shall update her story as we go along.


Tales from the Ship

Here you will find the stories from the men and women who sailed on the ships, what was it really like to be working on a ship in a raging sea and in the pitch dark of night, the real stories some funny some sad, some good and some bad.

Dedicated to all the brave men and women who sailed the vessels from the Leith Shipyards.

Should you know of anyone who may have sailed on her, then please feel free to get in touch so that we can add the story here.


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