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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Home Ships Built in Leith 1946 to 1984 FLYING CHILDERS - Yard No 519 - Harbour Tug - Clyde Shipping Co - Built 1976

Leith Shipyards

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FLYING CHILDERS - Yard No 519 - Harbour Tug - Clyde Shipping Co - Built 1976






 The Clyde Shipping Company Tug FLYING CHILDERS Ship No 519

(photo by Paul and shown here by permission)


Owners    Clyde Shipping Company
Registered    Glasgow Keel Laid    18/08/1975
Type of Ship    Harbour Tug Launched    18/12/1975
      Handed Over    21/05/1976
Ship Details          
Length Overall    38.10 metres Launch Details    
Length B.P.    34 metres Weather    
Beam    9.2 metres Time to Water    
Depth Mld     4.5 metres      
Draught    3.98 metres      
G.R.T.    326 tonnes      
DWT    287 tonnes      

4SA 12 cylinder rushton Paxman

Type 12 RKCM

Props    1      
Speed    14 Knots      
Other known names   N/A    
Current Status   She was broken up for scrap in 2003/2004    
As info on FLYING CHILDERS becomes available it will be updated here. 

FLYING CHILDERS tows HMS BRAZEN a Type 22 Frigate of the time into Glasgow on a visit in 1983

(photo by Paul and shown here by kind permission)


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.

The third tug ordered at the same time but she was slightly different in that she was an order for the Clyde Shipping Company and the fact that her mast did not go up completely to full height as she had no requirement for the same fire fighting equipment as her two near sister ships the DUCHRAY and the BOQUHAN.



Better times at the Leith Shipyards of Robb Caledon in the photo shown above with FLYING CHILDERS

and the mighty SA WOLRAAD WOLTEMADE both fitting out and with another ship being started on the building berth.  

(Photo shown here with permission taken in 1976 at the yard when both were fitting out)


She was built at the same time as the other two tugs and it would have to be said that she did not really look complete without the full height of her mast and as it turned out she was not a very lucky ship as her future would tell. She worked on the River Clyde for almost 20 years making her one of the oldest tugs working on the river, well liked and a very familiar sight but what about that paint job on her. (Company colours and all that)

She seems to have worked quite well on the famous old river that is the Clyde on Scotland's West Coast up until 1995 when she ran into rocks and was grounded in the Kyle of Lochalsh in 1995

She was laid up in Greenock for a few years after this unfortunate mishap and she just lay at her berth wasting away before finally being sold for scrap around 2001/2002 when she was lifted from the water and transported to Padstow in Wales for scrapping in 2002.




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.



 FLYING CHILDERS passing Dunbarton Rock at the mouth of the Firth of Clyde


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.

So if you know any of the men or women who may have sailed on her, then please feel free to get in touch and we shall add the story here.


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