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 HEDWIN - Yard No 505 - Grab Hopper Dredger- Tyne ports Authority - Built 1969

Leith Shipyards

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HEDWIN - Yard No 505 - Grab Hopper Dredger- Tyne ports Authority - Built 1969


Grab Hopper Dredger

HEDWIN Ship No 505


 The Dredge HEDWIN

(photo taken by Derrick Johnson and shown her with permission)


Owners    Tyne Ports Authority
Registered    Newcastle Keel Laid    
Type of Ship    Grab Hopper Dredger Launched    20/03/1969
      Handed Over    
Ship Details          
Length Overall    157' 3" Launch Details    
Length B.P.    146' 6" Weather    
Beam    39' 0" Time to Water    
Depth Mld           
G.R.T.    666 tonnes      
DWT    956 tonnes      
Props    1      
Other known names   2011-KMC PELICAN    
Current Status   Still on Lloyds reg.    
Content  on HEDWIN will be added as and when available. 
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 Grab Hopper Dredger HEDWIN was another in the long list of dredgers which the Leith Shipyards of Robb Caledon Shipbuilders Ltd, built these speciality one off complex ships provided a lot of work for the men in the yard.

The HEDWIN was an order from the Tyne ports Authority.

I remember as a first year apprentice doing a 1/10 scale model of her mid-ships complete with her large hopper tanks, in fact when we finished the local Edinburgh Evening News came down to take a picture and run a story on it.

She was a fair size for a Dredger and suffices to say built and designed for work and not for her looks.

It always amazes me just how much interest there is in the maritime community for these work horses.

The HEDWIN was used to keep the famous River Tyne clear for the many ships using this important waterway and she was a well known site on the river for many years, indeed we have just found out that it was only some time last year that she was sold off after a total of 42 years working the river.

And thanks to Derrick Johnson we know that she was sold of to some company to work in West Africa, with the proper? Maintenance she could well keep working for many years yet. Derrick has also supplied us with some photographs of her leaving the River Tyne somewhat reluctantly it would seem until they got a line on her from the pilot boat.

As yet we do not know what she has been re-named but perhaps some one down there will be able to let us know.(She has been re-named to KMC PELICAN




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.



 The HEDWIN making her way up the Tyne Nov 2008

(photo taken by Derrick Johnson)



The above photograph is the HEDWIN shearing off while under two in the Tyne, as if she did not want to go, as she was leaving the River for the last time.No cheering crowds for this fine old work horse.

(photo taken by Derrick Johnson)



The old Grab Dredge HEDWIN makes her way down the Tyne on her way to West Africa.

(photo by Derrick Johnson) 



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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+1 #1 Bruce Partington 2012-04-16 01:50
I built a few of these during my time at Robbs.

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