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Laird Brothers Shipbuilders.


Laird Brothers Shipbuilders



William Laird established the Birkenhead Iron Works in 1824, to manufacture boilers. In 1828 the yard moved into shipbuilding, when William went into business with his son John. John Laird had realised that the techniques of making boilers could be applied to making ships and the company soon became pre-eminent in the manufacture of iron ships and made major advances in propulsion.


The first shipbuilding order was in the 1830s and was for a 60-ton lighter, a type of flat-bottomed barge used to transfer goods and passengers to and from moored ships. Lairds first innovation, which was the use of bulkheads, this technique was put to use in the small paddle steamer Garryowen in 1834. In addition, the yard made a number of iron gunboats.


Cammell Laird

In 1832 John Laird's brother Macgregor Laird was also establishing his own yard on the Liverpool bank, Macgregor Laird was also known as a human rights activist for African peoples, and regularly undertook voyages into the interior of Africa.


The Ma Robert
In the 1850s the site of John Lairds yard was acquired by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board for Birkenhead Docks. John Laird moved to a new site between Monks Ferry and Tranmere Pool. This was known as the North Yard. The famous explorer Dr. Livingstone ordered his river steamer Ma Robert from this yard. Meanwhile, Macgregor founded the African Steamship Co which, after his death, was sold on to Elder Dempster and Co.



It was in 1855 that John Laird launched  new Iron Mortar Boats, these type of iron clad boats were used extensively by the confederate States of America. In 1860 the company name changed to John Laird, Sons and Co, with William Laird (1831-1899) and John Laird (1834 - 1898), the sons of John, as additional partners and in1861 John Laird, the elder, retired in order to become an MP. His brother Macgregor Laird also died in the same year.



The CSS Alabama
In the year 1862 Henry Hyndman Laird was admitted into what then became the firm of Messrs. Laird Brothers, with William Laird (1831-1899) and John Laird (1834 - 1898), of which William Laird was the senior partner. From this point onwards the yard built up a formidable reputation as a merchant shipbuilder. The yard also built the Confederate ship Alabama in 1862. This ship was responsible for sinking over 60 Union merchantmen before meeting its end in 1864 when it was hit and sunk. From the 1870s onwards the first of a long line of tugs was made by Lairds, and, from 1870-1900 over 270 merchant ships were built by the yard.







Cammell Laird 1920
Other work carried out included, in 1888 Triple Expansion Engines for SS City of Berlin and in the 1890s The yard made a series of armour-clad battleships for the Royal Navy along with torpedo boat destroyers. This led on to orders coming in from Argentinean, Chilean, Portuguese and Russian naval fleets. The armour plating had been manufactured by Charles Cammell and Co and consequently the two companies were merged in 1903 to become Cammell, Laird and Co. This meant that armoured warships could be built by one company, which was more convenient for the Royal Navy. The company was already of limited liability status.





Ships Built by Cammell Laird

Ship
Built
Type
Flag
1937
Aircraft Carrier
1950
Aircraft Carrier
1943
Aircraft Carrier
1943
Merchant Aircraft Carrier
1912
Battleship
1901
Battleship
1899
Battleship
1896
Battleship
1939
Battleship
1925
Battleship
1892
Battleship
1939
Battleship
1932
Cruiser
1941
Cruiser
1915
Cruiser
1918
Cruiser
1916
Cruiser
1918
Cruiser
1914
Cruiser
1915
Cruiser
1940
Cruiser
1915
Cruiser
1915
Cruiser
1939
Cruiser
1912
Cruiser
1904
Cruiser
1904
Cruiser
1869
Turret Ship
1865
Turret Ship
 Peru
1866
Turret Ship
1863
Turret Ship
1863
Turret Ship
1941
Destroyer
1939
Destroyer
1941
Destroyer
1894
Destroyer
1941
Destroyer
1941
Destroyer
1940
Destroyer
1973
Destroyer
1940
Destroyer
1940
Destroyer
1894
Destroyer
1974
Destroyer
1960
Destroyer
1894
Destroyer
1896
Destroyer
1983
Destroyer
1940
Destroyer
1896
Destroyer
1934
Destroyer
1893
Destroyer
1944
Destroyer
1941
Destroyer
1896
Destroyer
1940
Destroyer
1936
Destroyer
1944
Destroyer
1936
Destroyer
1916
Destroyer
1944
Destroyer
1901
Destroyer
1941
Destroyer
1980
Destroyer
1911
Destroyer
1896
Destroyer
1894
Destroyer
1919
Destroyer
1901
Destroyer
1897
Destroyer
1895
Destroyer
1942
Destroyer
1942
Destroyer
1942
Destroyer
1942
Destroyer
1897
Destroyer
1945
Destroyer
1895
Destroyer
1901
Destroyer
1943
Destroyer
1943
Destroyer
1943
Destroyer
1895
Destroyer
1943
Destroyer
1943
Destroyer
1895
Destroyer
1897
Destroyer
1910
Destroyer
1943
Destroyer
1944
Destroyer
1937
Destroyer
1937
Destroyer
1912
Destroyer
1911
Destroyer
1911
Destroyer
1911
Destroyer
1962
Frigate
1987
Frigate
1955
Frigate
1954
Frigate
1958
Frigate
1862
Sloop
1942
Sloop
1942
Sloop
1941
CAM Ship
1941
CAM Ship
1969
Nuclear Submarine
1967
Nuclear Submarine
1968
Nuclear Submarine
1945
Submarine
1944
Submarine
1946
Submarine
1915
Submarine
1916
Submarine
1916
Submarine
1916
Submarine
1959
Submarine
1957
Submarine
1918
Submarine
1918
Submarine
1916
Submarine
1917
Submarine
1960
Submarine
1966
Submarine
1963
Submarine
1961
Submarine
1918
Submarine
1918
Submarine
1941
Submarine
1945
Submarine
1942
Submarine
1934
Submarine
1945
Submarine
1942
Submarine
1944
Submarine
1942
Submarine
1934
Submarine
1959
Submarine
1942
Submarine
1944
Submarine
1944
Submarine
1942
Submarine
1942
Submarine
1944
Submarine
1942
Submarine
1944
Submarine
1944
Submarine
1936
Submarine
1944
Submarine
1943
Submarine
1945
Submarine
1944
Submarine
1943
Submarine
1943
Submarine
1943
Submarine
1943
Submarine
1943
Submarine
1942
Submarine
1943
Submarine
1943
Submarine
1944
Submarine
1944
Submarine
1942
Submarine
1943
Submarine
1939
Submarine
1940
Submarine
1941
Submarine
1938
Submarine
1941
Submarine
1940
Submarine
1938
Submarine
1992
Submarine
1989
Submarine
1991
Submarine
1865
Ironclad
1886
Ironclad
RMAS Mandarin (P192)
1964
Mooring and Salvage
RMAS Pintail (P193)
1964
Mooring and Salvage
1937
RFA
1975
RFA
1981
RFA
1976
RFA
1941
RFA
1973
RFA
1897
Training Ship
MV Gambada
1973
LPG carrier
MV Gazana
1971
LPG carrier
CS Cable Enterprise
1964
Cable Ship
CS Retriever
1961
Cable Ship
CS Mercury
1962
Cable Ship
1935
Passenger Liner
1927
Passenger Liner
1935
Cargo Liner
1936
Cargo Liner
1937
Cargo Liner
1912
Passenger Liner
RMS Lady Drake
1928
Passenger Liner
1928
Passenger Liner
RMS Lady Nelson
1928
Passenger Liner
RMS Lady Rodney
1929
Passenger Liner
RMS Lady Somers
1929
Passenger Liner
1930
Passenger Liner
SS Prince Henry
1930
Passenger Liner
SS Prince Robert
1930
Passenger Liner
1897
Mail Ship
1896
Mail Ship
1938
Mail Ship
1959
Mail Ship
1984
Oil Rig

AV-1 (British Gas)
1985
Oil Rig

SS British Confidence
1936
Oil Tanker
SS British Fortitude
1937
Oil Tanker
SS British Promise
1942
Oil Tanker
SS British Restraint
1943
Oil Tanker
SS British Sincerity
1939
Oil Tanker
SS British Tradition
1942
Oil Tanker
1943
Oil Tanker
1956
Oil Tanker
1956
Oil Tanker
1926
Passenger and cargo liner
1937
Passenger and cargo liner
1920
Dry Cargo Ship
1915
Dry Cargo Ship














The Queen Mother names and Launches HMS Ark Royal

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By Robert F Edwards

Source
Wikipedia
Liverpool Records Office
Central Lirary
Cammell Lairds
Graces Guide


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