Scott & Sons (Bowling)



Shipbuilders and Ship and Engine  Repairers





 Welcome to the Scott & Sons (Bowling) Website 


The aim of the Website is to keep alive the history of the yard and of the men and women who worked there.

The Website provides information about the yard, acts as a contact point for people who have an interest in the yard and seeks to establish a comprehensive record of the yard from the time it was first established in 1851 to its eventual closure in 1979.      

I am looking to hear from former workers, their families and anyone who has an interest in the yard.  I hope you will take the opportunity to make contact and if you have any stories or photographs I would be delighted to include them on the Website.


                                                                                                         Alistair Baird

                                                                      (Marine Engine Fitter 1959/64) 


Contact Alistair Baird:  

Tel:- 07895335459 




Helen Strachan provided this wonderful photograph of Scott's Home Guard Platoon, which was taken in the Yard in 1942.  Helen's Grandfather was George Logan, who as many of you will remember worked in the office. George can be seen in the extreme left of the front row.

Allan Sharp has identified the following people in the photograph :-  Tommy McGill Stirling (front row extreme right), Stevie Woods (middle row extreme right), Tony Woods (middle row second from right).

If you can identify anyone please get in touch. 



 Thanks to James McCall for providing this picture of the new sign commemorating Scott's Shipyard, which has been erected at the Scott Avenue Community Garden. A fitting tribute indeed. Well done to all involved.

The Laggan hits the water on her launch day.  She was the last ship built by Scott's of Bowling.  Image provided by John Davies Engineering Manager 1977 - 1979. 


Harry Malloy has provided a number of images taken in the Yard during the late 50' early 60's. Harry's photographs can be seen in the Features section.



Steve Flynn provided this wonderful image of the Platers, Riveters and Caulkers from 1931.   His grandfather Robert Flynn is in the back row, third from the left.  If you recognise anyone in the picture please get in touch.

Many thanks to Allan Sharp who has provided names for a number of the men in the above photograph, including that of his father Jim Sharp.  Allan's list is as follows:  Back row left to right - 1 Jim Sharp, 5 McDermott? 7 Bill Downer.  Middle row left to right - 4 Jackie Woods, 7 Jimmy Logan, 8 Andrew Wilson. Front row - 3 Dave MacLachlan, 6 Jock Conner.   


This image of the Blacksmiths taken at Scott's in 1905 was provided by Janet Brown.  On the top row third from the right is her grandfather James Beaton.  In the middle row and fourth from the left is her great great grandfather Malcolm Mc Millan, who was the father-in-law of James Beaton.

 Many thanks to Janet Brown for the wonderful image of the Blacksmiths pictured at Scott's in 1905. Janet has also provided some valuable information on her family links with the shipyard, going back many generations. On the paternal side of her family she refers to her grandfather James Beaton and great grandfather Malcolm McMillan. James was born in Glasgow, although his father, also known as James was from Big Sand in Wester Ross. The Beaton's were also sometimes called Bethune, sometimes being baptised Bethune, married as Beaton and dying as Bethune, or vice versa. Malcolm was from Stornoway and came to Dumbarton first of all to work in the shipyards there, finally moving to Bowling when he worked in Scott and sons.

On the maternal side of her family Janet makes reference to the Stirling's, who worked for Scott's and her grandfather Andrew Ferrier who joined the Stirling household in 1910 after he married Janet's granny. She was the only daughter in a large family and one of the youngest and had stayed unmarried looking after her parents until both died in 1910.

Janet's family were from Bowling and seems to have been employed at Scott's shipyard for several generations until just before it closed. She says "The first person I know of was my great great-grandfather James Stirling in 1810 who lived in one of the houses at Littlemill, up the side of the Horseshoe Bar, or Dunters as it was known. The row of houses at that time did not have an address as we know it, it was just called by the name of the owner, Paterson's Land or Scott's Land, but locally it was known as Chisel Row as many of the men living there were ship's carpenters".

 Janet's great grandfather was Thomas McGill Stirling, who worked in the yard most of his days and lived at Chisel Row, moving to Auchentorlie Terrace about 1881. His son-in-law Andrew Ferrier worked in the office probably from around 1910 when he came to Bowling and was paid off during the depression and died in the 1930s. Tom McGill Stirling, who was Janet's mother's cousin, lived in Red Row, Bowling and worked in the yard. In 1914 when as a 17 year old, he enlisted in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, and gave his employer as Scott & Sons Bowling and said he was an apprentice fitter.


Scott & Sons Bowling 2017.  During a visit in January I was left with the impression that the Yard was dead and in the process of being buried. More pictures to follow. 


The "Smiddy" taken sometime in the 80's.  The steam hammer is on the left and the boiler house is the white brick building on the right.  Great place to go for a heat in the winter.  If I remember correctly Willie was the Blacksmith and Jimmy was the Hammer Boy (operated the steam hammer).



An image from the 1950's which was taken from the Engine Shop door. While some of the men are familiar I can name only two, Willie McGilchrist (yard managers brother) Engineer, fourth from the right and Eric Mackay, Engineer who is in the front row on the left.  Eric became Maintenance Engineer and operated the slipway engines.

Thanks to Allan Sharp and John Gallagher for providing the following names: Third from the left on the back row, Billy McIntyre.  Fourth from the left back row is Sid Culter.  Fifth from left on the back row is Maurice Fergusson and on the extreme right of the back row is Bob Mc Farlane.   

Can you name any of the others? 


The Engine Shop 1962. Left to right Dick McGilchrist, John Drain, Jackie Forsyth (back to camera), Neil Lindsay, Hugh O'Hare and Alex Thomson.


Graeme Wallace has provided the above receipt for the Glencloy (Image copyright Allan Hamilton), which cost the grand total of £5362 in 1930. Graeme is a member of the Hamilton family (G&G Hamilton of Glasgow (and Brodick) and the Glencloy was the first of a number of ships built by Scott's for G&G Hamilton.  Graeme recalls his mother telling him that the ship was sold at cost price in order to maintain the workforce during the depression of the early 30's.  The design on the headed paper is a work of art in itself.


 Number 2 Slipway circa 1980


 View across the yard circa 1959/60 (Just before the fixed crane was  installed).


The Wheelhouse of the Tug "Dalmah" completed 1962 for Abu Dhabi Marine Areas, London.


Looking across the deck of the Coaster "Storm" 1961, with the Joiners Shop, Engine Shop and travelling crane in the background.


The quality of this image may be poor but its an important image in that it captures an area of the yard that has not been seen on the Website until now.  The image shows the plate roller, the stairs up to the Loft, the cobbled Pen and the old Gate Box at the railway crossing.


The above digital image shows the original plan for the new shipyard, which formed part of the agreement between Scott and Sons and the Clyde Navigation Trust. The site, which is just to the East of Bowling Basin, was purchased by Scott and Sons from the Caledonian Railway Company. This is the original copy that was signed on behalf of Scott and Sons by Charles W Scott and James Scott in November 1918.  

This Tug was built at Scott's in 1956 and is now up for sale at £34,322 (May 2015). She is based in Rome and is currently advertised for sale in YACHTWORLD  

She has been converted from steam to diesel and is described as being ready to steam. Moored at our yard in Rome.  The hull is in excellent condition.  Can be delivered.  Pleasure vessel registered but could be registered back for a commercial purpose.

This is a good example of the quality of ships built at Scott's.  Any ideas as to her original name and number?  Its the North Beach No 412, which was built for Alexander Towing Company.  Thanks to Brian Goodell from Schelt, Canada for spotting the advert in YACHTWORLD and for contacting the Website. 


John Brown (Chargehand Engineer) in his trademark brown boiler suit and black beret, circa 1959.   John was an expert on steam engines and was a really nice man to work for and with.  Alistair 


This is the only picture I can find that contains an image of the Paint Shop. In the distance through the gap between the Welding Bay and the Smiddy is a partial view of the Paint Shop.


Early 60's photograph of the Clyde Navigation Trust WATCH HOUSE.