Book Review – ‘Stephen of Linthouse: A shipbuilding memoir 1950–1983’ by Martin Bellamy

By Martin Bellamy, published November 2020


Stephen of Linthouse is one of the great names of Clyde shipbuilding. The yard is famous for the long line of excellent ships that it produced, including tea clippers, passenger liners and warships. The firm of Alexander Stephen & Sons was established in 1750 and was led by a succession of dynamic, talented and, at times, ruthless family members. Company histories were produced in 1932 and again in 1950 to mark the firm’s bicentenary. Sandy Stephen, who had the dubious honour of being the company’s last managing director, has now produced a conclusion to the story.

Stephen tantalizes the reader at the start of the book, stating that earlier histories were somewhat whitewashed for fear of putting off prospective customers. What he promises now is to reveal all with a ‘warts and all’ story with ‘skeletons brought out of cupboards’. In reality what he has produced is a pretty limp affair …

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Filed under: Irish Sea
Subjects include: Shipbuilding & Design

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