|Headquarters||Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland|
Henry Robb, Limited, known colloquially as Robbs, was a Scottish shipbuilding company based at Leith Docks in Edinburgh. Robbs was notable for building small-to-medium sized vessels, particularly tugs and dredgers.
The Company was founded by Henry Robb, a former yard manager for Ramage & Ferguson on 1 April 1918.
The Company then expanded through acquisition buying berths from Hawthorns in 1924, the business of Cran & Somerville in 1926 and the yards of Ramage & Ferguson in 1934. The site became known as Victoria Shipyard.
During World War II, Robbs built a large number of naval warships for the Royal Navy, including preparing the designs and building the prototype of the Basset-class anti-submarine / minesweeping trawler.
In 1968, Robbs purchased, and amalgamated with, the Caledon Shipbuilding and Engineering Company of Dundee, forming Robb Caledon Shipbuilding. In 1977, under the provisions of the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act 1977, Robb Caledon was nationalised as part of British Shipbuilders. The Caledon yard in Dundee closed in 1981; Robb's yard in Leith survived two more years, closing in 1983. The land once occupied by Robb's shipyard is now the Ocean Terminal shopping centre, home to the Royal Yacht Britannia. An old pitched roof paintshed that once belonged to the yard, constructed from rivetted iron plates, still stands and has been granted Category B listed status.
The yard features in the video to the track "Letter From America" (1987) by The Proclaimers, whose father worked in the yard. The overall sentiment of the song stresses the loss of Scotland's traditional industries and the mass emigration of Scots to North America due to circumstances such as the Highland Clearances.
Ships built by Robbs
Bustler-class ocean rescue tugs
Wild Duck-class RMAS cable-layer / salvage vessel
|267||SS South Steyne||Manly ferry||1 April 1938||Port Jackson and Manly Steamship Company|
|508||RRS Bransfield||ice-strengthened research vessel||4 September 1970||British Antarctic Survey|
|515||MV Pioneer||ferry||4 January 1974||Caledonian MacBrayne|
|516||S.A. Wolraad Woltemade||salvage tug||15 May 1975||South African Marine Corporation|
|521||MV Borthwick||LPG Tanker||1977||Geo. Gibson & Co.|
|522||MV Claymore||ferry||31 August 1978||Caledonian MacBrayne|
|530||THV Patricia||lighthouse tender||1982||Trinity House|
|534||MV St Catherine||ferry||1983||Sealink/Wightlink|
|535||MV St Helen||ferry||1983||Sealink/Wightlink|
- Grace's Guide: Henry Robb
- Recollections around Edinburgh
- The world shipbuilding industry By Daniel Todd Page 117
- Notable dates
- Masts from the past Evening News, 1 September 2007
- Steering its own course Evening News, 9 June 2007
- "Geo. Gibson & Co.". British Coastal Shipping Companies. Retrieved 3 July 2010.
- "Ship No 36 to Ship No 40". Leith Built Ships. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
- "Patricia (1982)". ShipPhotos.co.uk. Retrieved 2 July 2010.
- The Ships of Henry Robb
- The Loftsman, history of the ships built at Leith
- Photos of the closed Robbs yard at edinphoto.org.uk
- Photos of Robb Caledon built ships at shipphotos.co.uk
- History of the free French frigate LA DECOUVERTE ex HMS WINDRUSH
- Blog about the history of Robb's yard and workers by Henry Robb's great granddaughter