Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Govan is a suburban town located south west of the Scottish city of Glasgow with a population of more than 58,000 people. It incorporates the districts of Kinning Park , Cessnock, Craigton , Drumoyne and the former shipbuilding village of Linthouse .
Govan is situated on the south bank of the River Clyde, just across from Partick. It was an administratively independent Police Burgh from 1864 until it was swallowed up by an ever expanding city of Glasgow in 1912.
Researchers believe that Govan was the site of one of the earliest Christian settlements in mainland Scotland, dating back to before the 9th century. At that time, the area was part of the Kingdom of Strathclyde, with its capital at Dumbarton on the north side of the river.
Traditionally viewed as a working-class area, Govan has been a hotbed of support for the Labour Party, but the Scottish National Party (SNP) is strong there as well and in 1973 won a by-election with Margo MacDonald as their candidate. The SNP repeated this with another by-election victory in 1988, this time with Jim Sillars as candidate.
The area has had a reputation for deprivation and poverty, partly due to the Corporation of Glasgow developing housing estates in the 1930s to relieve the overcrowded slum district of The Gorbals, Glasgow. The most famous of these housing estates is Moore Park - more commonly known as "The Wine Alley" which was parodied by the BBC sitcom Rab C. Nesbitt. Govan was used as a setting for Rab C. Nesbitt but very rarely filmed there. In the post-war years, many Govanites were relocated, often reluctantly, from the town to outlying areas such as Pollok, Darnley , Priesthill and Penilee by the Corporation of Glasgow.
Govan is home to the popular Scottish junior football team Benburb who play at Tinto Park, Craigton . They share a rivalry with St.Anthony's who hail from the Helen Street district of Govan.
The Patron Saint of Govan is Saint Constantine. His remains are buried at Govan Old Parish Church .
The local newspaper serving Govan is the "Local News for Southsiders".
Govan is also home to the depot for the Glasgow Subway system.
Until 2002, Govan was home to the new out-of-town retail development, Braehead. The site of Braehead on the River Clyde was cut in two by the Renfrewshire-Glasgow border, resulting in the curious situation where one store, Sainsburys straddled both the Royal Burgh of Renfrew and the Burgh of Govan. Stores selling alcohol therefore had to apply to both the Renfrewshire and City of Glasgow authorities for licenses. In order to rectify the situation and to bring the entire development under the jurisdiction of one local government, a development of several hundred acres was move from the jurisdiction of City of Glasgow to Renfrewshire for the sake of one store and a couple of hundred square feet, bringing the whole of the Braehead site into the town of Renfrew.
Govan was at one stage the centre of the world renowned Clydeside shipbuilding industry, although few yards remain today, and those that do are under almost constant financial threat. Govan remains one of two large shipyards to survive, the other being Yarrow Shipbuilders Limited (YSL). Both of these yards form (with the VSEL yard in Barrow) BAE SYSTEMS Marine.
Govan shipyard was founded in the 1860s as Randolph, Elder and Company, later John Elder and Company. In 1885 the yard was reorganised as the Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd. This company continued until 1965 when it filed for bankruptcy. In response the yard was again reorganised in 1966 as Fairfields, which was guaranteed by the government. The following year Fairfields and the other major Clydeside yards (Stephens, Connels, YSL and Browns) were merged to form Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (UCS).
In 1971 the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders went into receivership and the then Tory government under Edward Heath refused it a £6m loan. Rather than go on strike, which was the traditional form of industrial action, the union leadership of the yards decided to have a 'work-in' and complete the orders that the shipyards had in place. In this way they dispelled the idea of the workers being 'work-shy' and also wanted to illustrate the long-term viability of the yards. The work-in was successful in the short-term. YSL withdrew from UCS in 1971 and Govan was sold off in 1973 as Govan Shipbuilders.
In 1977 the Labour government of James Callaghan passed the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act which nationalised Govan and grouped it with other major British shipyards as British Shipbuilders. In May 1979 Margaret Thatcher was elected as Prime Minister and her administration soon began its privatisation programme. British Aerospace, established by the same act, was privatised in 1981. British Shipbuilder's road to privatisation was not as swift and the group was sold piece by piece throughout the decade, Govan was sold to Kvaerner in 1988.
In 1999 GEC's Marconi Electronic Systems division purchased the yard from Kvaerner. GEC's Marconi Marine division already owned YSL (purchased in 1985) and VSEL (purchased in 1995). Marconi Electronic Systems and its Marconi Marine unit were sold to British Aerospace in 1999 to form BAE SYSTEMS. The shipbuilding operations became BAE SYSTEMS Marine.
Ships built at Govan
This is a partial list
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