Last of the Henry Robb shipbuilders line

Sadly my uncle, the last Henry Robb (young, young Henry) to work at the yard passed away recently.

My mother and I are travelling down to Basingstoke for his funeral on Monday.

What will remain with me is the immense pride he had in the yaird and its workers and what his Grandfather had created during the troubled times they all experienced during the sad closure of the yaird.


About Ruth Macadam

Great Granddaughter of Henry Robb. School teacher.
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7 Responses to Last of the Henry Robb shipbuilders line

  1. John Conafray says:

    Hi Ruth, my name is John Conafray and was giving the opportunity to serve my apprentice ship at Robb’s as a shipwrights. I started there in 1963 and did a 5 year apprenticeship.
    I really enjoyed my time there and was great to see the finished vessels take to the water.

    Most of my time was in the Mould Loft, our job was to prove the design offsets which were supplied by the drawing office to get the shape of the vessel . We would supply templates (shapes) made of wood for the platers to shape the steel plates.

    We also got involved in the fabrication shop checking to make sure that the jigsaw puzzle would fit together on the slipway.

    The other job we had was to supply the screive board (body plan) to the frame bending shop where all the frames were bent. As a loftsman we also put the paint lines on the hull while the ship was on the slipway plus the draft marks and LLoyds plimsole mark on.

    Another job for us was working with the drawing office doing stability tests before the the ship went for trials. My time in the yard set me up for a lifetime in the marine industry. From Robb’s I went to Rosyth Dockyard for 10 and that was big change in working practices.

    I then emigrated to New Zealand once again I got involved in boats. Thanks to Henry Robb’s!

    Sadly when the yard shut a lot very talented men were lost along, the way they handled the steel plates and bars was something to see and will always be remembered.

    • Ruth Macadam says:

      Hi John, Thank you for sharing your interesting story, kind regards, ruth

      • Pat Stroud says:

        I am not sure who I am replying to, but here it goes. My Grandmother was Georgina Robb, sadly I must confess I do not know much about the family other than she had three brothers Alec, Bill Frank and a sister Maggie. The thing that intrigues me is the fact that Georgina’s children my Mother Frances had Henry in her middle name, her son George had Leith in his middle name – is there a link perhaps?

      • Ruth Macadam says:

        hi Pat, I dont have these linked on my tree, Robb is a fairly common scottish name. You may be able to find more success using ancestry which I find very helpful, or another family tree making programme. Good luck with your search 🙂

      • John Conafray says:

        Hi Ruth You replied to John Conafray, thank you for that. After reading my story there are few typing mistakes on my behalf, anyway thanks from Australia. We are Kiwi Scots resident in Perth Australia. Continue the good work, Ron Neish was an apprentice when I knew him and it was a big surprise when he contacted me about his books.

        Sent from my iPad. John Conafray

  2. Robin Robbs says:

    I have followed these posts for some time. I am deeply saddened by your recent loss of Henry. I have a great love of the ships that have been built. Thank you for this post and may you be comforted at this time.

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