Collection SOHC 33 - Oral history project on the changing work identity of Govan's shipbuilders c. 1960-2016

Identity area

Reference code

GB 249 SOHC 33


Oral history project on the changing work identity of Govan's shipbuilders c. 1960-2016


  • August - October 2016 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

6 digital audio files, 5 transcripts

Context area

Name of creator

(fl. 2016)

Biographical history

Rory Stride was a student at the University of Strathclyde. In 2016, he completed a BA thesis called ‘“Proud to be a Clyde shipbuilder. Clyde built”: The Changing Work Identity of Govan’s Shipbuilders, c.1960-Present.’ In 2018, he completed an MSC thesis called ‘Gender, Work and Deindustrialisation: Women’s Experiences of Work and Closure at James Templeton & Co., Glasgow, c.1960-1981’.

Name of creator

(Established 1995)

Administrative history

The Scottish Oral History Centre (SOHC) was set up within the Department of History at the University of Strathclyde in 1995. Since its foundation the SOHC has been involved in a wide range of teaching, research and outreach activities designed primarily to encourage the use of ‘best practice’ oral history methodology in Scotland. Until 2005, the SOHC was directed by Professor Callum Brown, since then by Professor Arthur McIvor.

Archival history

The project was completed by Rory Stride as part of his undergraduate dissertation at the University of Strathclyde. Copies of the recordings and transcripts were given to the Scottish Oral History Centre at the University of Strathclyde.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Transferred from Scottish Oral History Centre, November 2018.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Oral history project conducted in 2016 by Rory Stride as research for his undergraduate history dissertation, ‘“Proud to be a Clyde shipbuilder. Clyde built”: The changing work identity of Govan’s shipbuilders, c.1960-present.’ The collection comprises interviews with seven men who were employed as shipbuilders between c.1960 and 2016 at Govan’s three shipyards: Alexander Stephen and Sons, Fairfield’s, and Harland and Wolff. The interviews were conducted in a variety of places across Glasgow. The interview questions were semi-structured and largely directed by the responses of the participants. Topics discussed include trade unions, working conditions, occupational injury, masculinity, politics, staff camaraderie, redundancy and periods of employment at different companies. There is a focus throughout the interviews on indicators and expression of masculine identity including alcohol consumption, paid employment and macho attitudes in the yards. The interviews also cover the workers' interactions with the trade union movement, focusing on their experiences of strike action. In addition, some of the key episodes in the Clyde’s shipbuilding history during the twentieth century are covered including: the closure of Harland and Wolff; the closure of Alexander Stephen and Sons; the Norwegian company Kvaerner’s takeover of the Fairfield yard from British Shipbuilders in 1988 and the withdrawal of Kvaerner from Govan in 1999 which threatened the existence of shipbuilding on the Clyde heading in to the twenty-first century.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

No access restrictions.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copyright: Scottish Oral History Centre, University of Strathclyde

Language of material

  • English

Script of material

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    Finding aids

    Allied materials area

    Existence and location of originals

    Existence and location of copies

    Related units of description

    This collection is part of the Scottish Oral History Centre Archive

    Notes area

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        Accession area