Dunlop, Bremner & Co

In 1871 David J Dunlop and James L Cunliffe took over the Inch yard at Port Glasgow from Lawrence Hill, trading as Cunliffe & Dunlop, with both men having had shipbuilding experience with John Elder at the Fairfield yard. Dunlop was the leading partner and the son of a merchant in Mexico City, where he was born in 1838. He was sent home to be educated at Glasgow, and after some civil engineering experience his first shipyard experience was to help John Elder lay out his new Fairfield Yard at Govan. He left the Fairfield yard in 1869 after the death of Elder, and decided to start shipbuilding on his own account. Many shallow-draft craft were the first products of Cunliffe & Dunlop as well as several cable ships including Retriever of the 1870s. Cunliffe retired in 1881 and David J Dunlop continued alone till 1911 building over 100 ships of varied types. The Inch yard is best remembered for a number of large tankers, large for the time, built from 1889. In 1911 David Dunlop died and Donald Bremner took over the Inch yard, retaining the Dunlop name as Dunlop, Bremner & Co Ltd and building for local owners such as J & J Denholm with Mountpark. Output during the Great War included three ‘Flower’ class sloops, four paddle minesweepers and six twin-screw minesweepers, and dumb barges for the Admiralty, and five coastal liners for Wilson Line of Hull. Standard ships included four ‘H’ type standard coasters. The yard was taken over by the Lithgow brothers in 1919 but continued under its own name until work ran out in 1926. When the yard closed it had six berths for ships up to 450ft in length with its own fitting-out basin and covered around nine acres. Some three hundred ships had been built at the Inch yard by various owners. The yard was purchased in March 1933 by National Shipbuilders Security Ltd with a restrictive covenant prohibiting shipbuilding for forty years.