George Brown & Co

This five berth yard was known locally as the ‘Siberia’ yard on account of its extremely exposed position near the Great Harbour of Greenock, open to the cold north wind and prone to hazardous icy deck working conditions. The Garvel Dry Dock and James Watt Dock were neighbours, and the yard had been operated for two years from 1898 by Taylor & Mitchell and had built four ships. George Brown (1859-1933) had served his apprenticeship at the Stephen yard, and then been assistant manager for Denny before he started on his own account in 1900 with yard No 5. The yard built all types of small ships. After the death of the founder in 1933 the yard continued under the control of his two sons and later his grandson. In 1937 the company was renamed George Brown & Co (Marine) Ltd. The yard ran out of orders in the 1960s, with the last ship built being the twin screw tug Vasabha for Colombo Port Commission, completed in June 1963. Part of the yard continued in business as a manufacturer of cargo handling equipment under licence from a Norwegian company, and made a brief return to shipbuilding in 1981. In 1983 the company went into liquidation, with the plant being sold by auction.