Denny Tank: Festive Spirit

Who: Denny Tank
Job: Shipyard Workers
Where: Dumbarton
When: 1980s
Repository: Scottish Maritime Museum

The late 1950s and early 1960s was a difficult period for Scottish shipbuilders. Denny Brothers hoped that shipyard modernisation and the visionary development of the hovercraft would secure their future, but their aspirations were never realised. The order books were empty, and the board of directors agreed to build a ship ‘on spec’ to keep their workforce in employment. Despite these attempts, the company went into liquidation and closed its doors in September 1963.

Although this sadly signalled the end for the shipyard, the importance of the experiment tank was recognised by Vickers Armstrongs (Shipbuilders) Ltd. They purchased the tank in 1964 and continued to operate it, adding a wind tunnel to the facilities in 1975. Following nationalisation, the tank passed into the hands of British Shipbuilders in 1977. This imaginative Christmas card was sent from tank employees to their counterparts at the St Albans tank in the 1980s.

Denny Tank Christmas Card, c.1980s

Denny Tank Christmas Card, c.1980s

The Scottish Maritime Museum today runs the Denny Tank in Dumbarton as a Museum where you can discover how William Denny and Brothers’ innovative, experimental approach to shipbuilding made waves in the shipbuilding industry from the 1800s to 1963.

Keep up to date with the museum on twitter @Scotmaritime


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