Shipping Out

trainGlenfinnan_ViaducthjkgjkgkMy mother arrived at Corby railway station many years ago, along with her four siblings, and a determined protective mother. The six of them had made the long steam train journey south from western Scotland where some of the world’s mightiest ships were built from the steel that Stewarts and Lloyds would produce. My grandfather, who should have been with them, had died suddenly shortly before, having spent his life as a steelworker on the banks of the Clyde. The lure of a new house and better paid jobs were all the incentive my grandmother needed to give her children a fresh start in the new town of Corby. NIMMO FAMILY 1Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Nimmo family, all of whom lived in various locations: Occupation Road, Thoroughsale Road, Crawford Grove, Welland Vale Road, Rowlett Road, Gilchrist Avenue, Studfall Avenue: to name but a few. Mum rarely mentioned her family’s early life in Scotland, answering only when questioned that she would take me on a trip down the Clyde: one day. Sadly, that day never came, and to my knowledge, my mum never stood on Scottish soil again from her first arrival in Corby all those years ago to her dying day in 1978. In the 80’s and 90’s I would often think of mum whilst driving past Glasgow en route to Oban to catch the ferry for Mull. It wasn’t until 2003 whilst researching detail for a book about a ship that had been built in Govan, that I got my first real taste of Glasgow and the magnificence that is the River Clyde. 512C8NAE0RL._SY445_It was that process that made me realise just how important the shipbuilding industry was, and still is, to the people of these islands. The cynic in me can’t help but think that any planned redundancies in Portsmouth, Govan or Scotstoun would all be part of a sickening political game that does nothing but undermine the vulnerable foundations on which our industrial heritage was built.


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One response to “Shipping Out

  1. Jim

    I came down with my mum on Christmas 1964 on the night sleeper to Kettering. In the years leading up to the closure of the “Works” Corby was a buzzing newish town the Danesholme estate was being built and the future did look good. I left in early 1977 and moved to Milton Keynes.
    I was very much saddened to be driving through Corby to see the effect closing the works had. From thriving social communities and something on in most of the working me clubs and pubs to boarded up vandalised properties of all types. There were the works Christmas outings where many a great evening in the Ritz in Desborough or the Fir Tree in Wellingborough. Ok so I am a clearly a romantic avoiding the dark side of the community. I was amazed recently to see a photo of the training school intake, I estimated there were about 100 apprentices. Many now far away from Corby, a good friend who became a qualified welder moved to Australia. My father had already been in work for about a year before we arrived in Corby. He had driven the Perth County Council dust carts for as long as I can remember, life was better and dad became “white van man” for Shanks & Mcewan until he retired. Mum and Dad, Connie & George, are together in the Rockingham Road cemetary. Did you get your drain inspected in the sixties, seventies or early eighties. You met my Dad as Shanks did all the drain work for CDC.

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