Shipbuilding at the Govan Shipyard is a fraction of what it was 40 years ago. Its towering 80-ton cranes were last used in May 2008 after shipyard bosses at BAE Systems decided to decommission them. They stand as rusting relics, a health hazard, an eye-sore, and are to be replaced with newer mobile cranes.
In November 2013 yard owners announce plans to cut 825 jobs at the very same time that work begins on the dismantling of all the cranes. The future of the Govan yard looks uncertain and there is an approaching referendum that some say threatens the very future of shipbuilding in Scotland. Despite the Govan cranes being part of one the greatest industrial stories of the world there is no time or political will to discuss the legacy of the cranes and their preservation.
The Last of the Govan Cranes is a specially commissioned film that explored Govan’s rich heritage in Shipbuilding alongside the demolition of the cranes. Filmed over a period of 5 months it uses multimedia and time-lapse photography with archive footage alongside interviews with former workers.