The Last of the Govan Cranes

A short film delves into the history and demise of the Govan Cranes, symbolic of the declining shipbuilding industry at the Govan Shipyard over the past four decades. These once-mighty 80-ton cranes, last operated in May 2008, now stand as neglected relics, deemed hazardous and slated for replacement by modern mobile counterparts.


As the cranes face dismantlement, the Govan yard grapples with uncertainty, exacerbated by plans to cut 825 jobs announced by yard owners in November 2013. Concurrently, a looming referendum casts doubt on the future of shipbuilding in Scotland. Despite the Govan cranes’ integral role in a global industrial saga, there’s scant time or political appetite to contemplate their legacy or preservation.


“The Last of the Govan Cranes,” a specially commissioned film, intertwines Govan’s illustrious shipbuilding legacy with the cranes’ demolition. Shot over five months, the film employs multimedia techniques, time-lapse photography, archival footage, and interviews with former workers to capture the essence of this vanishing era.


9 minutes / 4k / Colour

Directed, filmed and edited by Chris Leslie

Commissioned by