Fairfield and Govan


This photo shows a busy day at Elder Park in the 1930s, the park lies opposite the old Fairfield yard now home to BAE Systems.


Govan grew rapidly between 1850 and 1900 following the deepening and widening of the Clyde which provided both a more efficient transport route for trade and a valuable resource for heavy industry. As shipbuilding companies located in the area they brought with them ancillary industries and Govan’s population which had been only 9,000 in the 1860s grew to 90,000 by 1912.


The majority of Govan’s new residents were employees in the new industries. Shipbuilding became an integral part of the identity of Govan, with many, many families depending on the shipyards for their livelihoods. Today, this connection continues and many of Govan’s inhabitants claim a connection, either past or present, to the shipyards of the burgh.

Between the mid-nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the heyday of shipbuilding on the Clyde, Govan was at the centre of the industry.

Whatever your age or experience we can offer a range of learning opportunities. From education groups to community visits.

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Once described as the jewel in the crown of Govan, the restored building provides a magnificent venue for all for all kinds of events.