I refer to Professor Gordon Milne’s letter (20 July about failure in Scotland to recognise our maritime heritage. Like the prophets of the Bible, great Scots and great Scottish institutions have no honour in their own country.
I wonder if this is because of the dearth of written information that exists about the great Scottish shipyards which once existed in most Scottish ports, and the equally great Scottish shipping companies which operated out of these ports.
For example, how many Scots today know that during the Second World War, Burntisland Shipyard designed and built a number of merchant aircraft carriers, two of which were operated for the Ministry of War Transport by the Ben Line of Leith, one of our great shipping companies.
These ships, crewed by the Merchant Navy with RN fliers and support staff, performed sterling service protecting North Atlantic convoys.
This information is contained in books long out of print, as almost certainly there exists written material about our shipyards and shipping companies, but it needs to be gathered together and published.
This would at least enable a start to be made to devising a specific strategy for preserving our maritime heritage. Perhaps Glasgow University might take this on: I understand that it now holds the Ben Line’s records in its archives.
Ness Road East