History of our site

The NHS National Waiting Times Centre (comprising the Golden Jubilee National Hospital and Beardmore Hotel and Conference Centre) was not the first major undertaking to occupy the north bank of the River Clyde at Dalmuir.

In 1900, William Beardmore, Managing Director of the Parkhead Forge in Glasgow, identified the green field site as suitable for a new shipyard and engine works to complement the products of his Forge. Between 1901 and 1906, he laid out one of the largest shipyards in the UK and marked its opening, in June 1906, with the launch of the battleship HMS Agamemnon for the Royal Navy.

The yard, called the Naval Construction Works, covered nearly 100 acres and during its employment peak in World War One, had a payroll of 13,000 people. A vast range of products were constructed at Dalmuir during the war including ships of all descriptions, aircraft, airships, tanks, guns, shells and mines. After the war, to cover the cessation of armaments production, Beardmore constructed locomotives and steel houses at Dalmuir. However, the depressed years of the 1920s proved to be difficult for William Beardmore and Dalmuir shipyard as it did for many armaments based companies across the UK.

With a vastly reduced requirement for warships and a trickle of merchant orders, the yard became uneconomic. In 1930 the yard closed its gates for the last time. Many of the buildings survived until the 1980s being used in a variety of less attractive roles including making asbestos sheets and shipbreaking. Today, virtually nothing remains to indicate the presence of Beardmore’s once great industrial concern. Visitors to the hotel and hospital might want to ponder the fact that they are standing on the ground where once great ships were launched into the Clyde.
Ian Johnston (author: Beardmore Built: The Rise and Fall of a Clydeside Shipyard)

The meeting rooms in the Beardmore have been named after some of the famous vessels built here in Dalmuir, including Agamemnon, Cameronia and Zaza. You can read a short biography of each vessel on a plaque attached to the meeting room.

Download our history brochure here