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Iain Mackinnon of Bridge of Earn wrote to me following the death of his father,
Alex, in January 2004: "All my life I have heard stories about the shipyard
from my Dad - it played such an overwhelming part in his, and many others',
lives. There was a real sense of community associated with the place. My Dad's
father, brother and uncles all went into the shipyard. When my Dad's brother
Willie emigrated to Australia he continued to work in the industry, eventually
owning a boat building business in Whyalla and employing quite a few ex-Burntisland
men. Shipbuilding must have been in the blood."
Iain also sent me copies of some of his father's shipyard
memorabilia, which are shown
below. I hope that they will evoke a few memories among former shipyard workers
and former colleagues of Alex. (Alex and Alex's father both also feature in the 1941 documentary film, 'Steel Goes to Sea'. This can be seen on YouTube (opens in a new window), with Alex at 06:45mins and his father at 05:58mins.)
hand photo: on the left, Alex Mackinnon, with (possibly) the
Guyan brothers, David and Jimmy. Updates: (1) April 2010, from Andrew
Beveridge - "Having shown the photograph from Burntisland Online, 'Alex
Mackinnon with possibly the Guyan Brothers' to my Aunt, wife of the late David Guyan, I can confirm that it is *not*
either of the Guyan
Brothers of Burntisland in the photograph. Unfortunately, she does not
recognise the men with
(2) December 2016, from Alan Richardson - "The person in the middle of this photo was George Burrell
from Kinghorn. He was a plater. He was born in 1905 in the Ship Tavern Kinghorn and was a scratch golfer."
Right hand photo: Burntisland
High Street, late 1940s - on the left, Alex Mackinnon; on the right,
his younger brother Willie.
the photo: on the right, Alex Mackinnon, with (possibly) Adam Martin. On
the right: Alex Mackinnon's union card.
a generation, to Alex' father, John. Above is the letter he received
in 1924 when he completed his five years' apprenticeship as a
plater. And below is the letter which Alex himself received 23 years later.
Prince of Wales (with bowler hat, stooping) visits Burntisland Shipyard
in the mid 1930s. On the left of the picture, with his back to
the camera, is Alex Mackinnon's uncle, Neilly McLennan. Slightly
left of centre in the picture, attending to the machine, is John
end of the road. Alex Mackinnon's copy of the letter from the Chairman
of Burntisland Shipbuilding Company Limited, giving him 14 days
notice of termination of his employment when the company became