This film is part of Free

Ross Belch

"The Clydesiders are still a tough lot" - as evidenced in this behind-the-scenes tour of a 1960s Clydeside shipyard.

Cinemagazine 1970 14 mins


At the time this film was made many shipyards on the Clyde were in decline in the face of international competition, especially from Japan and Korea. Ross Belch, managing director of the Lower Clydeside shipyard Scott Lithgow, is determined to keep his company afloat during this transitional period and believes that good industrial relations as well as high productivity are the key to survival.

Designed for overseas audiences, this cinemagazine commissioned by the Central Office of Information uses a shipbuilding company as a case study to transmit the idea of Britain as a fair and democratic nation. Belch's approach appears to be successful and orders for tankers, naval submarines and small car ferries continue to flood in. Scott Lithgow was later nationalised and became part of British Shipbuilders in 1977. Ross Belch went on to be knighted and was hailed for his skills in maintaining good industrial relations in the notoriously dispute-ridden shipyards. The Pacemakers series was produced for international television between 1969 and 1971 and comprised single themed thirteen-minute colour programmes on an array of topics that describe a positive aspect of Britain and its people.