This film is part of Free

Sounds of the Clyde

Glasgow shipbuilders organise a "work-in" in response to being laid off by the liquidators of the Upper Clyde Shipbuilders (UCS).

Current affairs 1971 27 mins


Gus Macdonald revisits the Glasgow shipyards where he used to work as a fitter. Now a television producer, he speaks to his former colleagues about their current and future prospects as shipbuilders, and the debate is interspersed with beautifully filmed scenes of workers at the shipyard. Jimmy Reid, Communist trade union leader, speaks eloquently at a mass gathering of workers about "the unity of their class" which is shared by the workers.

Gus Macdonald gives a personal and distinctive commentary in this current affairs programme, and is unapologetic about the predominance of Glaswegian voices: "If you have trouble with the Glasgow accents, just remember that we've had to learn your English all the way from Harold Steptoe to Hylda Baker". Macdonald went on to become a senior figure in British broadcasting and entered the House of Lords in 1998 as Baron Macdonald of Tradeston.