QE2
We have all seen plenty of photographs of the QE2 but these are a little different. They were taken for the crane firm of MacWilliam MacWilliam and show some of their equipment being used in the Inchgreen dry dock while she was in for final fitting out in 1968.
The photographs had been framed and were on display in the company's premiss for many years before permission was given for me to show them here by Mr Craig MacWilliam the current managing director who outlines the company's history below.
 The images show workmen applying a coating of anti-fouling paint when the photos were taken.

My great grandfather the 5th of 7 children, John MacWilliam was born 1887 in Glasgow, and worked in the steel industry. He moved to Boness to work in the steel industry and dealt with Inverkeithing Shipyard.
During his involvements in the 1910's and the 1920's the shipyards would dispose of scrap chains by taking them out to sea and dropping them to the sea bed. My great grandfather, aware of the value of scrap metal agreed to dispose of the chains for the shipyard and contracted with the shipyards to dispose of the chains for them. He started his own business in 1922 buying a horse and cart and transporting the chains to the steel works to be melted down.

By the time his two eldest sons of 7 children were of working age he was a well established scrap metal merchant and bought a yard in Sandyhills in the east end of Glasgow. The yard had a railway line with a direct line to Ravenscraig and other steel works. My grandfather Alex and his brother James continued to expand the business. The youngest son Alan joined the company years later.
During the post war era they purchased a couple of ex - army lorry mounted cranes to work in the yard to dismantle and process scrap metals

Over the next 20 years the cranes were out on hire as often as working in our yard.
My father, Grahame started work for the company straight from school in 1956 at the age of 14 and over the years was involved in the maintenance, operation and hire of the cranes. Although this was at that time a minor part of the business. My father's cousin Jim, son of James was taking over the running of the yard and the processing of metals.
Round about 1966, my father persuaded my grandfather and his brother to invest in a crane hire business to give him his own role within the family business.
They purchased approximately 20 cranes and operated a busy little crane hire business until 1974 when a larger company, bought the entire fleet, as they were doing with all of the smaller crane hire companies.
This left my father without a role in the family company.

Among all of the lucrative contracts my grandfather and his brother has secured was the scrapping of British Rail trains and coaches. As we had a railway line in our yard and the line to the steel work, no other metal merchant could compete with us as we had the market for scrapping at BR equipment in Scotland and the North of England, and all ex service equipment was railed into our yard.
At the time of the crane hire company selling off St Enoch train station, which occupied the site of the now St Enoch shopping centre was due to be demolished, and in 1975 MacWilliam Demolition Ltd was established and the St Enoch train station was the first major project. With my father's crane hire expertise and the family metal processing expertise, we were the best equipped company to take on such a major demolition / dismantling in a busy centre.  My father and uncle Alan made MacWilliam Demolition Ltd one of the main demolition contractors, and we went on to demolish power stations in Portobello and Dundee and other main industrial land marks

I am now the 4th generation and continue as a demolition contractor.
I am chair of the National Demolition Training Group (Scotland) and have served as chair for the National Federation of Demolition Contractor (Scottish + NI Region)

© Carol W & MacWilliam 2000-2014 all rights reserved, all trademarks hereby acknowledged.
The photographs in this site have not to be shared or otherwise used without permission!
Please do not submitt them to any other site for display

My thanks to Mr MacWilliam for all his help putting this page together it's very much appreciated.