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Sir Alexander Kennedy

Mitchell Library, The Bailie

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Keywords: Anchor Line, Canadian Pacific Line, Donaldson Line, Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co, Hamilton & Co, liners, McMillan & Son, Northumberland Shipping Co, River Clyde, ship repairing, shipbuilders, shipbuilding, shipping lines, ships, shipyards

Sir Alexander Kennedy (1860-1939), shipbuilder.

Born in Dumbarton, Kennedy gained experience in Clyde shipbuilding with McMillan & Son of Dumbarton and Hamilton & Co, Port Glasgow, before becoming managing director of the Northumberland Shipbuilding Co in 1916. In 1919, the purchase of a large block of shares in the Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co by the Northumberland Shipbuilding Co led to a takeover, and Kennedy was installed as managing director at Fairfield. He was knighted in 1921.

After concentrating almost exclusively on warship production during the First World War, Fairfield had to adjust to building merchant ships again. The yard was best known for its passenger liners at this time, for customers which included the Donaldson Line, the Canadian Pacific Line, and the Anchor Line.

Kennedy became chairman in 1930 at a time of severe economic depression. For a time only ship repair work kept the yard going, but gradually orders began to come in again. Kennedy was replaced as chairman in 1937 by Sir James Lithgow, whose company had taken over Fairfield two years earlier.

Reference: Mitchell Library, GC 052 BAI

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning



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