WHAT you see here is the construction of the Australian City, a 34,000-ton bulk carrier, at the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in 1964. It is almost hard to believe that the flotsam and jetsam of metalwork on display here would go on to transport timber, coal and grain across the globe but seven months on from the capturing of this photograph, the ship was ready to set sail.

Commissioned by Reardon Smith Line Ltd, the Australian City is small fry to today’s vessels – which include Shell’s 600,000-ton Prelude – but back in 1964 it was part of a major company expansion. And where better to build than Fairfields?

The Fairfield Company yard at Govan had been up and running since 1864, making the construction of the Reardon carrier something of a celebration: 100 years of shipbuilding. Just look at the party that’s going on here. One gentleman has fallen down a hole in the deck, whilst another can be seen attempting to defy gravity and walk up the boat’s steep left-hand side.

It would, however, seem that the yard got a little overexcited with their own expansion and modernisation. Indeed, a year on from this photo the company filed for bankruptcy. Sadly, the Australian City fared little better. 640ft long, 32ft deep and 80ft wide, the ship was broken up for scrap in China 24 years later when Reardon Smith Line closed due to economic difficulties.