A CALL has gone out for women in Clydebank to share their stories of the impact the decline of shipbuilding on the Clyde had on their lives.

Researcher Shonagh Joice wants to hear from women in the area about how the closure of yards along the river, including John Brown's in the town, affected their domestic arrangements - and their working lives.

Shonagh is carrying out a study on the subject as part of her work towards a PhD at Queen's University Belfast.

Clydebank was hit harder than many other communities by the decline of the industry, with the collapse of shipbuilding on the Clyde seeing the end of the days when hundreds of workers would come through the gates of yards such as John Brown's and Yarrow's in Scotstoun, bringing employment to the area and boosting the local economy.

Unemployment rates in Clydebank and across the greater Glasgow area soared - and in Clydebank the situation was made worse by the decline of the Singer sewing machine factory, which eventually closed in June 1980.

The impact of deindustrialisation, on a national and global scale, has been researched at great length - but Shonagh believes the impact of heavy industry's decline on women in particular has been missed from studies carried out so far.

Ms Joice told the Post that this kind of research has proven to be challenging as shipbuilding was typically a male-dominated profession. 

Ms Joice said: “Women are often on the peripheries of discussions of this event [deindustrialisation] – even though they were undoubtedly impacted by industrial decline and unemployment.

“I’m aiming to provide a voice to these women through my research, to uncover and acknowledge, what women’s role was during this time.

"How did these experiences impact them? And how did they cope? The decline of industry and community in the late 20th century is something that still affects us today.” 

She added: “I’m curious as to how household dynamics may have shifted and changed. Did women have to go out and get jobs or were they able to get by?

“I’m also really interested in researching female workers. How did it impact on their working lives?

"I think Clydebank will be really interesting and unique as you had the Singer factory in that area as well.

“I hope to speak to a couple of people in the town, mainly women, about their connections - whether they were affected directly or they know of family members who were.”

Anyone interested in getting involved can contact Shonagh via email at sjoice01@qub.ac.uk.