The veterans of the Upper Clydeside Shipbuilders work-in that started in 1971 and eventually succeeded in 1972 in keeping all four threatened yards open celebrated its 40th anniversary with a sold-out gala concert. Above, the Whistlebinkies folk group rehearse for the event on 1 October. They performed a new piece of music, commissioned by the veterans on behalf of the union movement from composer and flute player in the group Eddie McGuire. A brass ensemble, Alba Brass, and the saxophones of Sax Ecosse also marched in playing, to take part in the piece.
Hitherto unseen footage of the work-in, filmed at the time by London-based Cinema Action, was screened, and several folk singers who sung for fund-raising events during the work-in performed. These included the 80-year-old Jimmie MacGregor. Up-and-coming artists also featured – like Simone Welch, who performed Elvis Costello’s song Shipbuilding.
One intention of the celebrations is to rekindle the spirit of resistance demonstrated by those workers in 1971. A leaflet issued by the CPBML that year carried the message “Not One Off, but a Prototype”. Indeed over 100 similar actions were carried out during the three years following the UCS work-in.