RICHARD Bellingham, director of Strathclyde University’s Institute Of Future Cities says that “one of the issues with shipbuilding is that Glasgow tried to keep it going much longer than was viable” ("Glasgow’s retail mecca image risks same fate as shipbuilding, The Herald, May 14).

A component of keeping shipbuilding going in Glasgow, and it is going still, was the work-in at Upper Clyde Shipbuilders in 1971. The work-in was hugely successful in the short-term but was a Pyrrhic victory in the long-term with collateral, presumably unintended, damage being failure to develop steel-making and building of large ships at Hunterston. Pyrrhus defeated the Romans at Asculum in 279 BC, but suffered heavy losses.

How successful shipbuilding at Hunterston would have been, in competition with shipbuilding in South Korea, China and Japan, is an open question which will never be answered; but, at the very least, Hunterston in Scotland would have been a contender.

A grievous loss, but the Scottish Left still claim bragging rights about the work-in nearly half a century later.

William Durward,

20 South Erskine Park, Bearsden.