It was one of those corner-of-the-eye moments. When heading for the Southern General hospital, we caught a glimpse of this fine building on Holmfauld Road.

Picture showing a bustling Clyde shipbuilding industry taken in 1928. Pic: shipyard officials is now workspace. Pic Bill MackintoshFront entrance. Pic Bill MackintoshOffices were built in 1914. Pic Bill MackintoshLooking back to Govan Riad. Pic Bill Mackintosh

As with most older buildings in Glasgow, it has a story to tell.

It's now called Alexander Stephen House, and is currently used as offices and workspace under the auspices of Govan Workspaces

The company's roots can be found in Alexander Stephen who began shipbuilding at Burghead on the Moray Firth in 1750. In 1793 William Stephen, a descendant of his, established a firm of shipbuilders at Footdee in Aberdeen. In 1813 another member of the family, again called William, commenced shipbuilding at Arbroath.

Alexander Stephen, a member of the third generation of the family, merged the Aberdeen and Arbroath businesses in 1828 and then, after closing the Aberdeen yard in 1829, moved production to the Panmure yard in Dundee in 1842.

In 1850 Stephen arranged a lease of the Kelvinhaugh yard in Glasgow from Robert Black for twenty years from May, 1851. The site of the Kelvinhaugh yard is now Yorkhill Quay.

Due to the restrictions in size of the Kelvinhaugh yard, as well as the impending expiry of the lease, in 1870 the Glasgow business moved to a new site at Linthouse.

As you've read on this site recently, in a tragic disaster in 1883, the Daphne, a steamer, capsized after its launch from the Linthouse yard, and 124 workers lost their lives.

In 1968, Stephens was incorporated into Upper Clyde Shipbuilders and was closed after the latter organisation collapsed in 1971. The engineering and ship repair elements of Alexander Stephen & Sons were not part of the UCS merger and continued until 1976, with the Company eventually wound up in 1982, when the shareholders were repaid.

The ship repair business was based at the Govan Graving Docks, which had been purchased from the Clyde Port Authority in 1967.

There is no knowledge of the earliest ships built, but on the Clyde the firm built 697 ships, 147 at the Kelvinhaugh shipyard and the remainder at Linthouse.

It was at Stephen's shipyard that Billy Connolly served his apprenticeship as a boilermaker.

Part of the site is now occupied by a Thales Optronics facility. The A-listed former Engine Shop was salvaged by the Scottish Maritime Museum in 1991 and rebuilt at its site in Irvine.