THE launch of the ferry at Ferguson's shipyard was a reminder of past glories on Lower Clyde and hopefully a sign of things to come.

The last surviving yards on the lower reaches, Ferguson's like many others faces an uncertain future with dwindling orders and irregular work to keep all the staff employed.

What the launch showed is that the expertise of the men and women on the Clyde has not diminished and if anything has been enhanced over the years.

The Hallaig ferry launched by the Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon was designed and built at the yard and is another great advert for the survival of shipbuilding on the Clyde.

More private sector orders are needed for Ferguson's and for the BAE yards on the Uupper Clyde to secure the future as MoD work is no longer a guarantee to security once the aircraft carriers and type 45s are complete.

It is a hugely competitive global environment and the industry needs all the help it can get from Scottish and UK governments alike.

It is no longer the mammoth industry it once was, but shipbuilding still employs thousands and supports many thousands more jobs in the supply chain.

As this launch showed, the Clyde still has what it takes to build landmark vessels.