Tyne and Wear HER(12127): Elswick, River Tyne, Elswick No. 2 wherry - Details
Elswick, River Tyne, Elswick No. 2 wherry
Launched in 1939, this was the last Tyne Wherry of her type to be built. She was the largest shell-clinker (the hull is formed of shaped overlapping planks and crosswise strengthening frames and added later) built craft left afloat in England. She is nearly 55 feet long and 23 feet in the beam, and is built of massive closely-spaced 5 inch x 6 inch frames onto which are nailed the overlapping 1 inch thick oak planks. She was launched as a towing (dumb) wherry but was soon fitted with a motor engine. She was owned by Vicker's Scotswood factory for carrying heavy machinery downriver to be put aboard ship for export or coastal transport. After the War she was bought by N. Keedy and Sons for similar lighterage use, such as carrying pre-fabricated steel sections between shipyard sites. In the early 1970s, N. Keedy and Sons donated Elswick No. 2 to the Maritime Trust. The Trust merged with Tyne and Wear Museums in 1976. The wherry is at Tyne and Wear Museums store at Beamish.
Pers comm Ian Whitehead, Maritime Historian, Newcastle University; 'The Last Tyne Wherry - Elswick No. 2', factsheet by Tyne and Wear Museums