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Tyne and Wear HER(2103): Willington, Slipway (Clelands and Clelands Ltd) - Details

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N Tyneside

Willington, Slipway (Clelands and Clelands Ltd)

Willington Quay



Marine Construction Site


Early Modern


Documentary Evidence

There was a shipyard or boatyard at Willington Quay from at least 1836, when H. English is named, and this operated under several owners until 1866 when it was taken over by William Cleland, who, in 1872 incorporated the Willington yard as a limited liability company - William Cleland & Co Ltd. He died in 1876 and the company changed its name to Clelands Graving Dock and Slipway Co Ltd. In 1920 it became Clelands (Shiprepairers) Ltd., and in 1932 became Clelands(Successors) Ltd. In 1934, the yard was bought for £3000 by the Craggs family of the Goole Shipbuilding and Repairing Co. and began building coasters. During WW2 the yard’s output was five coasters, 13 tugs, a ferry and a barge. By the early 1960s the yard was employing around 700 staff and began marketing their own standard design of coaster (the Excelship 2600). In 1967, the Craggs family sold their interests to Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, with both yards becoming the Small Ship Division of Swan Hunter (subsequently joined by Grangemouth Dockyard). Between 1970 and 1983 the yard constructed trawlers (including the Junella, the last trawler to be launched on the river, in 1975), oil-rig supply ships and coasters. In 1977 it became part of British Shipbuilders. The last vessel launched was the Steyning, in August 1983, since when the yard has been used for offshore work and oil-rig module construction, and re-named the Hadrian Yard.




<< HER 2103 >> 1st edition Ordnance Survey map, 1864, 6 inch scale, Northumberland, 98 The Archaeological Practice, 2002, Shipbuilding on Tyne and Wear - Prehistory to Present. Tyne & Wear Historic Environment Record.

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