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Tyne and Wear HER(4697): Southwick, Castletown Yard, Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson - Details

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Southwick, Castletown Yard, Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson




Marine Construction Site




Documentary Evidence

The 2nd edition of the Ordnance Survey Series is the first to show a yard on this site, perhaps then in the possession of John Priestman, who is known to have used the site immediately to the east. In 1912, the yard was taken over by Swan Hunter to cope with excess workloads at their Tyne yards on colliers, coasters and steamers. The 3rd edition Ordnance Survey plan shows the yard with four building berths, installed soon after the company opened, with flanking rail lines for travelling cranes. During WW1, the yard produced two colliers and five coasters. It closed briefly in 1921 but was re-opened in 1923 to produce Great Lakes Steamers. The Depression ended Swan Hunter’s connection with the yard. In 1933, the yard was purchased by National Shipbuilders Security Ltd. and partly dismantled. In 1942, the yard was re-activated by the Shipbuilding Corporation Ltd to build ships on government account, and in this case under the control of JL Thompson’s. Three berths were rebuilt and all necessary equipment brought in from the North Sands Yard. Five ships were launched before the end of the war. The yard remained open and in production until 1947, producing a further five vessels. It was demolished in 1952.




<< HER 4697 >> The Archaeological Practice, 2002, Shipbuilding on Tyne and Wear - Prehistory to Present. Tyne & Wear Historic Environment Record.

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