I happened across this publication during the early stages of my research last summer. To someone looking into the history of a single yard, it is a wee treasure trove. However, it also gives detailed insight into other yards in these areas and also around the country as well as an excellent feel for the history of the 20th century shipbuilding industry, its development and decline.
His introduction explains his aim at satisfying a wide readership as the first comprehensive British shipyard study to be published. He shows the decline of British supremacy of the world market from over 80% in 1893 to nil in 1993, pointing out that the major relative decline occurred between 1950 and 1970, with a commensurate decline in shipbuilding employment. In his book he concentrates on yards which built ships above 300grt at some point in their history. He details the ownership of each yard and analyses every type of ship built as well as detailing who the customers were.
I have certainly found it a useful book, as it has filled in some details of the types, gross tonnage and years of build which I did not have for some of the Robb ships. It has also thrown up more questions where his ship names or specifications do not match with information I have from other sources, so Mr Middlemiss has set me a challenge, not just dumped information wholesale into my lap!
The book is well illustrated with photographs of ships, plans of yards and advertisements for various shipbuilders interspersing the text. I would reckon that it works out to be at least one picture for every page of text.
Well worth a look, and a great reference for those with similar interests to my own. Check out your local library, as it is out of print so hard to obtain.
For the curious, Volume 1 covers the North East Coast and Volume 2, Clydeside. These I have yet to peruse, but will be doing so in the not too distant future.
Below is an example of one of his plans, showing the Dundee Shipyards in 1920.
Areas and Yards Covered in Volume 3:
Harland and Wolff Ltd., Belfast
Workman, Clark and Co. Ltd., Belfast
North of Ireland Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Londonderry
Cammell, Laird & Co. Ltd., Birkenhead
Merseyside Yards (Boudler, Chafer & Co., Thomas Royden & Sons, W.H. Potter & Sons Ltd., H. & C. Grayson Ltd., McTay Marine are all referred to briefly on this single page summary).
Vickers – Armstrongs Ltd., Barrow
R. Williamson & Sons Ltd., Workington
Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd., Dundee
Gourlay Brothers, Dundee
Dundee Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Dundee
Burntisland Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Burntisland
Scott of Kinghorn Ltd.
Grangemouth Dockyard Ltd., Grangemouth
Forth Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd., Montrose
Henry Robb Ltd., Leith
Ramage & Ferguson Ltd., Leith
Hall, Russell & Co. Ltd., Aberdeen
Alexander Hall & Co. Ltd., Aberdeen
John Lewis & Sons Ltd., Aberdeen
J. Duthie & Sons Ltd., Aberdeen
Earle’s Shipbuilding & D.D. Co. Ltd., Hull
Goole Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd., Goole
Cochrane Shipbuilders Ltd., Selby
Richard Dunston Ltd., Thorne & Hessle
Cook, Welton & Gemmell, Beverley
Yorkshire D.D. Co. Ltd., Hull
Drypool Engineering Co. (Hull) Ltd.
Livingstone & Cooper, Hull
Ouse Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Hook
Brown’s Shipbuilding & D. D. Co. Ltd., Hull
Richards Ltd., Lowestoft & Great Yarmouth
Brooke Marine Ltd., Lowestoft
Thames & Medway Yards
3 pages which include mention in varying degrees of Wigram & Green, David Napier, Thames Iron Works & Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Westwood & Baillie, (Thames Iron Works, Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd.), Deptford Royal Dockyard, Woolwich Royal Dockyard, Cubow Ltd., Frederick T. Everard & Sons Ltd. of Greenhithe, Yarrow Yard at Poplar, Thornycroft Yard at Chiswick and later Woolston, Chatham Royal Dockyard, Crescent Marine Services Ltd., R. Lapthorn Ltd., Acorn Shipyard Ltd., James Pollock, Sons & Co. Ltd..
Vosper – Thornycroft Ltd., Southampton
Day, Summers & Co. Ltd., Southampton
J. Samuel White & Co. Ltd., Cowes
J. Bolson & Son Ltd., Poole
Camper & Nicholsons Ltd., Portsmouth
Devon and Cornwall
Appledore Shipbuilders Ltd., Appledore
Bideford yards (Hansen Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd. and M.W. Blackmore & Sons)
Philip & Sons Ltd., Dartmouth
Cornish Yards (Harvey & Company and Cox & Co. Ltd. share a page in about equal measure)
Charles Hill & Sons Ltd., Bristol
Monmouth Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., Chepstow
Atlantic Shipbuilding Co. Ltd., (latterly Newport Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.) Newport
Four further pages with details of yards which do not fit the categories above include: James W. Cook & Co. Ltd. of Wivenhoe, Rowhedge Ironworks Ltd., Aldous Successors Ltd., James & Stone Ltd., W. J. Yarwood & Sons Ltd., Isaac Pimblott & Sons Ltd., Abdela & Mitchell Ltd., J. Crichton & Co. Ltd., William Allsup & Sons, Richard Smith & Company, Lytham Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd., T.R.Oswald & Company, Pembroke Dockyard, Hancocks Shipbuilding Co. (Pembroke) Ltd.. Some are merely mentioned in the passing, others have as much as half to a full page of details about them.
INDEXES 1- 3
These cover all three volumes listing every ship mentioned in his books – excuse me, I have some more checking to do!
Copyright Ruth Patterson 2010