It was once said of Sunderland that it was “the largest shipbuilding town in the world”.
In the past, the Echo told how the town’s shipyards were “once the most successful in the world, producing, at their peak, a quarter of all the ships in the entire world”.
The first shipbuilding yard was started in Hendon in 1346 by Thomas Mevill, and in 1989 Austin and Pickersgill’s was the last to close.
We thought we would delve into our archives and see what photographs we could find to remind us not just of the ships that were built on the Wear but, of the men and women who worked in the yards.
What a wide range of pictures we found. It was not just a husband, father or brother who worked in the shipyards, it would be whole families.
Fathers and sons, brothers, cousins working across all aspects of shipbuilding.
Let’s not forget the women who worked as welders, painters and engineers during Second World War while the men were away for the duration of the war.
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