Wonderful reminder of those shipbuilding days

Flashback to the days of the Sunderland shipyards.
Flashback to the days of the Sunderland shipyards.
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A Sunderland Echo reader is officially a winner after sharing his nostalgic memories of the Wearside shipyards.

During the summer, Wearside Echoes and Marriott Hotel ran an appeal for maritime memories of the city during its shipbuilding days.

Days of the shipyards.

Days of the shipyards.

We got a great response with lots of wonderful reminders of the past and the winner can now be revealed as Alan Winter, who recalled for us his fascinating times as a young apprentice at William Doxford and Sons Shipyard and Engine Works in Sunderland.

Alan, who now lives in Darlington, worked there just after the Second World War and was, in fact, the very first person to respond to our Echoes appeal for memories.

He has now won a lunch for himself and four guests at the Marriott Hotel Metro Centre, Newcastle.

Alan, now aged 89, told how it was assumed he would follow his dad, granddad, uncles and cousins into the yard where his name had been put down for an apprenticeship in the tinsmiths shop.

There was great cameraderie between the workers in the yards.

There was great cameraderie between the workers in the yards.

He added: “I was privileged to spend 19 years making navigation lamps out of copper, brass and mild steel by hand.”

He did it until, sadly he said, the skill was taken away when the product was made by stamping them out.

But Alan added: “I learned a lot when I was working in the yards and I often recall those happy days.”

He described his time in the yards as a life of laughs, camaraderie and hard work.

A ship makes its way into the water.

A ship makes its way into the water.

Marriott Hotel Multi Property General Manager Eamonn Thompson said the competition had revealed a wealth of maritime memories from those far off days and that Alan was a most worthy winner.

We thank everyone who took part in the competition and for sharing some wonderful memories of times gone by.

To share your own items of nostalgia, get in touch by emailing chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk