On the Waterfront: Bad luck of lesser-known shipyard

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This week, we look at the short history of one of the Wear’s lesser-known shipyards - the North of England Shipbuilding Company Ltd.

Managed by a Mr Campbell, previously with Bartram, Haswell & Co, the yard began operations early in 1882 on a derelict site at Pallion, formerly occupied by TR Oswald and Co.

Soon this was transformed into a well-arranged and compact shipyard, equipped with modern machinery and facilities.

The first launch took place on July 17, 1882, this being the steamship Mozart (2,394), built for Jenneson Taylor of Sunderland (gross registered tonnages shown in brackets).

She was lost on Haisborough Sands, Norfolk, in 1889, while transporting coal and coke from Sunderland to Genoa.

Another launch in 1882 was the steamer Woodside (1,771), for TG Greenwell of Sunderland. She was wrecked near Cabo de Cruz, Spain, in 1884.

Despite a destructive yard fire, five steamers were launched during 1883, these being Saxmundham (2,537), Monte Rosa (2,550), Phoenix (1,689), Wally (2,053) and Elstow (1,766). Saxmundham was built for Hunting and Pattison of Newcastle and sank off St Catherine’s Point, Isle of Wight, in 1888, after a collision with the Norwegian barque, Nor. Constructed for Cay and Hall of South Shields, Monte Rosa was renamed Norden in 1900, being broken up at Genoa in 1907.

Phoenix was built for Smith, Parsons and Linton of Sunderland. Renamed Aarstein in 1897, she was lost through collision off Falsterbro, Sweden, in 1908.

Wally was delivered to R Gordon and Company of London, and renamed Annavore in 1910.

She was beached after a collision near San Lucar, Spain, in 1920.

Built for Joseph Fawcett of Newcastle, Elstow was wrecked at Penedo Bay, Brazil, in 1892 after a navigational error by her master.

Three launches took place in 1884, these being the steamships, Ashdell (1,761) for Joseph Fawcett and Ella (2,053) for R Gordon & Co, followed by the barque, Lady Wolseley (1,286) for T Benyon & Co Ltd.

Both Ashdell and Ella eventually became wrecks, while Lady Wolseley was scrapped at Milford Haven in 1910.

Only one launch took place in 1885, this being Wells City (1,919) for Charles Hill & Sons (Bristol City Line).

After sinking in New York Harbour in 1887, she returned to service as Progreso, but was lost through an explosion at San Francisco in 1902.

The North of England yard’s last launch took place on March 20, 1886, this being a repeat order for an iron barque from Benyon and Co. Named Beatrix (1,290), she was lost off Chile in 1893 after a fire.

Amid a shipbuilding depression and with no further orders, the company was voluntarily wound up in 1887. The site was later occupier by Short Bros.