TYNE BUILT SHIPS
A history of Tyne shipbuilders and the ships that they built

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Above: Select the required shipbuilder by using initial letter of the surname eg: Armstrong, Palmer or Readhead.
KEY BELOW: D / H / P (D means basic dimensions are shown; H means a history is given; P means one or more photographs are available)

Shipbuilder: Tyne Dry Dock, Eng & Boilermaking Co Ltd, Wallsend (1885 - 1903)

Shipbuilder: Tyne Pontoons & Dry Dock Co Ltd, Wallsend (1885 - 1903)

The above image, showing the 2 pontoons in place in around 1915, is courtesy of Terry Summerson

The above map is from the Ordinance Survey 1897 and shows the yard in relation to the old Wallsend to Hebburn Ferry


In 1874 the Army and Navy Institute said that no port between the Thames and the Forth could accommodate the new large ironclads of the Royal Navy. This was borne in mind in 1883 when George Renwick, shipbroker, and Alexander Taylor, marine engineer, promoted the idea of building pontoon docks in the Tyne. The riverside at the Burradon and Coxlodge Staiths was acquired, and in April 1884 they approached the Tyne Improvement Commission with their plans to construct a quay, gridiron and dry dock, with space for two pontoons.

Some 75000 tons of earth were removed in building a basin to allow the pontoons to load at any tide. The first pontoon was launched by the River Tyne Dry Dock, Engineering & Boilermaking Co Ltd in March 1885. It measured 260 feet by 63 feet, and could raise 2000 tons in about 3 hours, and the second pontoon was intended to be bigger. In the meantime, the gridiron in the river was nearly completed, and a 600 feet long dry dock was under construction. About this time their name was changed to the Tyne Pontoons & Dry Dock Co Ltd, but both titles can be found in use.

In May 1887, a dock 385 feet by 80 feet was opened by docking a Chinese cruiser CHING YUAN. The second pontoon dock was launched by CS Swan & Hunter in December 1891 and a second dry dock was added some time later.

The company was taken over by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson in November 1903. By then the site was sandwiched between the Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson's Wallsend Yard and their Neptune or Low Walker Yard

Yd No Year Ship Name D / H / P
1885 Unnamed Pontoon D / H