Thank you for visiting Peter Searle's Web Site. Please add
your comments to this guestbook! Or, if you wish, you may contact the webmaster here:- email@example.com
Back to my Sunderland site. Test.
To search for specific text on this page, just press 'CTRL +
F' & then enter your search term.
409) What a splendid site. I am having much pleasure reading it. There is a family tradition that my great grandmother, Elizabeth Nicholson, was the first person to own a steam trawler. I
would love to know if this is true. She was born in 1794, in Grassthorpe, Nottinghamshire, but was married to George Nicholson, listed in the 1881 census as
'Retired Fishmonger', at Hylton Road North, Broadsheath House, Southwick, Sunderland. Any
light anyone could shed would be very welcome.
Oliver Nicholson, Washfield, nr. Tiverton, Devon, Dec. 12, 2019 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. I am glad to read, Oliver, your kind words - that
you have enjoyed reading my little website. Such words, from time to time, along
with daily contributions from folks from all over the world, do encourage me to 'keep
I certainly cannot answer your question, i.e. whether indeed,
Elizabeth Nicholson was the first person to own a steam trawler. Family stories
do, so often however, contain elements of truth. Now small vessels, such as trawlers,
were considered to be too small to be listed in Lloyd's Register. So it is
unlikely that my site will be able to help you in your quest. But may I suggest,
to you & to others, that you use the site search facility to search for site
references re a particular word or name - in your case to 'Nicholson'. Every
page, including this page, has at its very bottom a yellow box into which you
can enter a search term & see where such name appears throughout the site. The
yellow box on this page is here.
Or maybe a site visitor will come to your assistance with new data. I wish you luck with your
family history search. And, if you do find out
that it was so, I will surely find a place on site to celebrate the fact.
408) Doing family history research. My ancestors were sailors working out of Sunderland in the late eighteenth and early 19th centuries
- they then went on to being shipwrights at the Oswald yard and
followed him to Southampton. My great Uncle Fred was a mariner on the Algorta originally
War Zephyr, built in Sunderland by Priestman.
John James, Warrington, Cheshire, Oct. 10, 2019 - email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. Glad that you have written in, John. Such data as
is on site re 'Oswald' can be found here.
Thomas Ridley Oswald, known as 'Ridley', built about 150 vessels at Sunderland
in the years from 1859 thru 1875 & then, when bankrupt for the third time, he
moved to Woolston, near Southampton, & went into business there with John Murray
Mordaunt. Algorta, built in 1918, is so far merely named on site, on
pages 129 & 148. It is one of the many thousands of Sunderland built vessels
that still need to be researched & detail listed.
407) Wonderful site. Am researching John Emmerson shipowner of
Ballast Hills born 1771 in Guisborough? Died Sunderland 1838. His son James was a shipwright ...would love to find a ship he owned
with Ord Helmersly and wife Elizabeth. Will keep searching.
Kathleen Dobson, Cumbria, U.K., Sep. 28, 2019 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. I do hope that I have transcribed your message
correctly, Kathleen. So far as I can see there are places named Ballast
Hills in both Sunderland & Newcastle & maybe in other places in the north-east
also. You likely refer to the one in Sunderland. Guisborough is in North Yorkshire, I
It may be that in the future a vessel will be site listed with the
appropriate ownership. You might check back from time to time, & search for the
various names via the yellow site-search box which can be found at the foot of every
site page including this page. Hopefully one day a vessel will emerge that
matches your criteria.
406) Born in Sunderland. Lived most of it in Hill View. Bottom of Tunstall Hill. Great Work.
So interesting. How things have changed.
Kevin Pearson, Brisbane, Australia, Sep. 13, 2019 - Kevin.Richard.Pearson@gmail.com.
Webmaster's comment. Am glad that you enjoyed the site, Kevin.
405) A great resource. My wife's Grandfather was Norman Rose of the Rose Line and it has been great to show the
family details of their Sunderland history.
Simon Flack, Isle of Wight, U.K., Aug. 18, 2019 - email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. I do not recall many comments about that particular page, Simon. Which page is here.
Glad that it has been
helpful to you & yours. And, should you have data to add to & improve the
page's content, your input would be most welcome.
404) Thank-you! An amazing site. Looking
for information on ship Emmanuel built in Sunderland in 1835. My 2x great grandmother Ann Meenan sailed from Londonderry to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,
U.S.A., in 1837. Owner E. Taylor. Got sidetracked looking for information on the ship
& found this site.
Debby Warner Anderson, of California, U.S.A., Aug. 3, 2019 - Teach_DMW@yahoo.com.
Debby's website reference is (correctly I think), https://debbysfamilygenealogyblog.blogspot.com/.
Webmaster's comment. Glad that you got 'sidetracked' Debby. Emmanuel
is one of the 2,800 or so Sunderland built ships that are not even referenced on site let alone
detail listed. Will try to correct that situation, Debby, & will alert you when
P.S. The vessel is now site listed. Here.
403) Three guys in front of a coach, the one on the left is my Uncle Reg Wilkinson.
Kev Nesbitt, Jul. 29, 2019 - No e-mail address provided.
Webmaster's comment. It seems likely that Kev is referring to the
first image in a strip of four images, shown on page 213 & related to a 'W. H. Jolly' bus. Here.
I have no means to confirm that my assumption is correct.
402) Brilliant site. Much enjoyed and appreciated.
Alan Rawlinson, Cornwall, U.K., Jul. 23, 2019 - firstname.lastname@example.org. Alan's website reference is https://banklineonline.com/
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your kind words, Alan. And for the
link to your own website.
401) Hi Peter. I have an update of your no 84, vessel
Official No 24444. It was built in 1853 in Sunderland. Thanks for a great site.
Sandra Darroch, Sunderland, Jul. 8, 2019 - email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. Sandra is referring to a snow or brig named Martha
Miles, built in Sunderland in 1853 by William H. Pearson. The vessel is covered
I have written to Sandra & hopefully her additional data will soon be on site
400) Hello Peter. How can I get in touch with you? My emails to you for the past year have not been answered but your email to me have been delivered. Clive.
Clive Ketley, Birmingham, Jun. 29, 2019 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. Clive is a long-time supporter of the site,
indeed, a goodly slice of the site content, most particularly ship images,
originated from his extensive files. I am sorry, Clive, to hear that you have
had problems in getting in touch with me. So far as I know my incoming mail has
always been arriving normally. I only have the one e-mail address which has been
unchanged for many many years. I have replied to you via e-mail today, Jun. 30,
2019. Reply to that and if I don't receive your reply we will at least confirm
there is a problem somewhere in the system. Not sure yet as to how to resolve
it, however. I have now, on Jul. 10, 2019, provided Clive with the address of an
intermediary who will pass Clive's messages along to me. Not a permanent
solution, alas, rather a temporary 'patch'.
399) Just found this site. Wonderful! I am researching our Jopling Family who hailed from Durham/Northumberland and were in the coalmining profession. In particular gt Grandad Edward Jopling 1828-1892.
Edward was an engine driver at the various pits he worked at. Somewhen in the 1860s he had an accident which damaged his foot. 1871 census sees him at The Queens, Adelaide St., Southwick. He then moves south to Southampton and sets up Durham Coal
Wharf at Woolston on the River Itchen. I have been unable to find any records regarding his moving of the Best Wallsend coal that he sold in Southampton. I am sure he must have had his own coal barges. Has anybody any ideas where I might search for
info please? I have found nothing in Southampton. Many Thanks.
Sally Meek, Lincolnshire, Jun. 26, 2019 - email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. I hope that somebody comes to your rescue, Sally,
& you learn which ships were used to carry coals down to him at Woolston/Southampton.
398) I am doing research into the ships broken up by the company P. & W. McLellan at Bo'ness in Scotland. I have a list of all the ships starting in the 1890s
& among them is the
Anteo. I see from your website that you are looking for information. According to the records I have, she was sold by Dg Nautica di Giuffrida on 12/06/1929
& arrived in Bo'ness in 07/1929, the 96th ship to be driven onto the beach
before being dismantled. I hope this is useful & you can update your records.
Christine Simm, Bo'ness, Scotland, Jun. 02, 2019 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. Am pleased to receive your data, Christine. The listing
re Anteo, built as Amyl in 1894 by Joseph L. Thompson & Sons, has been updated accordingly.
397) Peter, I got a strange email from you today and I think someone may have taken over your email address.
Alan B. Cairnie, Mar. 10, 2019 - email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Alan. Which is
similar to many that I have received directly. Last Friday, a flurry of messages
were sent, supposedly from my e-mail address, to many of the people with whom I have
been in e-mail contact. They were also sent to thousands, many many thousands,
of other e-mail addresses that were not in my system. I still do not know
whether my system has been breached or perhaps it is the system of my e-mail
service provider (Yahoo) that was instead breached.
Regardless, all is well at
this end. My password for e-mail has been changed. I do not need anybody's help as the message suggested. I am trying to
resolve the situation ASAP but it will take a while to accomplish.
396) I am researching the Jopling Family history
& trying to find any information on Joseph Jopling and George Willoughby, ship builders. Kind
Claire Mair, Sunderland, U.K., Feb, 16, 2019 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. The webmaster does have, in his files, some data
which may prove to be helpful in this matter. From a couple of sources which
record vessels built at Sunderland over the years. One list does not refer to
either 'Jopling' or 'Willoughby' but does refer to vessels built by 'Jobling &
Co.' - 16 vessels built in the period of 1854 thru 1859. I suspect that Jobling
& Jopling relate to one another. I have not closely looked at the other data
which I know, however, refers to some vessels at least built by 'Jobling &
Hobson' & 'Jopling & Willoughby'. I will try, in the next few weeks, to review
the available data & assemble a list of the vessels which may be relevant &
their dates of build & tonnages. It would be helpful to know what 'Corder' said
about the above shipbuilder names but his data is not available to me.
395) I wonder if anyone can help in my search for a John Robson in the 1891 census? He was born around 1864 in Seaham Harbour and is easy to find in
the 1871 and 1881 censuses but NOT in that of 1891.
He is in the 1901 census as a 2nd Engineer on the Amphitrite (along with his wife and my baby uncle). In 1911 he is firmly on dry land and presumably stayed there until his death in 1938.
Bill Richardson, Sunderland, U.K., Feb, 15, 2019 - email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. The webmaster does not have the skills necessary
to help Bill Richardson re this matter. I do hope that a kindly site visitor
to Bill's rescue!
394) Came across this site by accident, & have been reading it for hours - fascinating! Was
looking for info on my GG grandfather, Thomas Milne, who was Master of the snow 'Henderson' (built
in Sunderland in 1843 according to Lloyds,
though not in your list; it was his wife's maiden name). Thomas's name disappears from Lloyds in 1850, and in 1851 his wife is a widow
so am attempting to find out what happened to him. My G. Grandfather Andrew Howison was a brewer for Messrs Robert Fenwick and Co. in
Sunderland in the late 19th century. And finally my grandfather Henry Hardy was chief design engineer at Austin's shipbuilders for many
years - in 1946 he was awarded the MBE for his 50 years of work there and I have a photo showing the presentation made to him by the
company's managing director. There used to be a model of one of his ships in the entrance to Sunderland museum. So I have loads of
connections with the place & will continue to read the site with interest. Thank you.
Jan Robinson, Rutland, U.K., Jan. 28, 2019 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Jan. Your family
clearly has a very long association with the city of Sunderland. I am
particularly glad to hear of Henry Hardy & of his long association with S. P.
Austin & Son. We will likely not see again anybody working for a single company
for what may have been his entire working lifetime. Henderson, the snow
built in 1843, is, as you indicate, not even named on site today. I will try to
get the vessel both researched & listed in the next week or so. And will e-mail
you when that is accomplished. A follow up - Henderson is now detail listed on site - here.
And the MBE related image can be seen here.
393) I am very disappointed to no longer be able to access Adrian Abbott's PDF on my
great grandfather's (Luke Crown) journal
'Recollections of Southwick' in which he describes, in great
detail, shipyards & businesses on the Wear. My mother gave the original copy to Sunderland
Library so I do have a photocopy of it but it was very useful to be able to refer others to the PDF
& also to occasionally check words
from the original which are sometimes not clear. Can anyone help with this please?
Lynda Clark, East Renfrewshire, Scotland, Jan. 17, 2019 - email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. In maintaining a website such as this, one tends
to be a bit of a 'packrat'. Often insufficiently, alas. Many is the time that I
wish I had saved data that used to be available at links which no longer work.
In this case, however, I DID download the Adrian Abbott 'pdf' file years
ago & hope to be able soon to make it again available via this site. But .... I
would prefer to receive Adrian's blessing for doing that.
P.S. I have
good news. Adrian Abbott has kindly given me permission
to make his 'pdf' available on site. It is now available via pages 116 &
209 or directly here.
392) This ship does not appear in your lists. https://www.wrecksite.eu/wreck.aspx?133491.
I am researching this vessel as my wife's grandfather served on board on its last trip when it was abandoned due to
taking on water. See also this page.
David Hawksfield, Boldon Colliery, Tyne & Wear, U.K., Jan. 14, 2019 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. David is referring to Pendennis, a collier which was built
as Sir Arthur by
S. P. Austin & Son Ltd. in 1911. It later became Corglen, Clapton, & in
1929 became Pendennis.
A truly astonishing number of vessels were built at Sunderland - over
12,700 it would seem - and detail listing of all of them is a daunting task
which I will surely be unable to complete in my lifetime. But, Sir Arthur
is now, in early Mar. 2019, at last, detail listed here.
391) I am doing Marine Research on various vessels,
and often, when searching, I come across your web site re Sunderland built ships.
I just wanted to say 'Thank you' for running a very informative site.
Allan Davenport, Pouzols Minervois, France, Jan. 1, 2019 - no e-mail address
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your kind words, Allan. I do hope
that the information I was able to provide proved to be useful to you. The
reality is, however, that vast though the site is today, it has scarcely tickled
the surface! There are thousands of Sunderland built vessels not even named on
site let alone sufficiently researched to be able to provide a summary of their
individual histories. Day by day the number of vessels covered does increase but
I will not live long enough to be able to cover them all. Hopefully, when the
time comes that I am unable to continue to maintain the site, someone else will
step forward to preserve what has already been accomplished & further build upon
it thru the indefinite future. It would be my hope that the site always be
advertising free & freely available with no requirement to 'become a member',
'provide an e-mail address', or other similar intrusion into the visitor
390) Great website. Looking for the brig
Penelope, Glasgow to Quebec, 1819, Master John Chisholm, owned by John Laird. (Greenock Advertiser 16/2/1819). Thx in advance.
Mary-Jo Davies, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Dec. 9, 2018 - email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. It may well be, Mary-Jo, that data about your Penelope is already on site. A vessel of the name, a
brig, was built by John & Philip Laing in 1805 & is listed on site here
with such data as I was able to find. It had a long life indeed, being lost at
Scarborough, Yorkshire, in Jul. 1861. The listing does not refer to voyages to
North America, nor voyages ex Glasgow but that does not mean that there were no
such voyages. The data available to me re the vessel was limited. It would seem
that for much of its life it was not recorded in Lloyd's Register. Which
probably relates, I am advised, to whether or not the vessel was insured. Could
there be another Sunderland built vessel of the name? A master list of vessels
built at Sunderland, a list of unknown origin but amazingly accurate, only lists
two vessels of the name built at Sunderland. One was built in 1784, the other in
1805 as above. May I suggest that you forward to me the data you have about the
vessel, to the e-mail address at the top of this page.
389) My great-grandmother, Jane Beckwith Gardner was born in Newbottle. She came to the States in 1929,
& brought with her a brown pottery jar. I believe that her grandfather or
father - Beckwith - owned one of the Newbottle potteries. The jar has a note inside
it which says 'Great great grandfather John James Beckwith Newbottle England 150 years old about 1790'. There are pottery marks on the
bottom and numbers on the inside of the lid. Do you know whom I could contact to find out more? I treasure this. Thank you.
Janet Gardner Puncheon, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A., Nov. 16, 2018 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Janet, for your interesting message. I
do have, as you are aware, a number of pages on site about the many potteries that
existed in Sunderland and nearby. I try to accurately record on site whatever I
happen to find about a thousand subjects. But I do not pretend to be an expert on
the site's content. I am merely, if you will, the scribe. Now there is a
reference on site to 'Beckwith', who was one of the owners of the High Pottery
in Newbottle, a pottery which, I read, commenced business 'in the 17th century if
not earlier' & lasted until 1877/78. The reference is within an image of
a history text that you can
'Beckwith', if I read the words correctly, was the owner of High Pottery from
1841 thru 1855. It may very well be that there are experts on the subject of
pottery at Tyne & Wear Museums. Let us hope that there are & they can tell you
more about your precious family heirloom.
388) Hi Peter. Yes, I am still here. I am pleased to see that your wonderful site is still being used. I often refer to your site for information on various things and I must say,
I never get tired of reading the messages or the information. Keep up the good work.
Mary Carey, Sutton, Surrey, U.K., Nov. 3, 2018 - email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. Mary is a long-time friend of the site. All is
well at this end, Mary, though I have difficulty in keeping up with the
continuous flow of data which site visitors provide. The site's long term future
is another matter, however. I just do not know what will happen to the site when
the day comes that I can no longer look after it. It is distressing to me to
think that one day the site will go silent. And all of the effort over many many
years will have been for nothing. No solution to that dilemma is yet in sight.
387) Interesting site. My GGG Grandfather was the Master of
the Broomside, built on the Wear in 1873. It came to grief on the glacis of the South pier at Sunderland
on Mar. 6, 1877 during a storm.
Auctioned off but wrecked in the subsequent swells. If anyone comes across anything related, I'd welcome you emails.
Philip Amatt, Rossendale, Lancashire, U.K., Oct. 27, 2018 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. Philip has been in touch directly with more
detail (thanks!). As a result of which, the vessel has now been detail listed
386) Was researching a W. L. Byers anchor, situated outside Brewers Quay, Weymouth, and came across your useful site. Many thanks.
Johnny Allan, Surrey, U.K., Oct. 23, 2018 - email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. I am glad, Johnny, that you found the data so far
assembled about Byers anchors to be of interest. I now see that Johnny has
e-mailed me an image of the anchor in question. I have added it into the page here.
385) Hi. Nice to see your site is still doing fine. If you want an extra piece to the puzzle of the elusive builders Kish, Boolds,
here is a painting of the
hull #6 built 1883, later in life as Slesvig. Hope it is of interest to
you - and best of luck with your site.
Ebbe Hove, Italy, Sep. 3, 2018 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for this Ebbe! Saint Joseph is now detail
listed on site here.
384) Trying to find information about the
John George, a 369 ton barque built in 1868 by Lumsden. Great grandfather arrived at Pt. Adelaide
in Jul. 1873 as part of her crew. Any information much appreciated.
Dave Bishop, New South Wales, Australia, Aug. 31, 2018 - email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. I have found data about the vessel, David. And of
its voyage to Australia & even of
the charge against your ancestor for desertion. The brand new John George listing is available here.
383) A snippet more information for you re the
Mary Lawson. The captain was James Horsburgh Thomson, his wife Helen Knowles. James was the nephew of James Horsburgh, a prominent Dundee
shipbuilder. The family erected a monument in his memory at St. Andrews Cathedral, Fife. No idea if Helen, my relative, was remembered. As an aside, Helen's niece was also married to a sea captain, William Hunter (b. 1871 Dundee). I'm
struggling to track down his maritime history. Your site is of course focused on ships, rather than the men who sailed them, but any thoughts on how to proceed would be welcome.
Janice McLaughlin, Queensland, Australia, Aug. 28, 2018 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your data 'snippet', Janice. I have added
in the names of the captain & his wife in the Mary Lawson listing which can be
Re your research question, Janice, I have had no experience in trying to track down the
histories of individual captains etc. I suspect, however, that we both are handicapped by
where we live - you in Australia & me here in Canada - since it seem likely that
such information most likely is in the local libraries & archives at (to us!)
far away Dundee. I am not a subscriber
to the WWW archive sites, but understand that using both a vessel name & a
captain's name can be helpful in tracking down vessel movements at such sites. If
any site visitor would try to better address your question, they might write to you
directly or write to me at email@example.com & I will gladly pass it on.
382) On page 206, Sunderland football teams, the 1938 photo is identical to the 1936/37, but with the
three 'civvies' removed. I presume this was the cup winning team. My connection
with Sunderland is through William Robson, brewers, of Middle Street. My grandfather James Shotton Wilson was
one of the directors.
The others were his brother-in-law Alderman George Dove and their respective
sons, Billy Wilson and Jack Dove.
Norman Hutchinson, Stafford, U.K., Aug. 17, 2018 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your message, Norman. What you state
surely looks to be correct. That page, i.e. page 206, was started many moons ago
when the site was relatively new. It has not been amended for many years as my
time is mostly devoted in recent years to expanding the listings & histories of
Sunderland built ships. Is there something I should do to modify the page based on your
381) Native of Sunderland. I used to work at Luxdon Laundry from 1976 to 1986, I don't see any history relating to the
laundry on your pages and thought with it being a big industrial laundry
it might have been mentioned. Would love to know more about the history of the
Luxdon Laundry and James Lumsdon-Taylor.
Alison Fourie, South Africa, Aug. 16, 2018 - email@example.com. Alison's website reference is https://amftyping.co.za/
Webmaster's comment. In all of the years that the site has been in
existence, nobody has ever before referred to Luxdon Laundry. I see that the
business started way back in 1887 & ceased operations in 2007. But the Luxdon
name & intellectual property were purchased
- by Euroclean Commercial Services Ltd. of Gateshead, it would seem - and in the
summer of 2008 the Luxdon brand was re-launched to domestic customers in Sunderland and South Tyneside. There do appear
to be a great many WWW references to the firm & many interesting images. Hopefully, in due course, some of
its history will find a place on this website.
380) Can anyone help? I am trying to find MAY PAGE who tried to get in touch with me.
Her father was my uncle FREDERICK PAGE, born in Seaham Harbour.
David Page, Busselton, West Australia, Aug. 11, 2018 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. I cannot help you with this, David. Hopefully a
site visitor will help.
379) Thank you for making the time for this website. I am currently writing the history of William Doxford & Sons, both the family and the business. Motivation? My mother in law was born a
Doxford, the only daughter of the engineer Robert Pile Doxford. The background information on some of the ships is helpful in bringing them alive in the text. I will be visiting Sunderland in the autumn before finalising the text ready for publication, by myself.
It is horrific to read how so many ships were lost in the two world wars.
Patricia Richardson, Kent, U.K., Jul. 15, 2018 - email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. Glad to hear, Patricia, that you are preparing to
publish a book on such a worthy subject. Do let me know in due course how interested site visitors
might proceed to acquire a copy. I wish you every success with your
378) I am the great great granddaughter of Samuel Wilson.
Thank you for all the info. I am fascinated by this history of my connections. Thank you so much. My grandmother was Violet Wilson,
and my aunts were Julia and Hilda Wilson. Thank you again. I just can't thank you enough,
Christine Eisner, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., Jun. 27, 2018 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your kind words. I presume that
Christine is referring to Samuel Wilson whose sawmill & timber yard was
prominently beside the Wearmouth
Bridge for more than a century. Such history as I have available about the
sawmill & the Wilson family can be read
377) From what is an excellent essay on the Sunderland area, I have to correct you in one respect. You give the impression in your item on the Lambton Worm, that it wrapped itself around
Penshaw Hill, the Penshaw Hill with Penshaw Monument on it. In fact (or myth) the Penshaw Hill relating to the Worm is actually the hill in Fatfield, near Penshaw which has always been referred to as the Worm Hill, in those
days part of Lambton Park, and which I (now a 70 year old born in Penshaw) was always taught was the Hill relating to the worm. I think that with additional research you will find this is correct. Regards, Peter.
Peter Marsh, Chester-le-Street, County Durham, Jun. 26, 2018 - email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. Delighted that you have been in touch, Peter. The
site references to the Lambton Worm
(1 & 2) are contained within articles written for
the site many years ago by Len Charlton, alas no longer with us. He passed away
at age 92 back in Aug. 2014. Len asked one day if I
would consider including an article he had written about growing up in
Sunderland. That proved to be the first of many articles that Len contributed to the
site. Now I do not think that Len would have disagreed with your thoughts about the
Lambton Worm, Peter. The reference to the Worm 'wrapped round the monument'
is, as I see it, paraphrasing lines from a poem written in 1867 about the Worm which
words became a song performed in pantomime. As per this Wikipedia page. Len
indeed stated 'The nearby villagers of Fatfield argue that the Worm
actually lived on their own Worm Hill & point to holes & depressions made by
the monster'. But ... I have modified Len's text a little to hopefully
clarify the matter.
376) I have today acquired a photograph taken since 1998 and the background is a VAUX hotel or pub with the name The Castle and Alchemist. Have you any idea where this might be?
Roy Yallop, Brandon, Durham, Jun. 17, 2018 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. I hope that site visitors will come forward to
give you an answer, Roy, since I don't have the knowledge to do so. Now Alan
Brett has written a number of books about Sunderland pubs i.e. 'Old Pubs of
Sunderland', in 2 volumes, published by Black Cat Publishing of Sunderland in
1993 & 1998 respectively. And 'Sunderland Public Houses' also published by Black
Cat, though I did not spot its publication date.
375) A wonderful site with nice pictures of the old ships. You have worked hard at presenting this site, and it shows. Thank you for your efforts.
Colin Allison, New Zealand, May 19, 2018 - email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. I much appreciate your kind words, Colin.
Wonderful site, great for researching maritime histories.
Stephen Kentwell, Canberra, Australia, Apl. 2, 2018
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Stephen, for your kind words.
I submitted an account of damage incurred whilst building Kosmaj. I recently acquired a photograph of Tom Carney (Berth Manager)
& myself discussing the situation on that
job. Can that be incorporated with that description or not? Regards.
Stan Taylor, Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, U.K., Mar. 24, 2018 - Ryton2010@yahoo.co.uk.
Webmaster's comment. Of course it can. Stan's image has now been
included on site. Kosmaj was built in 1977 by Sunderland Shipbuilders Limited & is
detail listed here.
Ref. Greenside Colliery page 190, Article 3. The photographer for the Picture Post article was D. W. Savill,
married to my great aunt Agnes McDine, a Greenside lass. Steve provided this
link re one of the images in the Picture Post article.
Steve, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, U.K., Mar. 15, 2018 - Ryton2010@yahoo.co.uk.
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your advice, Steve. I have added a
reference to David Savill into
the text on page 190.
My grandfather (mother's father) was a seaman during the first world war and I will here show you a copy of his "Certificate of Registration of Alien Seamen" registered at the Sunderland Borough Police. Thomas's
link to the related image.
Thomas Eriksson, Sweden, Mar. 10, 2018 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. Thank you so much, Thomas, for taking the time to
tell us this & to show us the beautiful images of the document in question. I
have little knowledge of such matters but do not ever recall any mention that such a
certificate had existed.
Some day in the future, I hope to create a new page to
show folks what various certificates & other documents related to the Merchant
Navy actually looked like. Sample Captain's Certificates as an example.
Much has been accomplished with the site but there is much more still to be
done. Hopefully, in due course, your images might grace that page.
370) A very interesting website, thank you. Can you please tell me how I can confirm that a relative of mine Henry Littlefield died whilst on the
vessel "LODORE" on 26 June 1909. He was
aged 39. Thank you once again.
John Littlefield, Hampshire, U.K., Mar. 2, 2018 - email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. It would seem, per the Mercantile Navy List of 1910, that there were 4 vessels named
Lodore in 1909. I presume, John, that you
refer to the Lodore, ON 99369, which was built at Sunderland & is covered on site here.
The others were of much smaller tonnages. I presume also that Henry Littlefield was a member of the vessel's crew & not a
that you are likely looking for a crew list which references his name.
Now I have
never, personally, needed to access any crew list. But the story, as I understand it,
is that there were crew lists galore on file in the U.K. &
that whoever held them decided, many years ago, to destroy them all. There was, I understand a
hue & cry about the matter & in the final analysis the choicest of the
lists were taken by various museums & archives in the U.K., presumably the
vessels which were notable or famous in some way. The others? They all went to
Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada, where they remain today.
Readily available & referenced by ON number. While the crew list page for Lodore
can be accessed here,
it would seem that they have no such lists dating from
later than 1908. The page states that they are not aware of additional lists
held elsewhere in the U.K. but do read their exact words on that matter.
Lodore would seem to have been Liverpool owned in 1909. Newspaper references
to Henry's death might most likely to be found in the Liverpool press of the
369) Just want to say thank you for your fantastic website. My family are mainly from Roker
& Monkwearmouth Shore - a.k.a. the Barbary Coast. I grew up at the top of Roker bank
to spend all my childhood in the docks and walking along the coast with my grandfather, listening to stories of the old area. ATM I'm particularly researching one great-grandfather, Robert Hutchinson, who was a foyboatman
in North Pier Cottage from the late 1800s to 1935. Although I remember seeing the ruins of the old north pier cottages as a child, I've yet to find pictures of them. Your pictures and information on the old North Dock are wonderful!! Many
thanks for your hard work, very much appreciated.
Ann Rooney, London, U.K., Feb. 27, 2018 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. Your words are most kind, Ann, & are
appreciated. Let us hope that others will recall the old cottages at North Pier
& provide an image or images for inclusion on site. The pictures that Ann refers to
are likely those which illustrate Len Charlton's fine 'Sunderland by the Sea' article
that you can read on this page.
368) I am researching a snow named Teresa, built at Sunderland in 1836. I don't find her in your website listings. In the early 1850s she was owned by Captain Charles Thomas Matcheson. I did find another snow apparently owned by him or at least a Matcheson.
Teresa is in some of the Lloyd's of the late 1830s & early 1840s. She is also listed in Marwood's North of England Directory
No builder but several different owners before Matcheson - Main & Co. Darling &? I could scan
& send you my data sheet. Give me an email address. I do not want to use the Pdf converter.
Jim Shuttleworth, California, U.S.A., Feb. 9, 2018 - Jimpinxit@gmail.com.
Webmaster's comment. Glad to hear from you, Jim. In the last few years
I have made major progress in the listings of vessels built at Sunderland. About
1,000 'new' vessels have been added into the site, but such list does not, until
now, include Teresa built in 1836. I have commenced my research into her
history but would welcome such data as you have so far assembled. Teresa is now
listed on site here.
367) My mother was born & bred in Sunderland. She was a great raconteur. She told us of her life in Winchester Road, then of her time in the more upmarket Vale Street,
where she lived through the war years working for Greenwalls ship yard. She had some not too complimentary stories about the yard
& the bosses!
Mum died 3 years ago, aged 96. I wish I had seen this site when she was well. She would have loved it!
Jocelyn Bowen, Bangor, North Wales, U.K., Jan. 30, 2018 - email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. Your mother had a very good inning, Jocelyn! She surely meant Greenwell's, rather than Greenwalls.
Now I don't have a lot about Greenwell's, but what I do have can be read here. It sounds as
though your mother's recollections would have enlivened up my text!
366) Loads of interesting things here ....I am (and can prove) Jack Crawford's 4 greats Grandson. My maternal Grandfather was John Henry Camperdown Crawford. Feel free to get in touch.
Brian Franklin, Buckinghamshire, U.K., Jan. 8, 2018 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. Brian must surely be referring to the extensive
coverage on site (here) about Jack Crawford, hero of the Battle of Camperdown.
Which sea battle took place off the Dutch coast on Oct. 11, 1797. Have written
to Brian accordingly.
365) I have recently learned that my ancestors lived at Ayre's Quay Villa for a number of years where Jonathan Shaw and William Candlish worked as Surgeons . I have not seem mention of the
family in your brilliant site. Wondered if you were aware of this connection? The Villa was pretty close to the Quay side. I imagine they were kept busy with all the people and industry.
Tracey Finnamore, Leicestershire, U.K., Dec. 22, 2017 - Traceyfinnamore@outlook.com.
Webmaster's comment. I was not aware, Tracey, of Jonathan Shaw &
William Candlish whose practice, as surgeons, was at Ayre's Quay Villa. Should
you (or anybody else for that matter) wish to write a paragraph or two about
them I will gladly add it into the site. For the present I have referred to the
where Ayre's Quay is mentioned here.
364) Hello. I'm pleased to have found a mention of
John Ritson of Maryport (a barque built in 1848) on the entry for the barque
Cereal. I wondered if anyone has further information
about the John Ritson?
What I know so far:- Lloyd's Register of 1866/67 and 67/68 records the Maryport registered vessel,
Official Number 1773, built Maryport 1848, 280 tons, 102.1 X 23.3 X 16.6.
Owned by Tinnion and Co., rigged as a barque. Sailed from Liverpool to Buenos Aires in 1866.
Could this be
an image of her?
Saunders, Sydney, Australia, Dec. 14, 2017 - email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. I am glad that the Cereal listing has
helped you, Neil, even if just a little. Now this site being about Sunderland,
there is really no place for any vessel built elsewhere. But let me next record
for Neil Saunders such data about John Ritson
have found this morning.
John Ritson (a barque, later a brig perhaps)
A vessel which had a long life, though when that life ended is
'confused' at this moment. The vessel, it would appear, is Lloyd's Register
('LR') listed from 1848/49 thru 1883/84 at least - LR of 1884/85 is not
available to the webmaster. It was built (who by? Probably by Ritson & Sons) at & always registered at Maryport (Cumbria coast & Solway Firth).
The vessel was owned, thru 1854/55, by Kennedy & Co. of Maryport, with 'Kennedy'
(thru 1850/51) then 'Younghusband' serving as her captains. Note that Kennedy,
i.e. George Kennedy, drowned at San Francisco on May 21, 1849. For service ex Maryport initially & in the period of 1851/52 thru 1854/55 for service from
Liverpool to Africa. In 1855/56, per LR, Ritson & Co., also of Maryport, became the
vessel's owner with J. Jiffin (thru 1859/60), Owen or T. Ower (thru 1862/63) &
W. Armstrong serving as her captains. For service from Liverpool to S. America
thru 1861/62 & from Maryport to S. America thereafter. Listed at 283 tons from
1862/63 & 280 tons thereafter. In 1865/66, per LR, Tinnion & Co., again of Maryport,
became the vessel's owner thru 1874/75 per LR, with W. Armstrong, 'Melmore'
(1867/68 thru 1869/70) & 'Johnson' serving as her captains. For continued service
from Maryport to S. America, which became Liverpool to South America again from
1867/68. The Mercantile Navy Lists ('MNL') of 1867
(1865 says Pinnion incorrectly) thru
clarify such owners name to mean Jno.
of Maryport. I have read that on Oct. 17, 1872, John Ritson, under the command
of George Curwen, came to the rescue of Cereal
(built at Sunderland in 1869) when Cereal's cargo of coal caught fire &
exploded causing Cereal to sink. Cereal had been en route to Santos, São Paulo, Brazil. Cereal's crew was taken aboard John Ritson
& later transferred to the next homeward bound vessel which proved to be
Portinscale & landed at Queenstown, Ireland. Where that all happened is not
clear but it likely was in the western Atlantic just S. of the Equator.
In 1874/75, the vessel was acquired by R.
Gibson, which apparently, per MNL of 1876, means Robert Gibson
not of Maryport but rather of Whitby.
Whose captains were 'Curwen' thru 1874/75, 'R. Gibson' from 1874/75 thru 1878/79
& then 'Carter'. 102.1, 24.3 & 16.6 (length, breadth & depth in ft.), signal letters HLKD. In
1875/76, per LR the vessel became a brig with new dimensions of 101.7, 24.4 & 16.2 ft. Per LR, Gibson owned
the vessel thru to 1883/84 at least. But that may well not be so, since MNL of 1879
rather lists Thomas Harper of Newcastle as her then owner.
Did the vessel truly become a brig? I cannot today tell you. LR says
that it did, while MNL always lists the vessel as a barque. What finally happened to the vessel & when? At this moment I cannot answer that
question, but note that MNL does not list the vessel in 1880 or later, while LR
continues to list the vessel for 4 or so more years. I would not be surprised to
find its end was in or about 1880. Crew lists? Can you add to or correct
363) Hi you probably already know this but the Pallion Inn is now
the Wear Tavern. Am unsure if it's open now but definitely not a car park. Cheers.
Alan Vincent, Sunderland, U.K., Dec. 4, 2017 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. I have fixed the text beside the image of the old
pub. I was not aware of the change, Alan - I don't live in Sunderland & would
of its status without help.
362) Excellent site. I've
bookmarked it for future reference.
Osborn, Derbyshire, U.K., Nov. 15, 2017 - email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. Am glad that you dropped by, John. And visited
one of the few sites today that does not (& never will) subject a visitor to
advertising, does not demand a fee for access, or demand your e-mail address.
You are simply welcome! And if you have data, knowledge or imagery, related in
some way to Sunderland, do be further in touch.
361) Thank you for an interesting article -
I am looking for any pictures or deck plans for the Forerunner,
a puddle tug boat that was similar to the
Bryan D. Potgieter, South Africa, Oct. 15, 2017 - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. The article that Bryan refers to is re Eppleton Hall, a
1914 paddle tug that served for many decades & made the
long journey from the U.K. to the San
Francisco Museum back in 1969. As is set out on this
page. Forerunner was also a paddle tug, built 40 years earlier, back in 1874, by Westward Bailey & Company of Poplar in the
east end of London. Built for the Natal Government. The tug made the journey
from London to Durban, South Africa, & being, I read, 'notoriously slow' took an
amazing seven months to get there! Bryan has kindly provided
this image of the
tug & an article that provides a little of her history. The webmaster is unable
to help Bryan with his request. Hopefully there will be site visitors who can
come to his assistance.
360) Hello, fascinating site!. I have a small engineering business dating back to 1940 which has in the past supplied fuel oil heating equipment to Sunderland Shipbuilders
& predecessors for
use on their ships. Probably not important enough to include on your system, but thought I'd get in touch anyway. I'm currently disposing of records from our paper based files
& checking, on the way, who is still around - &
(mostly) who is not. An example, we supplied equipment to Ship 908, ordered in Aug.
1978 & delivered in Feb. 1979. We go back a long way so that's a
later record. We supplied replacement equipment to Ship 909 in 1998, for example. If it's at all of interest let me know
& any time I come across a record I'll send you info. Best Regards.
Andrew Waugh, Glasgow, Scotland, Oct. 3, 2017 - email@example.com.
Andrew's website reference is
Webmaster's comment. I am glad to hear from you, Andrew, & open to the sort of material that you may be able to provide.
I must profess, however, to being unclear at this moment as to where exactly it might fit in a site that
is devoted to the city of Sunderland & particularly to its shipbuilders. May I
suggest that you e-mail me some material that you believe would be of interest.
And we will find out together where it may take us. Maybe to a page about
suppliers to the Sunderland shipbuilders wherever such suppliers were located.
359) Great site. Just been looking up my uncle Joe Dodd on S S
Thistleglen in Jan 1941. He must have changed ships, because he did not go down with that one. Though he once told me he had
lost six ships in two world wars. His father, my g'father, had a chemist shop on Roker Ave. at the corner of Stansfield Street. My mother's father was Alderman Bruce, Mayor in 1897/98. He was a grocer
& provision merchant,
later William Bruce and Sons with premises on Nile Street.
I have a photo of Mr. Dodd at the door of his shop, but no picture of the Bruce grocer shop. If anyone knows where to find such a picture I would be grateful for that
information. Thank you for a great site.
Bruce Dodd, Ottawa, Canada, Sep. 28, 2017 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I do hope, Bruce, that a site visitor will be
able to provide you with an image of the Bruce grocers' shop on Nile Street in
Bruce references Thistleglen, a 4750, later 4748, ton cargo ship, built by Sir James Laing & Son at Deptford yard in 1929. So far, the vessel is merely named on
none of its history researched. On Sep. 10, 1941, while en
route from New York to Glasgow via Sydney, Nova Scotia, with a cargo of steel & pig iron, the vessel was
torpedoed by German submarine U-85 with the loss of three lives. The good
news was that 46 survived the attack. Which was at
62.14N/39.29W, or maybe at 61.59N/39.49W, both off the SE coast of Greenland in the North Atlantic. U-boat.net
provides extensive detail as to exactly what happened. Hopefully the vessel's history will
soon be researched
& the vessel be properly listed on site.
358) Do not know if this is of help? John Tillman
& his brother Thomas (Architects, of 5 Bridge Street, Sunderland) in 1875 designed for Vaux the Three Horse Shoes Pub in Newcastle
Road, also a Farmhouse & Blacksmith Forge in North Hylton. Re-built a pub for them in Silksworth Row in October 1876 - alterations to two houses (Nos 3 & 8 Holmside) for Messrs Vaux in 1882. Alterations
to 9 Holmside. Additions to 'Lamb Tavern' in Silksworth Row for C. Vaux & Sons in 1890.
Might have done other, but could not find - they were also the
architects for the Museum (which still stands) majority of other
buildings destroyed by Hiltler's mob or Council planners!!
P.S. They were the sons of Captain John Tillman, who died in Sulina on the maiden voyage of his new ship
Royal Arch. Ship's management also
done by sons from Bridge Street.
John Tillman, France, Sep. 23, 2017 - email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. John, your data is both helpful & welcomed. There
will surely be folks who will find such data to be of interest in their own family
histories. So I have added your words into the Vaux page here.
Royal Arch, a 333 ton barque built by Sykes, Talbot & Sykes of North Hylton, in 1868.
A detailed history of the vessel is not yet on site - the vessel is, however, briefly
357) At first glance it looks like a fascinating site which I will explore at my leisure. John Crown was my great grandfather and I have quite a bit of information on him, Crowns yard,
and in particular HMS Ettrick which was launched by my mother in 1943 and about which I have produced a book which relates her complete history as a River Class Frigate on North Atlantic convoy duty. I look forward to studying the
site in more detail.
Charles Rowntree, Cumbria, U.K., Sep. 14, 2017 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Am delighted to hear from you, Charles. I have
assembled a modest amount of data about the Crown family & their shipbuilding
history in Sunderland - on site page 050. A
start has been made on a list of the vessels that they built or were later built
at their yard (here
& here) but
such lists are
partial only & so far include just a handful of the total number of ships there
were. HMS Ettrick? It is merely named so far on site - in
the list of vessels built in 1943.
With no detailed history. Clearly I have a way to go! The 'Crown' build list
has, since the above was written, been much improved.
356) Hi! I have picked up my family history recently and with my cousin's daughter Kerry
Smy have come across this information on my great grandfather Albert Mitchell Spender.
We knew he had gone down with all hands but did not know where it was, even the
name if the vessel. So thank you so much for the information so far and would
love to be included in the history of this to be able to pass this on to my
grandchildren. Thank you for helping us to find out about great grandfather.
June V. Hughes, East Anglia, U.K., Sep. 11, 2017 - Nuavalon@aol.com
Webmaster's comment. I have tried to contact June about her message.
Will comment further in due course.
355) You asked for further information about
the Beatitude. This is what I have found within my family tree. Edward was a great-uncle of my great grandfather. Edward Ealden
born 1821, died in 1858 when he was
37 years old. In 1858, he was buried at St. Keverne Cornwall. Drowned with the wreck of the
Beatitude on the Manacles. Sorry, I don't have any further information. Regards.
Carole Nowell (neé Ealden), Harrowgate, North Yorkshire, Sep. 10, 2017 - email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I am glad that you have been in touch, Carole. The vessel in question was built
by Peter Austin in 1839. And is now covered on site in some detail here.
354) Can't tell you how much I am enjoying
the Sunderland website. Oswald Wilson was my grandfather and Violet Wilson, his
daughter, was my mother. My father, William Lacey was manager of
the Bromarsh movie theater and had just arrived home after the last show when the bombing occurred. We lived in Cleadon. This was on May 24th, 1943, my 14th birthday. About a month later I went to work at Joplings department
store. And worked there for four years before joining the Palestine Police.
Bryan H. Lacey, Peoria/Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.A., Aug. 14, 2017 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. So glad to hear Bryan, that you enjoy my now not
so little little website. Your words, & the similar words of others, encourage
me to continue to expand the site day by day. It would be good to find more
literature about both Joblings & the Bromarsh theatre.
353) Have inherited the owner's model, Constantine & Pickering, and believe the second model was held by builders, John Blumer of ss
Wearwood built 1912. A beautiful scaled down version of vessel
in mahogany case. Have researched at Lloyds Register & obtained the ship's full history.
Sue Owen, Kent, U.K., Aug. 14, 2017 - email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. You are most fortunate, Sue.
Sue's model, a 'half model' with a mirrored back, is amazingly heavy - takes 4
men to lift! Such data as I have
located about Wearwood can be read here.
352) Justine Helene. Barque built 1871 was owned by Christian Michael Matzen, Altona (area of Hamburg). This information is shown on the registry of passengers from Hamburg to
Australia May 1882.
Kathy Doering, Germany, Jul. 17, 2017 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for this, Kathy. I have modified the
vessel's listing accordingly.
One thing leads to another - thanks to Trove, Australia, some detail re that
1882 voyage to Adelaide, including a passenger list in German, is now available
351) Looking for information on M.V. TEAKWOOD built by Laings in the early 1960s. Does anybody know anything about this vessel?
Am particularly looking for a general arrangement drawing.
Rowen Baker, Canada, Jul. 4, 2017 - email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Teakwood, built by 'Laing' in 1962 is covered
on site here.
The only suggestion I have for drawings is that the vessel would seem to have
been featured in 'Motor Ship' in 1962 (available as Motor Ship Volume 43). Just
possibly vessel plans were attached to the original article. Hopefully you can
might locate a copy of Vol. 43 to check - it is not particularly cheap to buy
Or find the correct issue of the magazine in 1962 - not cheap either!
350) Looking for information on a Byers Anchor. HMS
HURWORTH Hunt Cl. 2, had a Byers anchor. Did HS ADRIAS Hunt Cl. 3 have same ?? Have further info on same should you wish. Regards.
D. A. Feary, March, U.K., Jun. 27, 2017 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Am always glad to find new data about Byers
Anchors. Alas, I cannot answer your question, Dennis. Perhaps another site
visitor can tell us. HMS Hurworth,
a destroyer, would seem to have
been built in 1941 & lost in 1943. Adrias, also a destroyer, was built in
1942 as Border & broken up in 1945.
349) I have just sent you a photo of the
Wychwood's ship builder's brass plate that I recovered several years ago. Thought you might be interested. As you know she wrecked here in Bermuda in 1955.
Russell Whayman, Bermuda, May 21, 2017 - email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thanks Russell! I have now extensively modified &
improved the existing
Wychwood listing & have now made available your fine image of the
348) I've had a look on old newspapers, in 'findmypast' as they are indexed for everything, not just family names. Found this, giving opening date.
Chronicle 22 November 1862
THE "GLADSTONE BRIDGE" AT SUNDERLAND
The River Wear Commissioners, we observe, have adopted the suggestion of Mr Nicholson, one of their body, as to the naming of the new swing bridge,
constructed by Messrs Hawks, Crawshay and Co, and placed over the northern entrance to the dock. The Chancellor of the Exchequer and party, it will be remembered, were the first to pass over this bridge, which had just been
completed, and was swung round to let the procession pass over. It was then and there suggested by Mr Nicholson, that the structure should be henceforth called the "Gladstone Bridge," and now an
iron tablet has been affixed to it, bearing the following inscription: "Gladstone Bridge, opened Oct 9 1862." This will form a pleasing memento of the right hon. gentleman's visit.
Cathy Giddens, New Zealand, May 7, 2017 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thanks, Cathy, for your follow-up message. I have
amended the 'Gladstone Bridge' text
& have included the entire newspaper article that you kindly have
provided. An aside ... In revising my text, I visited the Wikipedia page about
William Ewart Gladstone & was astonished to learn that in 1868, & presumably
prior, you could try to get elected in more than one constituency. As Gladstone
did. At that time too, I think it is true to say, Members of Parliament received
no salary, so becoming an MP was only possible for those of independent means.
347) Found your site via Google, looking for Gladstone Bridge. Great site. Re
the age of Gladstone Bridge I have a newspaper report of an inquest at which my ancestor was a witness, in 1871, and
the Gladstone Bridge is referred to, in fact it is a key part of the inquest, the dead person having died on it.
SHIELDS GAZETTE AND DAILY TELEGRAPH, TUESDAY MAY 2, 1871
THE SUSPICIOUS DEATH AT SUNDERLAND
John Giddens, boilersmith, Deptford was next sworn. ... Witness left the house [the American hotel, ie, public house] and went to where his boat was, near the Gladstone Bridge at the South Dock. He saw, on reaching the bridge,
two persons on the centre of the bridge, the same who had been in the hotel. The
big man had hold of the little man, and at that time, a locomotive was coming from the North-Eastern Shops. Witness got the engine to slacken speed, lest it run over the drunken men.
Cathy Giddens, New Zealand, May 7, 2017 - email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I am delighted to hear, Cathy, that you found,
via Google, my modest text & images about 'Gladstone Bridge', just one of many
obscure topics that are covered on site but rarely mentioned elsewhere. I found
the bridge to be of interest. Am glad that you seem to agree.
346) I was born at 45 Church Street, Monkwearmouth. My grandparents, Albert & Elizabeth Johnson, had a general dealers at
#44. I wondered if anyone has any photographs of the shop. Love this site, very enjoyable.
Linda Simpson nee Stobart, York, U.K., Mar. 7, 2017 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I do hope that someone will come forward in
response to your request. Alas, I am unable to help.
345) Great site. I joined A&P in 1971 first as an apprentice shipbuilder then caulker burner then the union took up my case and
I got changed to a plater, won the apprentice of the year I think in 1975,
was allowed to do my B.Sc. at Sunderland then my MBA. I was promoted to foreman mashaller then manager under NESL
Shipbuilders Ltd.). I left in 1988 to start my travels around the country. I went back to shipbuilding in 1999 on the
Clyde as the outfit manager until BAE Systems took over. I am now retired but still remember all the guys, supervisors and managers......great times. SD14's, B26's, barges, and then the ferries.......
Harry Crosby, West Sussex, U.K. Feb. 25, 2017 - email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. So glad that you found the site to be of
interest, Harry! Austin & Pickersgill Limited is covered on site here with links to
further data of its predecessor companies.
344) The black and white photo of the church is St. Luke's, Pallion. My parents were married there in 1963. The church is still standing minus the spire. I remember my nana taking me in the 1970s to jumble
sales in the church hall and in the summer the rectory gardens were also used.
Allison OBrien, U.K.? Feb. 16, 2017 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Allison. Am glad to have the church at
last identified. I have modified the page
343) oops! Regarding recent address search my elderly brain dropped the proverbial ball -- I seek a mailing address for RON Lovell of 'Australia' re. barque PRIAM. I am not on line and send this via public library
facilities -- a true Luddite at heart. Some years ago I purchased a sea chest at auction which carries a primitive genre painting beneath its lid which appears to be the PRIAM. (Pennant on the masthead actually seems to read PIRAM; was the painter
not literate? dyslexic? wrong vessel?) If I can get a mailing or e-mail address, I will try to find
someone willing to snap a photo or two and send it your way. Good luck with your research, and again, profound regrets with name error.
Mark Knipping, Kohler, Wisconsin, U.S.A. Feb. 15, 2017 - No e-mail address provided.
Webmaster's comment. Mark, I wrote to Ron Lovell but he has not
replied. The good news, perhaps, is that the message was not returned, so likely
the address is still active. He may be away from home. I sure would love in some way to get your images onto the site &
into Ron's hands. You want a physical address or an e-mail address. Perhaps you
might send them to me at email@example.com
& in your message give me your street address. I will i) put the images on site
& ii) pass on your address to Ron Lovell in Australia. Your address will not
become public. That should work, I think. Note - Mark has now provided many
images re the painting & chest & also a detailed 'pdf' text. 2 images & such text are now
available via the Priam listing here.
342) Searching for jim lovell re. Barque
PRIAM -- address???
Mark Knipping, Kohler, Wisconsin, U.S.A. Feb. 13, 2017 - No e-mail address provided.
Webmaster's comment. Mark, I never publish the e-mail address of
anyone who contacts me directly without their express approval. It was Ron
(not Jim) Lovell who was in touch with me some years ago now re Priam. I have written
to Ron to invite him to be in contact with you directly, but
that appears to be impossible absent your own e-mail
address. Contact me if you wish to follow up re this matter.
341) Re Laings ship Ganges 1861. Have the original yard ledger of ships built at Laings.
Yard number 243 Ganges, paddle steamer launched '--? June 1861'
250 ft. LBP, 32 ft. BM, 9'-6" DM. all other ships have GRT in ink, Ganges has a
'?' 400 in pencil. Owners are Oriental Inland Steamship. The ledger has a note beside it
taken to pieces and shipped abroad'.
The following ship from Laings is Earl of Elgin, an iron steamship of 586 GRT launched 12
June 1861 but with no details of owners.
Tom Scott, Weardale, U.K., Feb. 4, 2017 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for this message, Tom. Your
data is of major significance re a paddle steamer about which little seems to be known.
visitors should first understand that there were 2 vessels named Ganges built at
Sunderland in 1861, i.e. 1) the ship which was built by William Pile covered on site here,
subject of Noel Clark's message immediately below. And 2) the
paddle steamer built by Laing, which is really not yet detail listed on site due to
lack of data. It rather
is essentially named here
& also on page 145. The final words in the Laing ledger - 'Erected - taken to
pieces and shipped abroad' - presumably account for the fact that the vessel was
never listed in Lloyd's Register. I have modified my modest text accordingly.
Someday, hopefully, data will emerge as to to where, abroad, it was shipped &
why it was shipped in pieces. Most likely, I now think, is that it was not
possible for a tiny paddle steamer designed to operate on a shallow river to
make its way under its own power all the way to India. It may well have been renamed
when put into service wherever that was. Just maybe, I now surmise, it was used
on the Indus river in Pakistan. For reasons set out here. Need help!
340) Re the wreck of the Ganges in 1881 - the London Evening Standard of 18th October 1881 gives the name of the Ramsgate lifeboat as the
Noel Clark, Melbourne, Australia, Feb. 4, 2017 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for this, Noel. I have modified the
Ganges listing accordingly - here.
I well remember the London Evening Standard from my years in London. But I had
not realised that it had been publishing for so many years.
339) I have a small Sunderland jug with the 5-line poem beginning:
From rocks and sands, And barren lands etc. - which is not illustrated on your website.
Constance Kaine, London, U.K., Jan. 21, 2017 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. The verse itself was already recorded on site, in
the first row here.
But now, thanks to Constance, we have a fine image of the verse also.
338) I have found a relative at 21 Back Hopper Street in Sunderland in 1911 . Does anyone know where this was?
He had moved there to take up an apprenticeship in the shipyards . Thanks.
Len Smith, U.S.A., Jan. 13, 2017 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I do not have the knowledge to be able to give
you an answer, Len. Hopefully a site visitor will come forward & enlighten us
337) I am wondering how to get permission to copy a ship
image into my memoirs, based on my research of the Indo-China Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. Please let me know the procedure. Thanks. Merry
Christmas and Happy New Year.
Bob Tatz, Edmonton, AB, Canada, Dec. 22, 2016 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I believe, Bob, that the inclusion of an image in
your family memoirs would constitute fair dealing under the copyright laws of
Canada - assuming that those memoirs are private in nature & are not published.
It should be noted, however, that the webmaster does not own the copyright in
any of the images available through these pages. And that being so, is unable to
grant 'permission' for their usage elsewhere.
336) I come from a long line of Welsh sea
goers. I have had in my possession this old photograph of a sailing ship in a
wooden ship's life ring. The wording is memorabilia faded. LIVERPOOL on the
bottom. The top was worse & almost unreadable. I experimented with different
spellings & came up with LODORE That's when I found your site.
This ship was originally name LODORE but later changed to CARLA. She was sunk by a
uboat. I found this information on your site along with a replica of the exact picture I have. It's the bottom picture on that section. I am so thrilled. I intend to get this lovely piece of
memorabilia restored. Many thanks for your site
& best wishes.
Lindsay Thomas Morgan, Mount Forest, Ontario, Canada, Oct. 9, 2016 email@example.com
Lindsay's website reference is
Webmaster's comment. Hello neighbour - relatively speaking! I am so
glad to hear, Lindsay, that your found the data on site about
Lodore to be
helpful to you. It has been a while since that data was first made available. All of
the many links still seem to work fine today.
335) Hello. I have a copy of the accounts for Sutton Bridge
bridge dated October 1883. In it was a charge of £1353.46 for damage to the bridge caused by the
sloop Alice. I also have an old newspaper
cutting advising of a serious accident caused by a brig belonging to Mr. Youngs
(I think he had a boatyard at Wisbech, further down river), hitting a leaf of the bridge and dragging it right off, and other damage. Have you any information to
connect the account & the accident? If so your reply would be most appreciated.
Rex Allen, Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire, U.K., Jun. 29, 2016 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Rex, so far I have not located any data about a
vessel named Alice, owned by Mr. Youngs. The Mercantile Navy List of 1880 lists
69 vessels named Alice. But none of all of those vessels
is listed as owned by Youngs. I drew a blank also re similar data for 1879 & 1882,
which data is accessible
via the above link. I checked also Lloyd's Register editions from 1878/79 thru
1882/83 & can spot no vessels named Alice owned by Youngs. I am sorry that I
could not better assist you.
334) Hello Peter. I paid a few visits to the new www.sunderlandships.com
web site, a lot of good work going on and a lot of new or previously unknown builders. I
find all the links work well. Seems to me the gentleman who posted here was firing a shot across your bow, cheeky beggar.
Peter Gould, Liverpool, U.K., Jun. 23, 2016 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I agree entirely about
www.sunderlandships.com. Re your other words - least said
333) Hello Mr. Searle. Thank you for visiting our website (COLINDA)
at Sunderlandships.com. This website/database is part of a large project to put on line details of all vessels built in the U.K. starting
with regions like the Clyde www.clydeships.co.uk, Sunderland www.sunderlandships.com, Tees Ships, on the stocks. Whitby, on the stocks. Liverpool, on the stocks. The information is derived from primary sources such as Custom House Records and
original registration papers, the work is carried on by a number of hard working researchers often at their own expense. In the next few months I will add a list of about 80% of all vessels built in Sunderland from 1780 to 1850. This is a great opportunity to place on line the history of British Shipbuilding.
I am asking all owners of similar websites to please respect our copyrights where we hold them and also to respect the hard work of our researchers by not taking or
using our data without prior permission.
Mick O'Rourke, Shipping and Shipbuilding Research Trust, Jun. 21, 2016 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mick's website reference is www.sunderlandships.com/
Webmaster's comment. You and your colleagues, Mick, have taken on a
worthy project indeed. And a truly giant one. I am sure that all who are interested in
the history of shipbuilding in the U.K. will join me in welcoming your initiative.
covered on site here.
332) I was very pleased to find your site & learn so much about the Laings. I have been researching the First Four Ships to Canterbury,
New Zealand, in 1850 for many years & have finally established
where the ships were all built. The Charlotte Jane was built in 1848 by Pattersons of Bristol. The
Cressy in 1843 by Philip Laing in Sunderland, the Randolph in 1849 by James Laing at Sunderland,
Sir George Seymour in 1844
in Sunderland. The Cressy & Randolph were built for Duncan Dunbar of London,
Sir George Seymour for J. Somes of London. What I cannot find is WHO built
Sir George Seymour! I noted from your site that the Laings
built Merchantman for J. Somes in
1852. As I cannot find any voyages between 1844 & 1850 is it possible that the
Sir George Seymour was built like the Merchantman for J. Somes without an initial
name & its construction went without any record or had an earlier name? It is of course most frustrating because my ancestors travelled on
Sir George Seymour in 1850 to Canterbury.
Ted Hill, Kent, U.K.?, Jun. 20, 2016 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Alas, Ted, I am unable to tell you who built Sir
George Seymour. Recently, a kindly site visitor gave me a giant list of the vessels
built at Sunderland, the list including builder names. I hoped that that list
would provide an answer, but Sir George
Seymour is not included in the list. Forgive me saying it but I
believe you are off course in your thoughts late in your message. I have not yet researched
Sir George Seymour, but to help answer your message have quickly
checked the Lloyd's Register ('LR') record
for the vessel. It is quite routinely LR recorded from 1844/45 thru 1867/68, but looks
likely to have mainly served Australia rather than New Zealand. A partial history of the vessel,
containing that LR data, can be accessed here.
A possible approach to your solving the puzzle. A site visitor recently gave me a
series of newspaper cuttings, ex the Newcastle Courant, covering vessel
launches at Sunderland in 1854. I am gradually working my way though the
cuttings, which contain much interesting data. It may very well be that similar
cuttings re year 1844 would tell you who built the vessel. It is most likely
that the launch of such a significant ship was recorded in the newspapers of the
331) Hi thanks for the site. I started researching my family history
& traced the James side to Sunderland. William James was a mariner & lived in Zion Street
& his sons were either
mariners or shipbuilders. Having somehow got what seems to be a family name as a middle name
i.e. 'Ridley' they pop up in Woolston & I guess they moved with Thomas Ridley Oswald. In the late 1890s they moved to Middlesbrough. They carried on with the shipbuilding tradition.
John James, Warrington, Cheshire, U.K., Jun. 1, 2016 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your message, John. I wish you happy
hunting in researching your family history.
330) Peter - I have been researching ANCONA of 1840 for a long time now and am slowly piecing together her story. I have yet to prove that Noble was her builder
but it does seem that at least
she was built for or by G. Noble, her master being the related J. Noble. Hutchinson who was a builder seems to have been connected with her at some stage. I have notes regarding
her loss on the Norfolk coast
in 1870 in the Larn list. I have
a document related to the mate lost in her then from a family member and about a half of a diary/log kept by crew aboard in 1847 when she went to the Brazils as they were then called. I am in the process of accessing crew lists
held at the MHA Canada, PRO London and Greenwich, London. I have yet to visit the Lloyds maritime collections held at the Guildhall at London, England.
Chris Roche, England, May 22, 2016 Sailor@chrisroche.co.uk
Webmaster's comment. For over a year now, the webmaster has been busy
expanding the lists of vessels built at Sunderland over the centuries, in site
pages 117 thru 136. I never could have imagined what a wealth of data is today
WWW available, to help in that effort, thanks in large part to 'Google' & others, who
scan old books & make them accessible to all. Ancona, is one vessel that
has recently been added into the list - a modest little snow or brig built in
1840, of just 243 tons, & covered on site here.
I must say that I have been amazed at the interest 'out-there' about vessels
built so very long ago, including Ancona.
329) The blocksetter on the Roker Pier is stated as designed by H. H. Wake, engineer for the River Wear Commissioners; erected by Wear Commissioners workshops, boiler, engine and machinery by
John Abbot & Co., Gateshead and girder work by North Eastern Marine Engineering Co., South Dock, Sunderland (Contract 331 3/85). But regarding the later South Pier machine I have little information. A reference to it by J. Horner 'Blocksetting Titans',
in 'Cassiers Magazine', Vol XV., Jan. 1899, may be indicative, but no firm information is given. I cannot believe that Wake would not have been involved; however the machine is very different in concept to
British machines of the time. Horner had worked for Stothert and Pitt, Bath and may have introduced a continental designer from that firm. Do you have any information please.
Chris Capewell, Queens Park, NW6 6RY, NW London, U.K., Apl. 29, 2016 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I learn that a 'blocksetter', in this context, is
a term used to describe a powerful crane that was especially built for use
in the construction of the piers at Roker - in particular a 'Titan' crane. i.e.
what Len Charlton referred to as a 'Goliath' crane in his article & is
depicted here. Your
message, Chris, has brought to my attention that most interesting 'Horner'
article that you refer to above, which article contains many images related to
the construction of the Roker north pier at Sunderland. I
hope, in due course, to add a section into the site about Titan Cranes or 'blocksetters'
& provide the entire 'Horner' article along with own your comments & question.
Site visitors should be aware that I am not
from Sunderland & have no knowledge first-hand of almost anything about
Sunderland. Site visitors might usefully consider my website to be rather like a
'scrapbook' - in that it saves & makes available to those who are interested,
Sunderland related data that interests me & hopefully will interest others also
- data that often is most difficult to find in the original. So
while you have helped me, Chris, I alas, cannot help you re this matter.
Hopefully an interested site visitor will come to our collective rescue with
knowledge & additional data about the machinery used in constructing the Roker
328) This site, packed with information has always amazed
& delighted. Apart from a brief spell with the Admiralty I have lived all my life in Sunderland. I served an engineering
apprenticeship at Thorn-AEI ('Cosmo' works). My maternal grandfather was Norwegian
& ran away to sea at the age of 12, but I never had any aspiration to work in the industry.
Although I was never associated with
Sunderland shipbuilding I was always interested in its heritage & always proud of it being 'the greatest shipbuilding town in the world'.
When I retired I have tried to list all the ships built on the River Wear during the
19th & 20th centuries. Concentrating on the Yards that made it into the 20th Century. I used of course, amongst others, Local History such as The Sunderland Antiquarian Society, the Lloyds Registers, the Miramar Ship Index,
the Mystic Seaport website, the 'wrecksite.eu' website and of course the
amazing Sunderland Pages of www.searlecanada.org.
By logging the ships built at the 16 yards, I expect no remuneration
& once finished the DVDs will be held in the archives of the Sunderland Antiquarian Society.
Alan Burns, Sunderland, U.K., Apl. 28, 2016 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Am glad to learn, Alan, of your interesting
research. Alas, all who work in such areas face the same
dilemma - how to make the results of our collective research widely
available, & how to ensure that it continues to be available into the
Now you may disagree with
my conclusions, Alan, but I believe that research which
is not i) widely & electronically available or ii) published in a book, is
of limited value. And that when, in due course, the results of your research in the form of
DVDs are in the hands of the Sunderland Antiquarian Society, the situation will
not greatly change - unless & until your research is made
electronically & freely available by the Society to folks from all around the world. Those words are not
intended to hurt you, Alan, or hurt the Society or hurt anyone else for that
matter, but rather are intended to focus attention on the problem. There have
been many whose life's work has produced nothing that is lasting. Many fine websites
have suddenly gone silent. My own dilemma is how to ensure that
data, assembled over the years & made freely available via the Sunderland
Site, does not suddenly vanish when my
website goes 'silent' as seems, one day, to be inevitable.
Maybe there is a solution to the dilemma but so far I have not found it. A
possibility, maybe, is that the site could become a number of 'pdf' files & be
kept alive & available into the future by the good efforts of 'Google', or of
the City of Sunderland archives.
There may well be ways where we can help one-another
in the meantime, Alan, via my website - so long as I am able to maintain it all.
327) Thanks for the site, found what I wanted re
Deeness. Our lifeboat was called to search for her. Found her high and dry 5 miles south of Goury (France). The crew
walked ashore. This search & event prompted discussions between Islands & French Authorities, held in Jersey, which led to much improved communications
& development of a square grid search overlay for charts. This
system, based on the German wartime positioning system, now known as the MANCHEGRID, is still in use when conducting inter-governmental searches between UK, French, Belgium
& Irish authorities.
Peter Gill, Guernsey, Channel Islands, Apl. 9, 2016 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your interesting message, Peter.
Deeness is covered on site, but only in a most limited way - limited because
the vessel while owned by a Sunderland fleet owner (Thomas Rose & Co.) was not built at
Sunderland, the focus of this site.
326) Thank you for your site which I found quite by accident but have had great fun looking at. My ancestors were the two William Farrows who were in Bishopwearmouth in the 1800s and it was great to see
the ships that they owned. I did see that someone else had mentioned Farrow in a letter (103) so I hope to contact them.
In 1867, ship 119
lists the owners as Farrow jr, later William Farrow jun, both of Sunderland. Does the
for junior too, in which case was his father William likely to be a ship owner too? (3 Williams!) If anyone has any information about the William
Farrows I would love to hear it as I cannot find the 1841 census entry for either of them (were they at sea?) or their family and cannot trace any further back than the 3rd William. Many thanks.
Caroline Johnston, U.K. most likely, Apl. 3, 2016 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I see that there are two vessels named Unison
built in the 1860s & referenced in these pages. One was built in 1863 & the
other in 1867. Both were built by Reay & Naisby & both were owned by the
'Farrow' family of Sunderland. It seems certain that they acquired the 1867
vessel to replace the 1863 edition that was lost. Re 'jr'. Lloyd's Registers of the time had limited space for
data & routinely contracted names, places, etc., even vessel names, to fit in
the available space. 'Junior' is recorded in the registers in many different
forms. Hopefully others can help you with your genealogical research.
325) Hello. What a fine site. I arrived here searching for a ship named
Ann of Sunderland. It foundered off Skagens Rev (North Jutland) on Nov. 28, 1846. Local fishermen saved the crew of
six. The wreck was bought by a local man, but when a period of calm weather arrived - about half a year later - the hull was taken ashore
& found to be nearly intact. Possibly it was repaired & sailed again. The Danish painter Martinus
Rørbye portrayed the work on the ship in 1847, & I just uploaded the picture at Wikipedia Commons here. Maybe
this would be of interest for your site.
Ebbe Hove, Denmark, Apl. 1, 2016 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Ebbe, for your message which indeed is
of interest. As a result I have now detail listed Ann, built at
Sunderland in 1842, a schooner of 111/87 tons. Lloyd's Register of 1846/47 notes
that the vessel had been 'LOST'. Could this be the vessel that was wrecked on Nov.
28, 1846? It is a possibility but really not more than that today. More data would be
needed to confirm its identity - an article in a contemporary Sunderland
or Newcastle newspaper about her loss would surely help in that regard. Hopefully one day it will be possible to
identify your Ann with certainty.
324) Thank you for putting together this wonderful site. I'm Sunderland born and bred and have an interest in my family's history and origins. They were mariners, shipbuilders, railwaymen, miners, and the odd Running
Fitter for good measure, so I guess typical of the town. The site has given me loads of background and I thank you for that.
Martin Howden, Durham, U.K., Mar. 16, 2016 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your kind words, Martin. You use a
term in your message that is new to me & possibly to others also - a running
fitter. What exactly did a running fitter do?
323) Being a Sunderland lad, bred, educated, apprenticed engineer and ship fanatic, I am pleased to find your site, which keeps me occupied
on many an occasion.
A poser for your
readers:- Who was the last Sunderland Captain, to sail a Sunderland owned, Sunderland built ship, with a Sunderland crew, out of Sunderland?
Jack Thompson, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, Feb. 20, 2016 Mechand@btinternet.com
Webmaster's comment. Am glad to see that you enjoy the site, Jack, and
have found content of interest to you. While the site has a strong emphasis on
the City's shipping & shipbuilding history, it is not organised in a way that
can easily help answer your question. Hopefully, in due course, you will provide
us with the
322) Hi, great information held on the site. My maternal ancestors lived in the east end of Sunderland in the late 19th century. Mainly mariners some of them master mariners. I am always digging around
for some further information about them. Some of the WOOD family are known to have travelled back and forth to Canada and New York in the early part of the 20th century mainly Sarah Jane and Margaret who were nurses to the wealthy in New York,
though they often travelled via Canada. Anecdotal tales from surviving aunt and uncle suggest family travelled from Colorado to Sunderland sometime around 1950s/60s. Would love to find ancestors who made the pioneering move to Canada and the USA from Sunderland who are related to the WOOD family. Top of my tree is Thomas WOOD b1805 in Stockton, Durham,
England and married Jane HORNSBY.
As I still live in Sunderland I am happy to get photos etc. of any landmarks/streets for anyone interested.
Bryn Jones, Sunderland, Tyne & Wear, Feb. 12, 2016 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Hopefully somebody will see Bryn's message & help
fill in part of his family's ancestry jigsaw puzzle. I don't have a logical page
on site to record this data, Bryn, but at least your message will stay available
into the future - via this page & a Google or other search. And thank you for
your kind offer to take photos.
321) I remember the fire at Joplings. My parents and I lived in a flat above, if I remember rightly, a timber shop which was right opposite the store. We had to leave our home in case the fire spread
and my Mam had a photo of us with me wrapped in a blanket in my Dad's arms. I was nearly 4 years old at the time. I think the photo was taken by the
Sunderland Echo but I cannot be sure. I remember my Mam telling me years later that she was glad she had collected my doll's pram that afternoon from the store and hid it ready for
Joyce Walker, Peterlee, County Durham, Jan. 31, 2016 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for this Joyce. Wouldn't it be a thrill to
locate a copy of that photograph - if it was taken by the Sunderland Echo it might
still be in their photographic archives. Joplings Department Store, & the
disastrous fire of Dec. 14, 1954 that destroyed it, is covered on site here.
320) Good morning, I discovered your AAA1
site when searching for ship info and up popped the William. I am looking for
details of a ship built 1813/1814 (but regret not at Sunderland) and seek your
advice as to the source of the Ship Registration Certificate for William. Any
direction you could provide will be sincerely appreciated.
Robert Hadlow, P.O. Box 470, South Perth, WA 6951, Australia, Jan. 30, 2016 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I think that Robert is enquiring about William,
built at Sunderland in 1852, & extensively covered on site here.
His interest is particularly in the certificate which you can see
The certificate was provided to me by Alan Collie
of New Zealand who had extensively researched the history of William over
many years. Late in
that process, he
visited the Greenwich Maritime Museum to access their files about the vessel's
many voyages. Alan tells me that he then contacted the
folks at The National Archives at Kew & arranged for documentation about
William's builder, owners, shareholders, construction, etc., to be mailed to him in New Zealand.
Later, having digested all of that data, he visited Kew, & was able to access a
leather-bound 1852 Register, within which was the certificate in question. So much data was found 'long distance' if you will,
however the certificate emerged as a result of a personal visit.
319) I've fond memories of working as a management apprentice at Bartram & Sons Ltd., South Dock, Sunderland, between 1957 & 1962. The shipyard manager was Walter Mellanby, an ex-plater, who was fine man & a bit of a
father figure. I also worked during the latter years with Kit Bartram.
Richard Johnstone, London, U.K., Jan. 22, 2016 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. The name of Walter Mellanby is familiar to the
webmaster in the history of Bartram's
but I was not aware that he had served as a plater before taking on his later
management responsibilities. Does anybody have an image of him, I wonder? It
would be fitting to include his photograph in these pages, maybe on this page,
which has a number of staff images from the time period that you refer to. While I never was in
contact with Kit Bartram, he kindly provided, via Robert Hunter, the build list
of Bartram built ships that is included on site.
318) Thomas Snowball at Southwick pottery manufacturer. His brother Ralph Snowball born 1831 did the printing on the pottery.
Mavis White, U.K., Jan. 1, 2016 email@example.com Mavis's website reference is
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for this Mavis. I have noted your words in
the Thomas Snowball paragraphs here
317) I love your website! It is the most comprehensive in terms of information about the 'Eppleton Hall' paddle tug. I am in the process of building a radio-controlled model of her. I
have a pretty good idea of the various colour schemes she wore during her working life. However, I have not been able to determine what colour her paddlewheels were painted. I am hoping that you can shed some light on this. Thank you!
Leo Steinfeld, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Dec. 22, 2015 L46S@MYMTS.NET
Webmaster's comment. The Eppleton Hall page that you refer to was
created with data & images provided by a friend of the site - a friend who
prefers to be anonymous. He has advised as follows:- 'Regarding the colour of the paddle wheels on paddle tugs. The arms of the wheel radiating out from the central hub, were in effect unseen so no colour scheme was used. Unlike, say the
funnel which was seen and could be used to display the company colours. So, the paddle wheels were painted the same colour as the hull. Normally some bitumen type based paint.'
If anybody is aware of the current
(almost 2016) state
of the vessel, I would love to hear from you (via the address is at the top of
the page). The last
I read suggested that the vessel is now in a dreadful condition. Maintaining such a
vessel does not come cheap, I appreciate, but the vessel does need to be preserved
for posterity. Maybe somebody should crowd-fund its refurbishment - its care
does not seem to be a high priority of the Parks Service who doubtless are
themselves starved of funding.
316) My parents are buried in Mere Knolls Cemetery,
Sunderland. I have the plot no. and the grave no., all I need now is a map showing the location of the gravesite. Where can I get a copy of this map?
Robert Cartert, Penticton, British Columbia, Canada, Nov. 26, 2015 Horatio@telus.net
Webmaster's comment. As for the message next below, I am unable to
help you, Robert, in any way. We both live far away from the libraries &
archives in Sunderland & Newcastle, that would contain such data. Let us hope
that a site visitor comes to your assistance.
315) I am presently researching my family tree quite successfully. However my grandfather, Thomas Gilligan, was employed by the National Coal Board as a Gamekeeper after he was invalided
out of the Durham Light Infantry. He was employed at Carly Hill (gardens?) but I can find no references to this place in the years following WW1. Can you help?
Norma Jackson, likely U.K., Nov. 21, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Alas, Norma, I do not have the knowledge to be
able to assist you in any way in your family history research. Hopefully others
who can help, will see your words via this page & come to your rescue. Is it
Carly Hill or Carley Hill?
314) I was a wages clerk at the Dockyard when
II was built and attended the launch. As I understand it, Mr. Mavroleon had the Yacht built at the dockyard in the hope of attracting
more business to this yard as there was no way the berths could be extended to accommodate the building of larger ships. He maintained that by building
Radiant II here he was saving a considerable sum of money
Sheila Gothard, Sunderland, U.K., Nov. 10, 2015 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for sharing your memories, Sheila.
Certainly there was limited space at the 'Austin' site beside the road bridge &
insufficient space to build the larger vessels that the marketplace demanded. Radiant II is covered on site here, but
as I reread my words, I see that the yacht's status after 2006 or so is not
included. If anybody can tell us more recent information about the yacht, do
consider being in touch, via the e-mail address at the top of this page.
313) What a simply splendid site, a must for anyone wanting to learn about Sunderland.
David Burdon, U.K., Nov. 1, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your kind words, David. There IS
a lot of interesting data on site for sure, yet I know that there is lots more
that also needs to be included. For many months now, I have been expanding the
lists of vessels built at Sunderland, most particularly in years prior to the
1860s. Extensive, 'new to me' data is now WWW available, so extensive that I
cannot keep up with its availability.
312) Have spent such a happy time reading this and trying to superimpose the Sunderland here over the Sunderland as is. The results are bewildering.
Bill Blake, U.K., Oct. 11, 2015 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I can well understand, Bill. Sunderland has
changed dramatically over the years. It must be hard to relate this site's
text & images to the city as it is today.
A little incident in the history of
the site. A kind early site visitor found the spot where Thomas Hemy had placed
his easel to paint the 1879 railway bridge
and took a photograph - no mean feat since my
correspondent was in a wheelchair. In our correspondence I mentioned the staiths
that had been directly opposite on the south bank of the river. I was quite
wrong, he told me. I have lived here all my life & have never heard of
such a thing. I showed him some early postcard images of the Lambton staiths
& he was
311) I have thoroughly enjoyed all articles written and discussed. I remember well the Joplings High Street fire.
At the time I was a pupil at West Park school which was not too far from Joplings site.
After hearing about the fire many of us rushed to High Street after school to see what was happening. Following the fire, Joplings opened a very small
temporary store in John Street, on the same side as the School dental clinic, I have seen no mention of this although perhaps I may have missed it, or perhaps it may not be remembered by many.
Jean Elliott, Long Newton, Stockton-on-Tees, U.K., Oct. 4, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Jean. Len Charlton
did refer to the subject if briefly - 'Business continued in temporary
buildings until 1956 when Joplings
reopened in a fine new store on John Street.'
I have now added a specific reference to the matter in the Joplings fire coverage on site here.
310) My grandfather William Ellwood was a boy sailor (16) on the SS
Mary Ada Short when she was captured and sunk in 1915. They were released in America. He was back in the U.K. and sailing again within a few months.
Nigel Lewis, Wales, U.K., Oct. 2, 2015 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. What an experience that must have been for a 16
year old. Was he permitted to witness the shelling & sinking of his ship, I
wonder? Probably he was locked away below decks & did not. Mary Ada Short is covered on site here.
309) Nice to see history from one's own home town
Tom Carroll, Sunderland, U.K., Sep. 26, 2015. Tom's website reference is
Webmaster's comment. Am glad that you enjoyed your visit to the site,
308) My dad Tommy Bell worked on the Eppleton Hall in the sixties. Wondered if anyone knew of him?
Carol Trimble, Sunderland, U.K., Sep. 16, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. The Eppleton Hall is covered on site here - do
drop by to read all about the famous paddle tug that was built back in 1914 &
was a Sunderland institution. I
hope that folks will remember Tommy. And be in touch, Carol.
307) I am compiling a family history. One person of interest to me is a former licensee of the Royal Hotel (1911 census) whose son became licensee/proprietor of the Star in Netherton, near Rothbury.
Donald McLean, Bradford, West Yorkshire, U.K., Sep. 9, 2015 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I do hope, Donald, that site visitors will come
to your assistance in your search for data. I presume that the Royal Hotel was
306) Is there a page for "humour" that occurred in the yards, Peter?
Arthur Haynes, Newcastle, U.K., Aug. 30, 2015 Asicit@hotmail.co.uk
Webmaster's comment. No there isn't such a page - or at least not yet. But the
thought is a good one. Would you like to start off such a page off with your own
favourite shipyard story, Arthur? If
so, e-mail me at the address at the top of this page. And ... need I say it.
Others are invited to do the same.
305) Hi again. Just to say this site is a fantastic achievement and
I can't believe I hadn't stumbled across it before. The amount of detail is truly astonishing and I feel that it really gives voice to a rich history few cities can boast. Thank you.
Aidan Morrison, Sunderland, U.K., Aug. 14, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your kind words, Aidan. They are
304) Hi. I run a project called Sunderland Stories which aims to get people excited about creative writing through writing stories about Sunderland. The goal is to produce an anthology of stories written by
regular people to act as a collective account of life, history and imagination in Sunderland. This site is a fantastic resource for story
inspiration and I was wondering if you have any advice in general or on how to get people interested enough to set aside the time to write a story. Despite an initial enthusiasm, people's interest is now waning.
Aidan Morrison, Sunderland, U.K., Aug. 14, 2015 email@example.com Aidan's website reference is
Webmaster's comment. I wish, Aidan, that I could offer you a magic
wand - to help encourage regular folks to contribute inspirational stories to
your site about Sunderland
Your site, & mine too, are
labours of love. Worthy indeed - but realistically unable to compete in today's society in which few
care about anything, few read
newspapers, few read books, few watch television & few aspire to achieve excellence
in their lives - a society which is increasingly big time selfish. Today's
youngsters are totally ill-equipped to deal
with adversity & despite all of their education so many of them remain basically ignorant. The business world? All they care about today is
the size of their
bottom line - with no social conscience, they destroy whole communities by moving manufacturing facilities overseas, predominantly offer
only part time & minimum wage jobs, cut benefits & offer no pensions. The politicians? They
negotiate free trade agreements with countries with whom we never should have
agreements, countries whose pay scales are vastly different, where human rights,
women's rights, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, clean air,
clean water & the rule of law are non existent.
All you and I can do, Aidan, is continue to try to offer,
each in our own ways, a degree of excellence which is largely absent in society today.
And be content with that.
303) I noticed a reference to Thornhills Quay. This may be of interest.
a) Thornhills Quay or Wharf, 1760, this became: the New or Fish Quay in 1770, Hays Wharf
in 1789, took in half of Partnership Wharf in 1790,
Robinsons Wharf 1827, Woods Wharf 1842, Railway Wharf 1840s, Elliotts Wharf 1920, became part of Corporation Quay 1930s.
b) Bowes Quay which was the oldest Quay, was built in c1601,
c) Nicholson's Quay built 1672, and known as Noble's Quay by 1715.
Ettricks Quay built 1705, second Ettricks Quay, or Partnership Quay, built c1710 and the Commissioners Quay built c1739.
Mapstone, Cheshire, U.K., Jul. 29, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thank you yet again, Stan. Will figure out soon
exactly how & where to add your fine data into the site.
302) Followed a link to yr website and then wasted (!) a happy hour surfing pages. A fantastic resource - well done. Have now bookmarked it!
Stel, U.K., Jul. 18, 2015 Stel245@yahoo.co.uk
Webmaster's comment. The site would seem to have achieved a totally
new measure of success - as a time-waster! Glad that you followed that link,
301) Well Done
Stan Adie, Castletown, U.K., Jul. 16, 2015 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. How kind. Thanks, Stanley.
300) 109) Just found your website my great grandfather Hugh Duncan owned and sailed in the
Nancy Brysson between 1866-77 when the ship was lost off Peruambuco. Hugh Duncan managed to save the ship's log and his crew
they were picked up by the brig A. J. Pettingill and eventually arrived in New York via Havana in January 1877. I am keen to trace any info on the ship's builder T. Stonehouse and or the ship's owner.
Steve, U.K., Jul. 6, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, which is an example of how the site grows from day to day. Until your
message was received, Steve, I was not aware that Nancy Brysson had been
wrecked. I have now updated the data that I have on site about the
vessel & have added a new section re T. Stonehouse, a Sunderland shipbuilder about whom I know very little.
Then, hopefully, others will see that T. Stonehouse listing & be in touch to add
their knowledge. Nancy Brysson foundered on Dec. 30, 1876 off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, en route from Pernambuco, Brazil, to New York.
299) A fantastic site!! A boy could spend hours pawing over the pages. I came to the site whilst researching a family member who was a Merchant Seaman, who happened to serve aboard a ship in Australia that was
built in Sunderland.
In the last ten years of researching, I've never seen such a site that brings a town's past to life. Thanks very much for all your effort in producing it.
David Curtain, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, Jul. 6, 2015 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, David, for your most kind words.
298) My father joined Marlwood on 8-21 as its wireless operator. He was a Marconi Co. operator. He is visible in the
photo, on the
bridge attending to the aerial connection. A photo of this ship in Bordeaux harbour hung on the wall of my childhood home. The windjammer
Herzegon Cecile is also visible.
Donald McLean, U.K., Jun. 8, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Donald. Two vessels of the name
Marlwood are detail listed on site. The Marlwood
that Donald refers to is here, built in 1906.
297) The last Royal Navy ship dismantled by Tommy Youngs shipbreakers was the corvette HMS Coreopsis, the ship featured in the film
'The Cruel Sea'. She was finally broken up on the Polka Hole, as the beach was
called, i.e. opposite the North Dock. I looked at the ship being towed in and moored up in the South Dock yard of Tommy Youngs. After she was stripped down, the
bottom half was towed to the Polka Hole and finished off. I was an apprentice fitter for the River Wear Commissioners at that time.
Jack Thompson, Sunderland, U.K., Jun. 3, 2015 Mechand@btinternet.com
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Jack. I have added your words into
the Thomas Young & Sons (Shipbreakers) Ltd. section on page 083.
Coreopsis, a Flower class corvette which became Compass Rose in 'The Cruel Sea', was scrapped on Jul. 22, 1952. You can read some
brief details about her here.
More comprehensive data is here.
296) Both Stena survey ships were built at the PALLION covered in facility not Southwick as shown.
Arthur Haynes, Newcastle, U.K., May 5, 2015 Asicit@hotmail.co.uk
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Arthur. The error was on page 136, I believe.
It has now been corrected.
295) I am really pleased to have found this site. My Dad, James S. Gillies, from Lower Largo, Fife, was a member of the crew of the
Bretwalda when she was torpedoed on 18th December 1942. He was one of the
gunners. I managed to get him to speak about this and the other ships he was on during World War 2. I will read with interest anything else which is written about on this site. Thank you.
Mrs. R. J. S. Goodwillie, U.K., May 3, 2015 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Your message is very kind, Mrs. Goodwillie, most especially since
the Bretwalda to which you refer (there were many vessels of the name) is not yet detail listed.
This particular Bretwalda, a 4906 ton cargo ship, was built
by Joseph L. Thompson & Sons Limited in 1939 for Hall Brothers Steamship Co. Ltd. of Newcastle. It spent much of its life in
convoy duty - with no less than 58 convoy references during WW2 including 12
North Atlantic crossings. It was indeed
torpedoed on Dec. 18, 1942, at 44.30N/16.30W (North Atlantic NW of Spain), by German U-boat U-563 while in
29 ship convoy MKS.3Y, bound from Philippeville (now Skikda, Algeria) to
Liverpool. Bretwalda was in ballast & bound for Belfast. One
crew member lost his life, I read. Hopefully, one day, the vessel will be detail
listed in these pages.
294) A great site. My Dad, James Thompson, worked at Austin's shipyard from 1944 or earlier, until it closed down. He worked in the paint shop. He had a false leg due to an accident on a motorbike when he
was a dispatch rider in WW2. I can only now appreciate the struggle he had walking down the 2 very steep banks every day, but he never complained. I remember very well the launch of that big ship as I was there as a child, my Dad took us and
he was very proud to be there, he was also very proud of the pontoon. I always looked over the bridge as I could see the paint shop where he worked from there. We lived in Church Street next to St. Peters' Church on the 'Barbary Coast' and so
walked over the bridge into town most days. Really happy days in a wonderful
Joyce Marley, U.K., Apl. 30, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your message, Joyce. I am always glad
to hear of the Austin shipyard & of those who worked there - to the webmaster,
a yard of special significance in
the history of the city. Its daily activities, most especially the action on the
pontoon, a living theatre watched by all who crossed the nearby bridge. A yard where
many generations of shipyard workers spent their working lifetimes - building small
but sturdy ships which were the workhorses of the coal trade. A worthy history
indeed that merits our respect. A history modestly commemorated here in the first of two
pages about the shipyard.
293) Does anyone have information on the Archibald Family, John and Barbara Agnes Archibald, who were living at 15 Neale St., Roker, Sunderland, in 1911. John was listed as being an Iron & Steel merchant. Any links or pointers will greatly appreciated. Many thanks.
Sandra Sargeant, Apl. 26, 2015 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I certainly cannot help you any, Sandra, but
hopefully a site visitor or maybe visitors will be able to guide you.
292) My name is Bobby Christall Jr. of Henderson County, Texas, a descendant of John Christall born 1830 County of Durham England (according to his Texas Rangers military file of 1871 San Antonio, Texas). John
Christall joined the military at age 28 first at Chicago, Illinois, under Forsyth
& came to the New Mexico/Texas border in 1858. I have been looking for my family, parents of John, in County of Durham, England, for 35 years.
from John Christall (above) who settled in Bandera County, Texas, raising sheep in 1880 having married in San Antonio, Texas, to my great grandmother, Mary Cocker. We are a line of ranchers
& farmers in far West Texas nearly in Mexico around the town of
Del Rio, & wish to find info on the 'John Christall' who was a resident of Durham, England in Feb. 1864
& died with a will naming his wife Elizabeth as executrix ... we are of course hoping to
bridge this family of 'Christall' to our own proven descendant born 1830 at this place. Can anyone in Durham, England, help us with our search? Look forward to hearing from you!
Bobby Chistall, Junior, Henderson County, Texas, U.S.A., Apl. 21, 2015 Bob736@msn.com
Webmaster's comment. I do hope, Bobby, that there will prove to be
site visitors who can help you in your search & will come forward to assist you.
291) So pleased to have found the picture of the Binns Department Store and the relevant information especially as the founder, George Binns, was my great great great grandfather.
P S, Australia, Apl. 17, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Am glad that such limited data as I have assembled re Binns Department Store has been helpful
But my data is truly limited - I need help to
both improve & expand it. The available data, such as it is, can be accessed here.
290) Was delighted to find a photograph of a property I own which was dated back to 1850.
Paula Jackson, Sunderland, U.K., Apl. 12, 2015 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. My word! It is a pleasure to hear, Paula, that
you found such an image on site - an image that to you is of such special
289) I was looking for Roker pier light and found this excellent site with, yes, yes, some pics with
ships stranded near lighthouses. Great for my lighthouse collection too. Many thanks in advance.
Jaap Termes, Heemskerk, the Netherlands, Feb. 7, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. So glad to hear, Jaap, that you found images on
site that are of interest to you. Probably on the 'Shipwrecks at Sunderland'
288) Hi. Further to my last message about the clipper ship 'Duchess of Edinburgh' I tried to attach a Word doc transcription of an article from the Melbourne 'Argus' about her history but it didn't work, so it is
copied in below. Apologies for the length but it is quite an interesting account of the hazards which these ships faced.
The “ARGUS” Melbourne Monday 21 June 1875 THE CLIPPER SHIP DUCHESS OF EDINBURGH ....
Rae Fether, London, NWS, U.K., Feb. 6, 2015 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. As you can read above, Rae tried to attach to his
message an extensive Word document about Duchess of Edinburgh ex an Australian
newspaper. While the guestbook cannot accept attachments it is set to accept very long messages.
But it could not
accommodate Rae's entire text, rather about 1/2 of it. The easiest way to permit
site visitors to read Rae's entire article is to show it to you as it was
published back in 1875. You can read the entire article here.
Site visitors who wish to send material to the webmaster can e-mail me routinely
at the address at the top of this page.
287) Hi. My great grandfather was captain of the 'DUCHESS OF EDINBURGH' official no. 70604 an iron clipper built in Sunderland South Dock by Mounsey & Foster, launched 15.7.74 Owner: Edward T. Gourley
of London. It was built for the wool trade but on it's maiden voyage to Melbourne it was dis-masted in a storm and had to limp into Corunna. It returned to England for repairs and its three masts were shortened. I believe my g grandfather
made two voyages to Melbourne, though sadly dying at sea in 1877. I have never found a picture of this ship and wondered, as you seem to have found quite a few of other ships on the website, if you have any suggestions where to look. Many
thanks for your very interesting and informative site.
Rae Fether, London, NWS (what does NWS mean?), U.K., Feb. 6, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I have added a link to this message on page 125
where the vessel is named in the 1874 built list. So folks can find your data
easily, Rae. I will try to find an image of the vessel & since I am not likely
to be successful, will keep my eyes open for such an
image in the future.
286) You have a photo of two 'snowball pottery' mugs on the site, saying they belong to a site visitor... Ralph
Snowball was my great great grandfather, but we don't have any of their pottery... Does anyone know whether
there is any I could see, maybe in a local museum? Or anyone have any they would be happy to part with for a good price? Is the owner of the mugs maybe a relation? Lots of questions!!!
Caroline Edwards, U.K., Feb. 3, 2015 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. We do indeed feature two Snowball mugs on site,
Re your questions, Caroline ... I do have, I know, a copy of 'Sunderland Pottery'
by John C. Baker, but it seems to have gone AWOL the moment I need it. I think
that it featured images of significant pieces of pottery along with references to
their display in public collections. Perhaps you
might access it or the other volumes listed here
for (hopefully) references to 'Snowball'. The site visitor who
provided the featured images is surely not related to the Snowball family. A question of my
own .. Does any site visitor have other examples of 'Snowball' pottery? If so,
might they consider providing images
& details for inclusion on site?
285) Lloyd's Registers record the ship 'Karnak' built 1906 by J. Blumer, Sunderland, for Moss S.S. Co. I do not see it listed amongst your J. Blumer built ships for that period.
Ray Hobbs, Canary Islands, Jan. 20, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. The ship is listed, Ray, but is not detail
listed. It is listed both in the 'Blumer' build list on page 142
& also in the
'built in 1906 list' on page 128. Some day hopefully the vessel will be
fully researched & detail listed on page 048.
Now site visitors probably do
not realise that there
were almost certainly over 11,000 vessels built at Sunderland over the
centuries. Each vessel typically takes from 2 to 4 hours to WWW research &
also to summarise &
provide links to the data & images that are WWW located. I
now detail list over 1900 of the 11,000. Hopefully, one day, Karnak will be
listed. But .... is it possible that any site visitor would wish to do such research for
any vessel not yet detail listed? If so, by all means proceed & I will
gladly both include the result
& acknowledge the researcher.
284) I too came across your website by chance, I was looking for old railway images from Sunderland. I have lost hours going around this website looking at everything else. Thank you for putting this together.
Richard Downs, Darlington, U.K., Jan. 18, 2015 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Darlington occupies, I know, a unique place in
the history of railways in the U.K., a history celebrated with
Railway Centre and Museum. While railways feature rather less prominently
in the history of Sunderland, George Stephenson's Hetton Line
was a major advance in its time (1822) - it even predates
the famous Stockton & Darlington Railway of 1825. So I doubt whether you found
much on site, Richard, by way of old railway images. But ... I draw the
attention of site visitors to two fine pages of images (1 & 2)
related to trams in Sunderland. Really a wholly different subject, however.
283) I was born in South Hylton and left in 1970 came across the site by accident and am very impressed with it fantastic.
Richard Bulch, London, U.K., Jan. 18, 2015 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Am glad that you dropped by, Richard. And liked
what you found. It is possible that you have something to add, a photo perhaps
or some local history that others would find interesting. If so, do drop
the webmaster a line.
282) I have been searching the web as I have learnt that my mother was born in 45 Burleigh Street (1918). I do not know much more than that as I had always thought she was born in Bristol.
My grandfather from Dublin was a seaman by the name of Smyth but later changed to Smith.
Kevin Barrett, North Somerset, U.K., Dec. 30, 2014 email@example.com Kevin's website reference is
Webmaster's comment. I presume that the Burleigh Street that Kevin
refers to is
the one in Sunderland, as per this page.
281) Christal Terrace in Sunderland is named after my great grandfather Thomas Christal
who was instrumental in the Co-op movement in Sunderland. His father (John
Christal) started the boiler works in the South Docks.
Clare Abbott nee Wight, Oxford, U.K., Dec. 21, 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your message, Clare. Glad to know
that. Christal Terrace is in Roker & runs north/south between Brown Road & Neale
Street. Clare adds that the boiler works were named 'Christal
Boiler Works', that Thomas & his brother James inherited the works upon John
Christal's death & that James is said to have later bought out his brother's
interest in the works.
280) What a wonderful site - came across it whilst researching family history and found that you have a wealth of fascinating detail about Sunderland. I lived there from birth to 29 years of age and know only a fraction
about the place that you do!
Stewart Wood, South Africa, Dec. 13, 2014 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Am glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit,
Stewart. While the on-site content is now most extensive, there realistically is
a vast amount of interesting information & imagery that yet that needs to be
added - as & when time permits. The site grows a step at a time, day by day.
279) Have emailed you separately. Great site and would love it if anyone had a photo or drawing of the
Charlaw vessel as my gt gt granddad was on the crew.
Ruth Baldasera (nee Humble), Newcastle, U.K., Dec. 8, 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. You did indeed, Ruth. Charlaw, a steamer,
was built by R. Thompson & Sons back in 1872. The vessel is name listed here
on site page 125, but, as a result of your message, that reference now contains
such details as to ownership & history as I could quickly find - & also your
request. Let us hope that somebody can provide us both with an image of the
278) I am the 2x great granddaughter of William Potts, Edward Potts' brother. 3x great granddaughter of William Potts (the Elder).
Your information regarding the 'Gales' ship yard is a bit misleading. The
way it currently reads 'Thomas Robson was an apprentice at a yard there in about 1770, which later became owned by Edward Potts ...' which leads one to believe that Edward bought the ship yard. In fact, Edward and William Potts INHERITED the ship
yard at Hylton Ferry from their father William (the Elder) when William (the Elder) died in 1798. View William's (the Elder) will on the Durham University website DPRI/1/1798/P10
(page 1 of 3).
Hammond, British Columbia, Canada, Dec. 7, 2014 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Hello again, Joanna. I am not sure that the old
words were really misleading since they were silent on how Edward became a
shipyard owner. But let us not quibble about such a matter. I have revised the
text based on your today's words.
277) I am trying to find the whereabouts of the Roll of Honour for Bartrams Shipyard for the first world war. I have a copy of a photograph of it but would like to know if it is still in existence. Your help would be appreciated.
Judith Telfer, Washington, Tyne & Wear, U.K., Dec. 1, 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Hopefully a site visitor will see this message &
answer your question, Judith. I have just found a 'pdf' which lists such memorials
- a truly giant list. It contains, I see, a reference to such a memorial re Austin's
Wear Dockyard (S140.124 - search page for Austin), but none
276) I believe you have a link to Mayor Swan - if so I have unearthed interesting material in The National Archives linking him at a very early date to the notorious Ahlers Treason case of World War
One (in a positive way). I am a musician, writer and historian and you can find out about me from my website.
Keith Gregson, Sunderland, U.K., Nov. 14, 2014 email@example.com.
Greg's website reference is
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Keith for your message. The webmaster wrote to
Keith when his message was first posted & awaits a reply - to clarify
the above message. I was not able to find the reference on site to 'Mayor Swan',
though it probably is there somewhere! More, hopefully, on the whole subject in
275) Currently reading the late Scott Newhall's book about the epic voyage of the paddle steam tug
'Eppleton Hall' from Newcastle to San Francisco. Book on loan from Newcastle Lit and Phil Library. Have been in
contact with San Francisco Maritime Museum and with maritime historian James P. Delgado (U.S.A. based) to see if there is any way a paperback reprint of Scott Newhall's book would be
feasible, bearing in mind that in 2019 it is 50th anniversary of the voyage. Certain that his entertaining book would attract a lot of interest in this area, and amongst maritime enthusiasts U.K. wide.
Peter W. Skevington, South Tyneside, U.K., Nov. 3, 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. I am sure that you are correct, Peter, in
thinking that the Scott Newhall book would do well in republication. For those
who are not aware, Eppleton Hall is a tiny 166 ton paddle-tug
built way back in 1913. Scott Newhall saved her from the scrappers yard, rebuilt
her at Gateshead & captained her in a long & epic
voyage that took her across the Atlantic, through the Panama Canal and up to San Francisco. The vessel is covered on site here, a page in
(slow!) progress that features a great many marvellous images of her. The book
is not in our extensive Toronto, Canada, public library system. I acquired a
copy of the book via eBay a while back but cannot reproduce any part of it on
site for reasons of copyright. The last time I heard, the tug was in an awful
condition. It is now owned by the U.S. National Park Service, which service,
like Parks Canada the Canadian equivalent, is unable to look after the treasures
in their custody due to funding cutbacks.
274) Nice site full of information for most researchers of history.
I am currently researching the WOOD family including
boatbuilders and mariners in the East End of Sunderland in 1800-1900 period. Thomas WOOD (b abt 1805 Stockton), married Jane HORNSBY (b abt 1808 Shields) in 1829 and lived
on Bank Street.
Bryn Jones, Sunderland, U.K., Oct. 23, 2014 email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. For many months now, the webmaster has been
advancing the list of vessels built at Sunderland using a giant 'John Oliver'
list (from 1857) as his start point. Data from 1857 to the very end is now essentially complete. A likely match re your Thomas Wood is a shipbuilder named 'T. H. Wood
or T. H. Woods - active, it would seem, in the period of 1857 thru 1860. I have
no detail about the builder who may well, however, be referenced in the 'Corder'
manuscripts. Search (Control + F) for 'Wood' on pages 123 &
124 for the vessels
273) Am reading the fabulous novel The Dress Lodger. Gusting works in the Garrison Pottery. The author's vivid description of the wretched working conditions made me realize the human toil that produced these
now pristine objects. I viewed them on your wonderful site
with sadness. I live 15 minutes away from Winterthur and visit often. I will now see
19th century pottery in a much sadder way. Thank you for your most educational site.
Bronwyn, Hockessin, Delaware, U.S.A., Oct. 22, 2014
Webmaster's comment. I did not read 'The Dress Lodger', influenced
perhaps by a friend who said that he had found the book to be depressing. But I
will now make sure that I do read it, with its description of conditions within
I am sure that you are correct, Bronwyn, when you state that
the then working conditions at Garrison Pottery were wretched. I suspect,
however, that the working conditions were appalling just about everywhere at the
time. Few today would willingly work for an hour under the conditions a coal miner had to
face underground every hour of his entire working lifetime. Alas, conditions we both would
describe as wretched surely persist today in so many parts of the world that produce
the clothing we all wear & the consumer goods we all buy. Food for thought,
272) Found your website on Sunderland quite by accident. The
'Potts Brothers' referred to under 'ship builders' were in all likely: Robert Hutton Potts, Lipton
Hutton Potts and Charles Hutton Potts - my great uncles. Their father William Potts (who died in 1850) had a ship yard possibly at Hylton Ferry where
his father, also William Potts, had his shipyard. Lipton Hutton Potts was my great
Joanna Hammond, British Columbia, Canada, Oct. 18, 2014
Webmaster's comment. There are many references throughout the site to
the name of Potts (via the yellow site search facility at the bottom of this
& most site pages). E. Potts
was a shipbuilder at Seaham in the 1860/1867 period. There also was a
shipbuilder referenced as R. H. Potts and Brothers, later R. H. Potts - in
business from 1857 to about 1870 based upon the data presently on site. That
presumably is the 'Potts' to which Joanna makes reference. Of interest, there
are also a great many references to Potts & also Potts Brothers as ship owners,
particularly on site page 124.
It would seem that I need to soon create a new shipbuilder listing for R. H.
Potts & there include Joanna's family data. I wonder what 'Corder' had to
about R. H. Potts?
271) Going through my mother's belongings, I found an antique commemorative plate with a photo of the "Whaleback steamer Wetmore, built at Superior Wis. Running the Rapids of the St. Lawrence". Is there a
museum or other place where this could be sent for a collection? It is actually of no value to me, but I hesitate to just discard it. Thank you.
Jan Crandall, Oct. 12, 2014
Webmaster's comment. I have written to Jan about her message. The
vessel to which the plate refers must surely be the Charles W. Wetmore, a
'whaleback' which travelled down the St. Lawrence River with it's Lachine rapids in 1891 & was a
sensation when it later arrived at Liverpool. Such data as I have about the
be accessed here.
Do view this attractive image of her.
270) I understand that there are two photographs which I am looking for of trains crossing the Queen Alexandra bridge. The first is of a train crossing the bridge on opening
day; the second is of two steam locomotives running over the bridge during weight testing. If anyone knows of these photographs can they please get in touch. Many thanks in anticipation.
Ian Morland, U.K., Sep. 21,
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Ian. I was not aware
that such images exist. Certainly I have never before seen any mention of them.
Hopefully a site visitor will be able to provide you with the images -
images which would be also welcomed by the webmaster to add to the existing site coverage of Queen Alexandra
269) Hi, I love your Sunderland site. I was fascinated by the searlecanada name of your site since I have lived in Canada for 40 years. I worked at Doxfords and Sir James Laing's and Thompson's Shipyards. I travel
back to Sunderland every year to visit my family and would love to accompany you back home to show you around the many places you have eloquently written about. Thank you for the many hours, days and years compiling the pages.
North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Sep. 18, 2014
Webmaster's comment. I am truly at a loss for adequate words with
which to reply to Nick's message. Thank you for your kind and much appreciated
comments about the site, Nick. But I have no words to adequately thank you for
the kindness of your amazing offer.
268) Hi. Stumbled on your website looking for railway things. It was fascinating as I have lived in Sunderland for over 70 years and remember a lot of the things you mention. I grew up in Fulwell, 1 mile from the river and could hear the noises clearly, My first job was in the Town Hall, and my wife in her youth worked
in the old arcade. I have taken many photos of then and now based on old pictures, and today it is not easy sometimes to identify locations. Did you know the original Trafalgar Square is in Hendon? (Seamen's almshouses)
Sunderland, U.K., Aug. 23, 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. So glad that you dropped (or stumbled!) by, Ian. And glad too that
the site has stirred your early memories. I was aware that there is a 'Trafalgar
Square' with its Merchant Seaman's Almshouses in Sunderland, but I was not aware that
the square was the original. I learn that it was built in 1840 five years before
'Trafalgar Square' in London was completed - however, it should be noted,
Nelson's Column would seem to also date from 1840. A little data
about the Sunderland square can be read here on the
'Sunderland History' website. And a few modest images of the almshouses are
available via Google Images. Hopefully, in the future, a section might be added
to the site featuring the square and its almshouses.
267) Re: The Leithead Family Tree, I believe I can add to it. My Gt. Gt. Grandmother was Sarah Leithead whose marriage certificate shows she was married to
Robert Adamson at the Bethel Chapel in Sunderland on 9th July 1842 in the presence of James, Martha & Thomas Leithead. Her father was James Leithead, shipbuilder of Pallion.
Princes Risborough, Bucks, U.K., Aug. 22, 2014 email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for this James. I have added your data
into the Leithead section which can be found here
on site page 068.
266) Hi My husband is a direct descended of William Ball born 1817 died 1884 who married Hannah Summerbell born 1811 died 1883.
They had three sons i) Thomas Lees born 1844 died 1922 ii) William
Richard born 1842 died 1917 iii) Robert Norman born 1850. And one daughter Sarah Jane born 1854 died 1928. William's
father's name was Thomas and he came from Staffordshire. He married a Sunderland lass called Catherine Worall born 1797 died 1881.
My husband still has cousins called Ball and we have been to the Ball family grave.
V. C. Downing,
Sunderland, U.K., Aug. 11, 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for this Mrs. Downing. You have added
materially to my knowledge about William Ball. Now William Ball is a
name best familiar to those of us who are interested in the potteries of
which there were a great many over the years. Such data as I have about William
Ball & his Deptford pottery can be read here at page 172.
265) Just found this site whilst looking for ship No 816 built at Wm. Doxford & Co. I owned a converted lifeboat built in Glasgow for this ship. I kept it in Caernarfon, in North Wales for about 14 years,
selling it in the 1980s. I have the boat's Trial Ship Report which states the following info.
Standard Class "B" Motor Lifeboat, 26 ft. A/Alloy, Fitted with Morris's Vedette Mark V.D/Drive, Intended for Wm. Doxford & Co. ship No 816, Engine
It then lists the result of the trials on the River Clyde. I also have the report of inspection.
I used the boat for angling.
I would like to know which vessel 816 was. Great website.
Staffordshire, U.K., Aug. 07, 2014 Stanr172@hotmail.com.
Webmaster's comment. One of the site pages is a build list for William Doxford
- at page 143 - which lists the vessels built by 'Doxford' & successor companies from 1837 to
the end in 1990. Doxford hull # 816 proves to Kepwickwall, built in 1956, which
detail listed here.
264) Re 'The Hendon Paper Works Company Ltd. on your Sunderland site. I worked at the paper mill for Domtar from 1977 to 1981 then when it was took over by Edward Thompson Ltd.
printers (The Sunderland Paper Mill) in 1983. I was employed initially in the finishing processes (cutting sheets to size) then moved on to the paper making machines where
I remained until the mills eventual final
closure in 2005. The image of the machine on your site is the actual machine I worked on for many years ... yes it was still producing paper up to 2005 albeit mostly bingo book paper! I had the dubious honour of
shutting the machine down on the final night of the closure. However before the machine was stripped down and packed up and sent to India (where
I believe it is back in production),
I obtained from the machine the
brass engineering plaque with 'James Bertram and Sons 1936' which I still have in my possession today.
Joe Ibinson, U.K., Jul. 30, 2014 email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. Thank you Joe, for writing in. You have added big
time to my knowledge of the history of the Hendon paper plant, which I thought
had ceased to operate in 1980 when Domtar of Canada could not find a buyer for
it. A buyer clearly was found & the plant continued in business for another 25
years. I must modify page 203 to include this interesting new to me history. Am
particularly delighted to hear that you snagged that brass plaque - a brilliant
memento of your many years of service at the plant & on that particular paper
263) Hi, Just seen your info on Sunderland ship
Whateley Hall, My grandfather AE Mead was Master from 1913 to 1915. He was also master from 1912 to 1913.
Sue, U.K., Jul. 08, 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. Glad to learn that, Sue! Whateley Hall was
a turret ship built by Doxford in 1904 - covered on site here.
It survived until 1937 when it was wrecked off the coast of Poland with the loss
of her entire crew of 40.
262) Hello All. I am looking for crew/training list of
HMS Active which was a Navy Reserve Training Ship in Sunderland around 1865.
Allan Robson, Liverpool, U.K., Jun. 22, 2014 email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. Hopefully a site visitor will be able to provide
you with the data that you seek, Allan. I have no knowledge as to how to locate
261) Looking for information about a shipwreck which
foundered off Sunderland, December 1848.
This is the information I have:
EDWARD SPOUSE, Master and Owner of the
Trimmer. Date of Command: 5th August 1820.
Owner: 1st July 1848.
TRIMMER Built: France, Year Unknown, Date of Registry: 21st August 1810, Rig: Sloop, Tonnage: 43, Dimensions: length 47'.0 x beam 15'.4 x depth 6'.0, Constructional Features: Square Stern,
Quarter Deck, Original Master William Stabler, Snr. Original Owners Robert Marflitt, Shipowner of Scarborough, Thomas Ward, Shipowner of Seamer.
Other Details Captured from the French, 1810. Prize legally condemned, duties paid and freedom
certificate issued at Hull, 9th August 1810. Foundered off Sunderland, December 1848.
What happened to it and did the crew survive?
the information on your website very interesting indeed. I know that the above ship's only
potential relationship to Sunderland is that
it was shipwrecked there - but may be you could be able to direct my research, which would be great.
Gitte Spouse, Buckinghamshire, U.K., May 12, 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. As you indicate, Gitte, this web site does limit
itself to Sunderland related subjects. Trimmer, a sloop built in France,
might however be of site interest if it indeed foundered off Sunderland. I learn,
however, that it in fact foundered 12 miles off Hartlepool. The vessel, en route
from Whitby to Sunderland under Captain Smith, was abandoned, in a sinking
condition, at about 9 p.m. on Dec. 20, 1848. Soon thereafter it sank. About 3
hours later the crew was picked up by Matura of Sunderland. The crew were safely
landed at Sunderland on Dec. 21, 1848. I am advised that the 'Newcastle Courant'
referenced the vessel's loss on Dec. 29, 1848 in these words. There was no reference in the article to the circumstances or
to the weather conditions at the time.
260) A fascinating website. Do you have any information about shipyard workers on (one of) the last wooden ships made sailing on a steel (or iron)
ship to the far east? There is a tale of an ancestor in my mother's family being a shipyard worker who did this - and there are several items owned in the family believed to have been brought back from this trip.
Celia Gibb, U.K., May 11, 2014 email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. The circumstances do not ring a bell for me,
Celia, but are most interesting. Let us hope that site visitors can come to your
assistance. It might help to know that the last wooden vessel built at Sunderland
was Coppename - built by 'Pickersgill' in 1880.
259) Dear Mr. Searle, Your site is impressive and comprehensive. From time to time I visit your site. Thank you very much.
Wytze Buitenrust Hettema, Kerkrade, The Netherlands, Apl. 26, 2014
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Wytze, for your kind words.
258) Thanks for this great work on Vaux Breweries. I have a lot of information on the formation and development of
Vaux Breweries which I will pass on to you, if you wish. Please email me with a suitable address/email to which I can send it.
Neville Bougourd , Durham, U.K., Apl. 16, 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Neville, for your most kind offer. I
am not sure whether 'great work' is a just description of the truly modest amount of
data about 'Vaux' that I have so far found & placed upon site page 207. But
with Neville's help, that content has much expanded!
A tiny matter that comes to
mind. Some years ago, I created a composite image of pit checks or tokens. The
image still pleases me, each time I happen to see it (1 & 2).
I hope that it pleases you too. It would be good to create a similar
image with 'Vaux' beer labels. Can any site visitor help with that matter?
Note - I do not ask that you give me or mail me such labels - I truly have enough
'stuff' around the house already. Good scans of the labels, however, would be
most acceptable & welcome.
257) Thank you for the useful information that assists me in my role as Collection Manager at the Newcastle Maritime Museum. We have many objects
in the collection from vessels that called here over the years and it is very helpful to get the background to those vessels originally built in Sunderland.
Bill Storer, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, Apl. 13, 2014 email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. I am glad to hear, Bill, that the ship
history pages are useful to you. Certainly there are a vast number of
site references to Sunderland built ships having visited Newcastle, NSW. The web page for the
Newcastle Maritime Centre is here.
256) I am engaged in two projects which involve the ships that brought convicts and their military pensioner guards to Western Australia. My particular focus is to identify veterans of the Crimean War
who came to WA from c.1857. But I am also interested in the enrolled pensioner guards on board the ship
Belgravia which carried a number of convicts to WA in 1866.
Belgravia was built at Sunderland by William Doxford
for its owner the Somes family (Joseph Somes was deceased by 1862 when she made her first voyage).
Belgravia is not on your list. For more information, please contact me.
Diane Oldman, Western Australia, Apl. 10, 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org. Diane's
page re Belgravia is here -
And her new page re Norwood, another Sunderland built vessel, is here -
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your message, Diane. By all means give
me information. While Belgravia, a fully rigged ship of 889 tons, is not detail listed
on site, it is recorded in the Doxford build list on page 143. It had a short life it would seem,
about 5 years only, wrecked in or about 1866. Norwood is covered on site here.
This is as good a place as any
to invite interested persons to consider creating detailed listings for
Sunderland built vessels of interest to them - for inclusion on site. We have
about 1,900 vessels detail listed - a substantial number for sure but a tiny
fraction of the 11,000 or more ships that were built at Sunderland over the
centuries. It may, in fact, be a great many more than 11,000! So long as I am alone in
this project, I will not live long enough to get them all detail listed to the
extent that is possible. So visitor input would be welcomed & is certainly invited.
255) Hi! I happy I fell upon your web site. Very informative. Thank you.
Janice Snowdon, Sunderland, U.K., Apl. 9, 2014 email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for dropping by, Janice. Am glad that
you enjoyed your stay.
254) As an exiled Sunderland expat, I was really pleased to come across your Sunderland page. Thanks for the useful and interesting info. There are
also two groups on Facebook devoted exclusively to what was once the biggest ship building town in the world. They are:
'Sunderland Heritage quarter' and 'Sunderland in pictures'.
Tom Waugh, Switzerland, Mar. 30, 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tom's website reference is
Webmaster's comment. Glad that you have written in, Tom. I am well familiar
with the 'Sunderland in Pictures' site at 'Facebook', and also the
Tugs and Shipbuilding in pictures' site. A great many images from
both of those sites are included throughout these pages with links to the postings at
However I was not aware of a 'Sunderland Heritage Quarter' site. Will take a
look! And invite others to do the same - by clicking here.
253) Dear friends, I am more than happy having found your Website about Sunderland - especially about its shipbuilding. I am doing
research about the wreck of the
Spanish owned barque ship
built 1870 by Watson in Sunderland. The iron built vessel got lost on her maiden voyage - she ran ashore at Christmas night in 1870 on Süderoogsand, a sandbank out of the North Frisian coast.
of the crew was saved. The wreck was nearly completely
covered by sand until last year, when it started to be washed out soon. The hull is only 43 m
long and is in a relatively good condition. I send photo to you via mail, but if Google
'ULPIANO wreck' you can find lots of them for yourself.
My question: Is
there anything known about this Yard (except what is to be found on your website), this barque or
of sister ships of similar size? I am cooperating with the Board for Archeological Monuments
and we all wonder, how the ULPIANO might have been looking like when she left Sunderland in 1870. Any information, drawings and photographs are more than welcome! Best regards from Hamburg.
Joachim Kaiser, Hamburg, Germany, Mar. 14, 2014 email@example.com. Joachim's website reference is
Webmaster's comment. How very interesting. There clearly must be, in
Hamburg, a great interest in preserving their maritime history -
in this case the remains of an essentially unknown & modest barque built in
far away Sunderland. The
hull is in a quite astonishing condition for a vessel buried in the sand for 143
years (1 &
2). Joachim has since kindly provided
an image of the Ulpiano wreck. And here are
the early Lloyd's Register listings for the vessel. Why do I say early
listings? Because the vessel that was lost in Dec. 1870 was for
reasons unknown still listed in Lloyd's Register over 10 years later in 1881/82.
Most strange! Anyway, Joachim, I am unable, at present, to provide much help in
your quest. Perhaps 'Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums' with their extensive
records, may be able to help you with such data as they may have about the
vessel & its builder.
In Jul. 2019, Ulpiano has, at last, been detail listed
on site. Here.
252) Great website, well done. I am the Great, great, great, great Grandson of Jack Crawford, the Hero of Camperdown. I have recently (October 2013) visited Sunderland for the first time. I know for certain that
I am the first member of Jack's family to do so since the statue to him was unveiled. The page shows the silk invitation to the unveiling, sold recently on ebay, I have my great great Grandfather's invitation here. He was Charles William Crawford. By
then he was living in London.
If anyone thinks they are directly related to Jack, do get in touch and I will be pleased to help if I can. I was able to personally
hold the medal shown on the page thanks largely to Pam Tait from the fantastic Sunderland Maritime Heritage centre. Visit them......they are amazing and make you very welcome. Thanks for a great website.
Brian Franklin, Buckinghamshire, U.K., Mar. 12, 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. I am so glad to hear from you, Brian, & thank you
for your kind words about the site. The remarkable story of Jack Crawford and
the Battle of Camperdown
can be read on site page 21.
You can read a little about 'Sunderland Maritime Heritage' here.
251) This site is a great resource for a project my students are working on at the moment. They are working with LHNE to create an educational interpretation of Sunderland Parish Church funded by HLF.
Thanks for all the info.
Doreen Hardy, County Durham, Mar. 7, 2014 email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. I am glad that you find the site
to be helpful to you & your students, Doreen. Hopefully, in due course, the
church might be properly covered in these pages - it is not well covered today. The Heritage Lottery Fund has
supported a great many projects both large & small in Sunderland over the last
20 years, including your own worthy project.
250) My Great Grandfather, John A'Court, signed on as 1st Mate to the
Scindian [a Sunderland ship?] and left London on [19th] December 1873. I believe its destination to have been Nagapatam in India. He arrived back in London
on [24th] December 1875. Two years later. Does anyone have any information about this voyage. Stops on the way? cargo? etc?
David Le Maistre, Jersey, Channel Islands, Feb. 19, 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. Scindian was a fully rigged ship of about 600 tons, built
either in 1844 at Sunderland or in 1843 at Southwick. I cannot tell you who
built her. The vessel
survived until Nov. 3, 1880 when it sank off the Island of Elba, Italy. Scindian
is detail listed on site here,
though that listing is silent about most of the vessel's service history -
certainly it is silent re the voyage that David references.
249) Re page 20, Palmers Arcade ran from High Street to St. Thomas Street
and was demolished in the 1970s to be replaced by the British Telecom Telephone Exchange. It runs parallel to, and between John Street and West Sunniside, alongside Frederick Road.
Russ Cogdon, Frosterley, County Durham, U.K. Feb. 13, 2014 email@example.com. Some of Russ's photographs can be seen
Webmaster's comment. Thank you Russ. I have fixed the page accordingly.
And have added new content to the section.
248) Hi, I'm born and bred in Sunderland and am amazed to find the quality and content of the pages relating to 'canny old Sunderland'. I'm particularly interested and am busy researching ship launches during World War One
and to consolidate my WW2 data. All I can say is, this is a brilliant and wonderful site and if you need anything checking or a 'now' photograph, please don't hesitate to ask. Brilliant work. Thanks.
John McLelland, Washington, Sunderland, U.K. Feb. 8, 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org. John's website reference is
Webmaster's comment. Kind words indeed - much appreciated by your
webmaster. I thank you for your most kind offer, John. There are many pages on
site of listings of vessels
built at Sunderland over the decades but the lists are far from complete for
the years thru to 1869 & also re the final years. Gradually however, day by
day, those pages are being expanded. But re many decades, including the 1910s, the
data is now looking good I think. The WW1 years are available here.
247) Thanks for Sunderland information. I am descended from 3 lines that ran through Sunderland - Alderman John Coates (late 19th c.); The
Chickens - Engineers at Monkwearmouth Pit ~1840; the Burlinson engineering line with Victorian foundries and engine works, staith design and manufacturers, etc.
Ken Chicken, Sunderland, Jan. 21, 2014 email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. I must say, Ken, that the names that you
reference are all totally new to me. If you could provide additional
information, we might usefully add to the history of Monkwearmouth Colliery &
also to the suppliers pages. It is quite possible that once we have a little
data on each subject, to start us off if you will, others will write in (address
at top of page) to add what they also know.
246) Thanks for your brilliant and helpful work. I am looking for a ship built in 1852 probably in Sunderland and owned by Deniston. It was
called the Emigrant and left for Australia in Sept 1852. I wondered if you have any ideas as to how we might find it. It was a 370 ton
barque. Thanks again for the brilliant website.
Jo Cockwill, Australia, Jan. 11, 2014 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. Jo, having seen your message, I have added
Emigrant (ON 2545), indeed built at Sunderland, into the 1852 built list here. I
discover that it was initially registered in the name of 'Denniston', of Sunderland,
intended for use in trade with Australia. Lloyd's Register of 1857/58 records
'Rounthwte' as the owner - meaning, it would seem, H. Rounthwaite & S. Mills, also of Sunderland, as per this site page.
For trade ex London. The vessel is not recorded in Lloyd's Register of 1858/59,
circumstances yet unknown to me. I presume that the voyage to
Australia that you reference is this one
(1 & 2)
in 1852/53. While I have not so far spotted any later voyages to Australia, 'Emigrant' is a
difficult search term & there could have been later voyages - certainly Lloyd's
Registers thru 1856/57 still reference Australia.
245) Hello again! I dug this out and transcribed it as I thought it might be of interest to you in untangling the history/location of some of the shipyards, including that of
James Leithead. It's a notice for the auction of a large amount of land
and properties in Pallion in 1848 - http://transcriptions.leithead.org/news_leithead_shipyard_land_auction_1848.html.
Leithead, Bath, England, U.K., Dec. 05, 2013 email@example.com
Helen's website reference is
Webmaster's comment. Thank you again, Helen. I will as soon as I can
modify the data re James Leithead both re this data & also with the other material
that you have kindly provided.
244) Just chanced upon your site. Interesting to see that we are credited for much of the construction work! Best wishes.
Peter Mandell, Peter Lind & Company, London. U.K., Nov. 25, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org. Peter's website reference is
Webmaster's comment. I am so glad that you found the reference, Peter! Peter Lind
& Co. Ltd. is referenced
within these pages because back in 1927, as you can read
modest page, the company was the principal contractor in the
building of Sunderland's Corporation
Quay. The original company, established in 1915 by Danish engineer Herman
Peter T. (Thygesen) Lind, (1890/1956), would seem to have gone into
receivership in 1980 - today's company was soon born - formed by former
employees of the original entity. A brief Wikipedia record can be found here.
243) Thank you for the wealth of information regarding Sunderland! I stumbled across the site while researching my family tree (James, Andrew and Arrow Leithead) and it's wonderful to find some
information about their activities. I look forward to reading through all of the Sunderland-related pages. If you are interested in more complete information about the Leithead family in question, I may be able to assist.
Helen Leithead, Bath, England, U.K., Nov. 23, 2013 email@example.com.
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your message & your most kind offer of
assistance. Additional information about the family Leithead would be most
welcome. Such data as we now have about Sunderland shipbuilders named Leithead
can be found here. And a
Leithead build list is on page 136. Alan Collie, who provided
most of the data from which the Leithead pages were derived, will surely have a great interest in
learning more about the family.
242) Has anyone mentioned the rather impressive collection of model ships in the Toronto Art Gallery. There are several models of ships originally built in Sunderland and they are well
illustrated in a rather expensive book. (I swear these models were
in the Sunderland Museum when I was a child but there is a very meagre collection there now.) I was searching this site looking for a list of ships lost at sea. Can anyone help me with something like that?
Alyson Garrick, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Nov. 20, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your comments. While I too live in
Toronto, it has been many years
since I visited the Toronto Art Gallery/Art Gallery of Ontario. And when I did so maritime history & ship
models were not of interest to me. A page about the Ken Thomson Collection of ship
models can be accessed here.
A model of Clan Alpine, a Doxford turret ship (not yet site listed) is, I
one of the models of Sunderland built ships on display. Also Melpomene,
Golconda, & Rodsley/Rawnsley/Rookley/Reaveley. The book to which Alyson refers
is entitled 'Ship
Models: The Thomson Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario' (BookFinder.com).
It is truly splendid.
Re ships lost at sea, to my knowledge the best WWW site to visit would be a
site where today a truly astounding 144,750 shipwrecks are listed - http://www.wrecksite.eu/.
241) It might be useful to note that a handful of the Doxford patents are online if you search Google re inventor: "Charles David Doxford".
There are images of SCOTTISH HERO at this link
Walter Lewis, Canada, Nov. 15, 2013 email@example.com.
Walter's website reference is
Webmaster's comment. Thank you Walter! I see those patents as you
indicate - which I found by inserting 'Charles David Doxford patent' into the
Google search box. I am always pleased to find new data about any
- & note that a couple of those patents are later patents re the turret ships.
Am glad to learn of the Scottish Hero images. I have modified the site listing
for the vessel accordingly.
240) What a great site. I have the owner's model of the
Zamora, Ship #432, built 1905 by Joseph L. Thompson and Sons Ltd. Sunderland, England. Ship is in excellent condition in original mahogany case.
Model is a half-model. She was built for Turner, Brightman and Co. London. I have owned her for @20 years. Always climate controlled. Time to downsize, would love for her to find a new home that would appreciate this great lady as we have.
Rests on 2 circa 1800 block and tackles on a custom table made from antique air hatch. If interested or know someone that might be-would be great in ship builder office/lobby/collection, hotel restaurant, etc. The case is @82"x20"x10".
Phillip Milliken, St. Augustine, Florida, U.S.A., Nov. 1, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Your message reminds me, Phillip, how far this
site yet has to go! A very large number of Sunderland built vessels are detail
listed on site - 1,907 of them at this moment - but there are about 8,000 more still to be detail listed! Including Zamora,
which is merely named on
site with limited detail along with this image of the ship,
later in life as Linda. Another image of the vessel, as Keila, was lon since offered via e-Bay. The ship had a very long career - it was scrapped
in 1959 at age 54. There are no less than 79 WW2 convoy references re the
vessel, then named Keila, with many crossings of the North Atlantic. I do hope that
a new 'home' is found for your Zamora model - a 'home' which will
treasure it in the future as you have clearly done in the last 20 years.
239) I've just read your piece on William Ball and his pottery. I have an Alan Godfrey map of Pallion in 1896 and there is a pottery marked behind the Sunderland forge at the end of
Railway Street and is right next to the Painshaw branch of the NER. I am currently awaiting a copy of William's
birth certificate to confirm he is an ancestor of my grandfather. Your website has been an invaluable resource on Sunderland; I moved away when I was only 3 so don't remember it much! Thank you so much.
Rachel Davison, Yorkshire, U.K., Oct. 17, 2013 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I am glad, Rachel, if you found the few words
about William Ball and his Deptford pottery to be useful to you. You may well have
identified William Ball's pottery's exact location for me. I do have a map of
Pallion, I know. I will see if I can spot a pottery marked upon it at the
location you describe.
238) Hi, I am a member of the Guild of One Name Studies or GOONS as we are known, and have been collecting information on the GREENHEAD family worldwide for about 10 years. Whilst searching through
old newspapers on the Findmypast website I found an article in the 3 July 1847 edition of the Newcastle Guardian & Tyne Mercury referring to a Schooner that had been launched by Greenhead & Co, North Sand, Sunderland. This is
the first time I have found a link to my surname in the shipbuilding industry and was wondering whether during your research for this very impressive website you have any information on this firm of shipbuilders. Was it owned by a member of
the Greenhead family or named after the village of Greenhead near Hadrian's Wall? Regards & thanks.
Len Greenhead, Crawley, West Sussex, U.K., Sep. 24, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Len, for your message. And for
kindly providing the article in question. Alas, the name
of 'Greenhead' is new to me. Realistically there were many hundreds of shipbuilders at
Sunderland over the centuries - maybe there was one that was named 'Greenhead'. Can
anyone tell us about such a 'Greenhead'. Do please advise us if you
know anything - your data
to be included in a 'Greenhead' section to be hopefully soon added into the shipbuilder pages.
But .... a further thought. Could somebody who subscribes to the newspaper archive at 'NewspaperARCHIVE.com' check the pages of the Sunderland newspapers
for late June 1847 or early July 1847. To see if there are references to a vessel built by Greenhead. It
is possible, however, that the name should correctly have been Greenwell).
237) Went to the area recently and just drove around the locality and we wondered what we were seeing in historical terms... questions answered, well done and a great site!
Ian Castledine, Ripley Derbyshire, U.K., Sep. 21, 2013 No e-mail address provided,
the writer's website reference is http://www.ukminingremains.co.uk/
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Ian, for your kind words.
May I suggest that
guestbook readers go to Ian's website, via the above link, & once there click on the image at bottom right. You will be
enjoy a real treat. A 10 minute slideshow, most worthy of your interest, of the remains of mining operations throughout the U.K.
Now the Sunderland area has centuries of mining tradition with the many coal
mines that existed throughout the area. Some day, in the future, I hope that
this site will offer pages about the histories of each of those many coal
mines. But ... such pages remain in the future - for the moment at least. Can
anyone help in advancing such pages? If you can, your help would be much
236) 'Boy Skipper' William Shotton was the father of my late uncle. He died on 13th January 1958 at the home of my uncle in Gillingham, Kent. I am in possession of nautical instruments
presented to William by Lloyd's of London in gratitude for sailing the Trafalgar safely to Melbourne. Please contact me if you need any more information.
Angie Gledhill, Broadstairs, Kent, U.K., Sep. 12, 2013 Angiegledhill@btinternet.com
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Angie, for being in touch. William Shotton? In 1893, when William was
just 18 years old, he was a lowly third mate aboard Trafalgar, a 4 masted barque,
271 ft. long, of 1750 tons. Illness
struck the ship & the Captain & all of the ship's officers died. William Shotton
rose to the occasion. He assumed command of Trafalgar & successfully
sailed her 3,400 miles from Batavia, Indonesia, to Melbourne, Australia. Do
read the full story here.
235) Great website. I have linked to you from my website. I am trying to help a guy sell a
hand built replica of a George Clark (1938) Ltd., Triple Reciprocating Steam Engine. Anyone interested should have a look at the videos
& photos etc.
& get in touch. Or leave a comment on his website. Thanks.
I recently met a very interesting retired gentleman (Vincent Bento Rodriguez) who has built a
replica of a Triple Expansion Reciprocating Engine as built by George Clark
(1938) Ltd. & The North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. (1938) Ltd.
at South Docks, Sunderland. His model can be
seen at this link. It took almost 5 years, 4,258 hours, to build & almost everything is hand built by him. He is looking to sell it to the highest bidder. If anyone has any ideas (other than the
Tyne and Wear Museum who have already said they are not interested). Anyone got any connections with wealthy ship builders that may want to have this in their foyer? Do get in touch... 07429 270590
Steve Parkinson, Manchester, U.K., Aug. 22, 2013 email@example.com
The model website is here http://vincentebentorodriguez.weebly.com/
Steve's own website is here http://www.spmarketing.info
Webmaster's comment. Steve, in fact, left two guestbook messages - I have
essentially combined them & show them slightly edited above. A fine image of the model
itself can be seen here. A
2 minute + video of the
model in operation can be seen directly here.
A distinguished model indeed - I wish Vincent & Steve success with their sale.
234) Can anyone help me find information on my ancestors surname Dolphin. They lived in Sunderland and I have them as living there 1790s. Thank you for a great web site.
Ellen, Aug. 11, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Hopefully a site visitor will be able to help
Ellen with her research.
233) Hi, found this site looking for Hedley Street Sunderland, my family lived there 1911 but it is no longer there. Love the pictures.
Natalie Edgoose, Jul. 28, 2013 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. The only reference on site to Hedley Street, so
far at least, is that one of the children who died in the Victoria Hall disaster
of Jun. 1883 - William Bland aged 10 lived at #66 Hedley Street. Len Charlton
advises that Hedley Street was in the East Millfield area of Deptford. The houses
there were what were known as 'Sunderland Cottages' i.e. modest dwellings of
single story terrace design probably built in the late 1800s. Hedley Street was in a
small area that was demolished in the 1960s. Len provides an image
of a typical 'Sunderland Cottage'. Thanks, Len!
232) Hi, Regarding your photo on page 014 'Munro's charabancs'. I have information regarding this and confirmation that it is indeed Munro's charabancs. I am researching my partners family history and this
is part of it. If you contact me on the above email address I will up date you with this information. I also have family history relating to the family Cave and ship building in Sunderland which may be of interest to you. Regards Mike.
Mike Cave, U.K., Jul. 26, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thanks you, Mike, for your offer of data &
assistance. It is much appreciated. The image that Mike refers to can be seen here.
231) Hi I am hoping that you can help me. My family comes from Sunderland but I no longer live in the
area & I am trying to trace my family tree. I have seen an photograph of the Mariners Arms a pub that was on the Low quay Sunderland in the mid 1800’s.
This was run by members of my family. My 3x great grandparents ran this
and my 2x great grandfather lived there with his wife for a short period after he arrived from the Faroe Islands. I was hoping that I could get hold of a picture of the pub but I am struggling to find anyone that has a copy. I believe
that either Len Charlton or Norman Kirtlan has an original - any information that anyone has that they can share. I would be most grateful. Regards.
Richard Fitzgerald, Norfolk, U.K., Jul. 15, 2013 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Hopefully somebody will come to your rescue,
Richard. Modest images of the 88 Low Street pub are available here
- on the 'East-Durham.co.uk' site. If anybody has quality images of the pub, &
would be content to share them, I'll gladly put them on site.
230) Re: Sunderland Ferrymen, My Grandfather, James Miller (1883-1966) owned a boat and ferried people across the river Wear. This was somewhere between 1936 and possibly 1944.
My Mum was born 1936 and she can remember going to see him at work. He was employed as a railway porter in 1944 so I assume he was not ferrying then. Mum thinks he used to charge 1 penny.
Susan Honeyman, California, U.S.A., Jul. 07, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your message, Susan. The
Sunderland ferries, & there were many of them, are covered on site page 008.
But I probably cover on that page just a small portion of all of the ferries that once
existed on the river as far west as Hylton. Now the location of James Miller's
ferry is not clear though it might help to know that the Miller family lived,
Susan advises, in Beverley Road, Grangetown. The ferry at Coxgreen was one
possibility but it would seem that Coxgreen was run by the Frost family for many
decades. Hylton maybe? Perhaps a site visitor might remember the name of James Miller.
Susan also asks if there is a list anywhere of River Wear ferrymen. If there is
such a list, it has not come to my attention.
229) Sunderland born and bred. Been down south 25 years. Fantastic web site. Don't know if Len Charlton is still around, I hope he is. I have a bit of information for him which I think he would be interested in.
Also a recently acquired photo of his old address, Beechwood Street, taken about
the time he would have been growing up there. Hope to hear from you soon.
Steve McElvenny, Essex, U.K., Jul. 02, 2013 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I have alerted Len Charlton to your message,
Steve. Am sure that he will soon be in touch with you.
228) I am interested in Sunderland & came across
guestbook message #181 which interested me. I have read other note numbers and found most interesting comments.
Excellent pages webmaster, keep up the
good work. If Bill Mather (exiledmackem) reads this please get in touch with me
- I will be able to help you Al.firstname.lastname@example.org. Regards to everyone.
Alan Coulson, Newcastle, U.K., Jun. 29, 2013 Al.email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. We hope that Bill Mather of Dumfriesshire,
Scotland, will see this message & be back in touch with a new e-mail address.
227) Thanks for a very interesting site. I was born in Sunderland but left in the mid 60s and now live in Kent. While tracing my ancestors I've come
across some rather strange nautical terms which you have explained, including a 'holder up'.
If anyone recognises the names Keehner, Bell, Phimister, Oxley or Wilson please get in touch. Thanks again.
U.K., Jun. 25, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I am glad that you found the site to be of
interest, Margaret. See here for what a
'holder up' is. Hopefully site visitors will recognise the family names that you mention
& will be in touch.
226) Hi, Just a note inform you that I observed in Lady Brunner's bedroom at Greys Court, (1,
2 & 3) Rotherfield Greys, Henley (a National Trust property) a plate on a shelf with the
verse 'The loss of gold is great, the loss of health is more, But losing Christ is such a loss, As no man can restore'.
Just thought you being so knowledgeable on this, you may like to know where a
I really appreciate
your website and many hours work and 'Thank You' as I now know all
about this plate. Very best wishes
Ms Siobain-Marie Eaton, Winchester, Hampshire,
U.K., Jun. 09, 2013 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. A less-visited page on the web site records the
verses on Sunderland made pottery - it includes the particular verse referred to. And a most similar verse also
a little higher on the page.
225) Just a note to tell you how very good I think this site is.
The enormous work that you have put into it is very apparent and you to are to be congratulated. I would particularly like to mention your great
attitude to sharing the pictures, kudos to you sir.
I am enjoying very much coming to this site on a
regular basis and always know that I will find interesting material. Best wishes for the future. Yours faithfully,
C. Allison, ex Royal Navy, New Zealand, Jun. 06, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. A happy visitor! I am so glad that you mention
the photos, Colin. A great many of them have been provided by
Clive Ketley, a U.K. collector -
an unusual collector by all accounts, who believes that the images in his
collection, acquired with his own hard-earned funds, should not be hidden away
from sight but rather should be shared via this & other websites. So I gladly show his
in a good large size - most websites show images, in my opinion at least, in
too small a size. And as a result lose the image's visual impact.
response is written, a new site page, yet incomplete, has been added that
features some particularly splendid images - of paddle tug Eppleton Hall,
built in 1914. Truly a Sunderland institution for many decades. It was rescued from
the scrap yard, refurbished, & 'paddled' its way all the way from the River Tyne
to San Francisco. Those particular images were kindly provided by a friend of
the site who prefers not to be named, who clearly shares Clive's approach.
224) Dear Sir. I have just found your site and am very pleased that I did, it is very interesting and I plan to visit often. Congratulations and very best wishes for the future.
Mr. C. Allison, New Zealand, Apl. 29, 2013 email@example.com
The writer's website reference http://www.flickr.com/photos/alimarante
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your kind words. Sunderland site
visitors should not fail to visit the writer's 'Flickr' website at the link
above. The site is brilliant with large images of consistently good quality,
mainly maritime in nature. But it is BIG, so view it a bit at a time. Amazingly
it would seem today to contain almost 13,400 images spread over 743 pages. You
will not regret 'dropping by'.
223) I am researching WWLL (WW1?) B-Class built ships. In particular I am looking for ship plans of the SS Lahore, built 1920 for P&O. Do you know where they might be? The National Maritime Museum does not
have them. Look forward to your reply. Regards.
Neil Dobson, St. Andrews, Fife, Scotland, Apl. 29, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Alas, Neil, I do not have the knowledge to be
able to help you. If any site visitor knows of such plans, or plans of any
B-class vessel, perhaps they might be in touch & I'll include the data on site.
Lahore (ON 137272)
was, I see, built in 1920 by R. Thompson & Sons Limited of Sunderland.
While en route from Calcutta, India, to London with a general cargo, the vessel
was hit by a torpedo from U-124 on Mar. 8, 1941 - at 21.03N/20.38W, NE of
the Cape Verde Islands in the N. Atlantic - & was abandoned
the next day. Her crew of 82 were all saved.
222) Hello again. You helped me a while ago
(messages 211 & 212) with my research on the ship
EXPRESS. Now I'm happy to add a new Sunderland vessel to your website ~ not that you need any more!
This is the iron barque JAMES BEAZLEY built by Osbourne, Graham & Co. of North Hylton in 1876 for William Kelly of Belfast. She was sold in 1878 to William Just and her name was changed to
BANKFIELDS. Here are some
JAMES BEAZLEY; Reg. No. 74533; built 1876 in Sunderland (Osbourne); port of registration - Liverpool? (or probably Belfast?); Owner - W. Kelly (Abercorn Terrace, Belfast); 835 gross tonnes;
195.4 ft X 32.1 ft X 19.7 ft; Master (1877) - Seabourne; sold to W. Just in 1878 (Capt. T. Venus) and name changed to
BANKFIELDS; hulked and blown up by the Australian Air Force in 1950.
Also - Belfast News-Letter of Thursday, June 15, 1876; Issue 18997.
ADDITION TO BELFAST SHIPPING. Text
If you have any further information on this vessel, please let me know. I'm researching her first owner, Captain William Kelly. All the best,
Harold Bradley, Alamo, California, U.S.A., Apl. 27, 2013 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thanks, Harold. Will comment later.
221) I was interested to learn from your site that
Hampshire, tonnage 2597, was launched on Aug. 21 1880 for G. Marshall & Sons of London
& was built by William Doxford at Pallion in Sunderland.
I suspect this may be the same vessel on which my great-grandfather Thomas Glass served as Chief Engineer when he died by accidental death on Dec.
14, 1889 at Savannah, U.S.A. I have an unsigned copy of a hand-written document in splendid copperplate which reads as follows: here:
Please can you tell me if the Hampshire, which was built by Doxfords was a steam ship? If so, given that the dates match up, could it be the same vessel
on which my great grandfather served?
Additional text here.
John Glass (great grandson of Thomas Glass), Pinner, Middlesex, U.K., Apl. 24, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. The webmaster is neither equipped nor inclined
(sorry about that!) to address such a
detailed question - his hands are more than full already in maintaining this site.
But ... I think
that my best response would be to set out for John Glass & for others, how I,
from my limited experience, would initially proceed to find the necessary basic
data. Then site visitors can apply the process to their own circumstances. Some
search pointers are now below - site visitors more knowledgeable than I can
gladly correct or expand upon them.
Yes, the 1880 Doxford built Hampshire was a steamship.
How to proceed? In this case, based upon the limited facts as above, it is likely that the
Hampshire 1889 crew lists, if available, would be helpful. To access those lists you need to know the vessel's official number. So:-
1) Visit 'Miramar Ship Index', a giant resource for ships data. Here. Search for the
vessel name - Hampshire in this case. The listing will generally provide, for vessels that
are listed (not all are), the vessel's year of first registry, its official
number, basic data including tonnage, later names & ownership & often what
happened to the vessel in the end. Miramar, which used to be free, now charges
U.S. $20 a year for access. However a visitor whose needs are re a single or a
few ships can register & then access the site for free for a 7 day period.
More than adequate for most people. Miramar advises that there were three
vessels named Hampshire in the appropriate time period. One built in 1870 was a
ship (fully rigged). There were two others - a 625 ton cargo ship built in 1866
at Sunderland by Oswald. And a 2597 ton cargo ship built in 1880 at Sunderland by Doxford.
2) Check the registers. Lloyd's Registers for many years are WWW
available - but by no means all years. Thru 1889/90 essentially & from 1930/31 thru
1945/46 at plimsollshipdata.org. So there is a giant data gap of over 40 years & nothing
after 1945/46. You can access the registers via here & here. Data from 1857 thru 1900 is also available at Mystic Seaport
(American Lloyd's Register of American & Foreign Shipping') - here.
The 1889/90 edition of Lloyd's Register lists all three vessels named
Hampshire. The captain of the 1880 vessel was 'M. H. Kerrnish'. The captain of the
1866 vessel was J. S. Turpin. The ship built in 1870 is recorded as 'missing'.
The data about captains often proves to be imperfect.
3) From one or more of the above sources,
the Official Numbers become known - 51295 re the 1866 built Hampshire & 82810 re
the 1880 built Hampshire.
4) You will need an official number to search for crew lists.
Go here & insert the official numbers as above. Crew lists for 1889 seem to be
in Southampton, U.K. for the 1866 vessel & in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, re the
1880 built vessel.
5) It is possible that the 1889 newspapers may have recorded the vessel & the death of
Thomas Glass. Maybe the Savannah, U.S.A., newspapers, or those of London or wherever
Thomas Glass lived at the time. I have had no experience of accessing any such newspapers.
220) Re Robert Pile Doxford: We live in Silksworth Hall, Sunderland Tyne Wear, U.K., where he lived at one time. Douglas Smith of Silksworth Heritage Group and Sunderland Antiquarians has lots of information
particularly about the Doxfords. Regards, Anita
Anita Swalwell, Sunderland, U.K., Apl. 20, 2013 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thanks, Anita. That is good to know. Such data as
is site available about
the Doxford family & the famous shipyard is here.
219) I worked in the new yard.
Alex Kypriadis, Spain, Apl. 20, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I have written to Alex to seek clarification. Will likely comment later.
218) I joined the GSNC's Seamew at S. P. Austin's yard, sailed on her maiden voyage and stayed six months in her. I remember her as a neat little ship. I've added remarks to her details.
Alistair Kerr, Te Awamutu, New Zealand, Apl. 18, 2013 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your message Alistair. Seamew,
built in 1947 for General Steam Navigation Company Limited, is site listed here. Alistair's
words can be read at the end of the Seamew listing.
217) Thanks for putting this website together. My wife's Great Grandfather is Thomas Rose of "The Rose Line" Sunderland.
It has been very interesting to read about him.
Simon Flack, Isle of Wight, U.K., Apl. 9, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I am glad, Simon, that the site proved to be
helpful to you. Such data as the webmaster has re Thomas Rose & his
many enterprises is here.
Principally assembled from data kindly provided by Clive Ketley. Including a
fleet list. Need I say it? Additional data would be welcomed.
216) Excellent site with ample information as I am a descendant from the name
"PYLE"/PILE some interesting information as I am researching my roots and also a gg aunt (Lilia) of mine married a George Haswell b.1869 and m.1896 if this is a
relation of a George Haswell the shipbuilder. Feel free to email me regarding any
info from both these names as I need much more info as possible. Thanks
Jean Docherty, Sunderland, Mar. 27, 2013 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for writing in Jean. Alas I have no data
about the names of Pyle/Pile
& Haswell, additional to that
which is already on site.
Your 'George Haswell' may well prove to be the son of George Haswell the
shipbuilder. Hopefully, a future site visitor who does have additional knowledge about the
histories, will read your message & be in touch with both of us, you via your
e-mail address as above & the webmaster via this link.
215) Fascinating site, well done! I was a student in Sunderland 69/72. Married there
and my son was born there. I'm a season ticket holder at the Stadium of Light!
Douglas Forrest, Cavers, Scottish
Borders, Mar. 11, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I am glad, Douglas, that you have found the site
to be of interest. Maybe it rekindled some good memories for you. You have a
rather long commute to get to the games, it would seem.
214) Found your site quite by accident, enjoyed looking at old photos etc. I lived
for a while as a small child in William St., Grangetown, later we moved to Howick
St., Hendon, as l was 3 when my dad was killed we came back down south to
London. We came for our next visit when l was 6/7, went to visit the people who
lived on the ground floor of Howick St. Lots of fun had. We also visited family
in William St., Grangetown. l came back every year in my 6 weeks of school
holidays, until l out grew it. I remember a market, which had a bus station next
to it ??
Family name Cockerill/Walker/Hetherington ring any bells with anybody?
Gail, The South, U.K., Mar. 8, 2013 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Glad that you found the site, Gail. I am sure
that many folks with the family names of Cockerill, Walker & Hetherington will
read your message & be in touch.
213) I am currently researching my 3x great grandfather Matthew Coates from
Sunderland, Durham. I understand that he was a master mariner. He is on the
Merchant Navy Seamen 1835-1836 register as being master of the ship Celeste or
possibly Calesto of Sunderland. But I have not had any success in tracing this
vessel or its history. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Ian H. Long, U.K., Feb. 24, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I do hope that somebody sees your message, Ian, &
comes to your assistance. There certainly does not seem to be such a vessel
listed in Lloyd's Register at about that time. But that is not unusual - there
were loads of vessels that were not Lloyd's Register listed. An avenue of
further research would be to track down the 'Port Register' for the port of
Sunderland. However one does that. It may well reference your ship. If anybody
knows how to access such 'Port Register', do advise the webmaster &
I'll gladly include the data here.
212) This is absolutely brilliant. Thanks very much to the Webmaster &
Whittaker for tracking down my ship EXPRESS to the American Lloyds Register. It
now appears she was built in 1854 in St. John, NB. Other Kelly ships also came
from there. She was older than I thought. Sorry we couldn't come up with a
Sunderland builder for her, but I'm very pleased to learn more about EXPRESS
thanks to your wonderful Sunderland website. Thanks again.
Harold Bradley, Alamo, California, U.S.A., Feb. 18, 2013 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Both Ian Whittaker & I are happy to have been of
some assistance. Even without Express, there are quite enough Sunderland
built vessels for the webmaster to deal with! Would you believe about 11,000.
211) Thanks for your
website, a wonderful resource. I'm researching a ship called the EXPRESS (ON
44633) that does not appear to have made it into Lloyd's Register. I do not know
where she was built. The only information I have about her is from a few crew
agreements which state she was a vessel of 1,118 tons and she was registered on
March 27, 1862 at Liverpool. Her master and managing owner was William Kelly of
Liverpool. After her maiden voyage to India and the far east in 1862-63, she
next sailed from Sunderland back to India in August 1863. For this reason, I'm
wondering if she might have been built at Sunderland and was returned there
after her maiden voyage for repairs or retrofit. I don't see her listed as a
Sunderland ship on your website but I was hoping you might keep an eye open for
her and let me know if you run across a ship EXPRESS that might have been built
there in the early 1860s. Thanks for any help/suggestions you can
Harold Bradley, Alamo, California, U.S.A., Feb. 17, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I will gladly keep an eye open for references to
Express, Harold. Now I do have, in my files, a truly giant list of
vessels built at Sunderland from 1858 - a list compiled by John Oliver, who has
spent much of his lifetime researching Sunderland built ships. My Sunderland 'build' pages
are day-by-day being corrected to incorporate John's data. While John's list
contains 3 vessels named Express, all are far too late to be your
Express. So at first glance, your vessel may not be Sunderland built. But
thoughts re your message. I was under the impression, as most folks probably are also, that all
had to be Lloyd's registered. That is clearly not so, even though a ship of 1118 tons
would have been, in the 1860s, a giant & notable ship indeed & might be expected to have been
insured somewhere. Ian Whittaker (thanks Ian!) suggested recently that there must have been
thousands of ships which were skipper owned that just didn't have insurance. Or
had no Lloyd's insurance. He
further stated that from 1786 all British ships had to be registered at a port & it is the 'Port Registers' that can tell the whole story of a ship. You
might therefore find it useful to research the 'Port Registers' for the port of Liverpool.
It is quite likely that they will reference your Express. The British
Newspaper Archive might be another source to check. One day, when the
website workload subsides, the webmaster will surely subscribe to that service - maybe somebody who
is now a
subscriber can lend a hand. And ... need I say it? If any site visitor can help Harold in his quest, do please consider taking the time to do so. Via the webmaster if that is
easier for you.
Through the miracle of e-mail we now know that the vessel was
not built at Sunderland, rather it was built, in 1854, at St. John, by 'Ray'.
But further research seems to be needed. St. John might mean Saint John, New
Brunswick, Canada, or alternatively St. John's, Newfoundland, now Canada. (But it
is, in fact, Saint John, New Brunswick, as per the next guestbook message) The webmaster alerted Ian Whittaker,
of the use of his words. Ian instantly researched the matter & provided this
image from an edition of 'American Lloyd's Register of American & Foreign
Shipping'. Just a couple of hours has elapsed from the webmaster's first seeing
Harold's guestbook message to the answer - e-mail can be a true marvel when
it is not abused by the low life of the world.
210) I was born in Millfield in 1957 and we used to go down to the Gill as kids and down to the
'tunnels'. We knew to keep out because of the possibility of rats. There is an
image of an engine shed opposite the tunnel entrances taken in 1967/68? We used
to play in there and there is an image of the inside of the shed which I found.
I have just retired, really began looking for old images of Sunderland &
came across images of the 'staithes' which I was not aware of. I think I can remember the structures being there however. The
were not. I have a friend from Hetton who I thought may be interested and as he
worked for Vaux brewery in Sunderland (which linked directly onto Gill bridge)
he found and put me onto this site which is fascinating. It has really opened my
eyes as to what was actually down there & why the riverbank was developed as
you can still see it today. A further point is that I am related to Rowland Burdon who was behind the
building of the bridge that crosses the River Wear and is visible in most of the
images on the site. But that's a different story.
I think it will take me a bit longer to study
& digest the information on
the site which is extensive. I write as a child who found the whole area of the
Gill and the tunnels and the engine shed a wonderful place to be and it brings
back many happy memories. Thank You
David George Dixon, Sunderland,
U.K., Jan. 29, 2013 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I am glad, David, that you have found the site to
be of interest. It has, perhaps, rekindled some old memories for you. This
is the image of
the engine shed that David refers to, within a 'Len Charlton' article. David has since
drawn to my attention an image of the shed's interior, now on site here.
209) I had the pleasure of meeting Len last week and spent some time listening to his
stories. Thanks for the experience.
Paul Howells, Banbury, Oxfordshire,
U.K., Jan. 19, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Glad to know that. It is always a pleasure to
renew old acquaintance. Len Charlton's many on site stories can be found via
208) A brilliant
site and full of information. Whilst tracing information during family history
research I was most interested to find your site and reference to the brig
'Zoophite' 15787, built in Sunderland in 1856. My particular interest is that my
Great great Grandfather, Thomas Philips, was Master of this vessel from around
1861-1871. During this time his home was Aberdeen and I have a copy of the 1861
Census which lists him, his Mate, and four crew members on board the 'Zoophite'
in port at Sunderland on the night of the Census, 7th April 1861. From your site
was able to see him listed as Master of the Zoophite up to 1870 from the Lloyds
Register. I am interested in gaining more information about this vessel and
would like to obtain plans of this or a similar snow brig of the same period to
build a model. To this end I would be grateful if you have any more information
or any links to help me in this search.
Tony Hall, Chesterfield, Derbyshire,
U.K., Jan. 18, 2013 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your kind words, Tony. While we
know that Zoophite, site listed here,
was built in Sunderland in 1856, we do not know who built her! Hopefully, some
day, the shipbuilder name will emerge. I have no data about the vessel
additional to that already on site, nor access to more info. Hopefully a site
visitor will come to your rescue and provide a source for plans.
207) While looking thru the comments I spotted Charlie Chuck's name, my late father
knew him from living down Fulwell, where Charlie would play his tin whistle,
only thing is kids would tease him as he wasn't the sharpest pencil in the desk
so my father gave him a stick to chase them with and every picture (usually a
drawing) you see of him he has that self-same stick under his arm as he plays his
Alan Vincent, Old Penshaw, Sunderland,
Jan. 14, 2013 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Charlie Jeffries, also known as Charlie Chuck,
was, I learn, one of Sunderland's
'characters'. Charlie's niece, E. Dorans, of Ferryboat Lane, Hylton Castle, told us
recently (Sunderland Echo, Sep. 21, 2012), as follows:-
'In answer to Stan Taylor’s letter (September 8) enquiring about Charlie
Chuck .... I remember visiting him in Wellington Street, just off
Stony Lane in Southwick. He lived there with his parents. I remember going to visit him with my parents many, many years ago. He
would open a box he had and show me the whistles which he used to play in the
street. One whistle was shaped like a fat cigar and called an Ocarina. He also
had numerous pencils and sharpeners of all shapes and sizes. He would write down a list of hymns as the family were keen Salvationists. He took epileptic fits and when I was a young girl, my mother told me about
the time he had a fit and pulled a large pan of boiling water over him which
burnt him rather badly. Uncle Charlie was a very gentle soul. He used to pretend to chase the
children when they ran after him. The stick he carried, he told me, was to
keep the dogs at bay. His father died early on and his mother was left to take care of him after
he died. Charlie Jeffries, that was his correct name, had to go into a home
where he died.' Charlie was 'undoubtedly an accomplished musician', per p.#5 of the current 'pdf' issue of the Sunderland
Antiquarian Society journal. I haven't WWW spotted any drawings of Charlie.
206) fantastic site
Jan. 12, 2013
Webmaster's comment. We try!
205) Thinking of making a model of SS
Bencruachan which I served on as cadet from
1954 -1957, I was looking for basic plans and came across Peter Searle's
magnificent record of Sunderland where she was built.
The entry under
'Sunderland UK - shipbuilding - vessels built 1946 - entry 122' - Bencruachan is
misleading. She was a Cargo Liner but, as far as I remember only had one or
maybe two passenger cabins but not 26 as stated - nor did she have accommodation
for 220 steerage passengers - though on occasion dozens of stevedores slept on
deck during cargo loading!
Any ideas on free ship diagrams? Cheers Nigel
Nigel Johnston, Midlothian, Scotland,
Dec. 19, 2012 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thanks Nigel. I must have read those passenger
numbers somewhere. But I cannot tell you exactly where at this point. It may
have been at a site difficult to link to - I try to avoid linking to giant web
pages, such as blogs, where the data is only found by reading dozens of often repetitive entries & spotting the
single entry which relates. I have fixed the Bencruachan listing accordingly. Hopefully somebody will be able to provide
you with some plans.
204) I have returned to this website again and again whilst researching ancestors who
were all part of 'The Age of Sail' and later of Steam. They include the
Smiths, Rowells, Kish/Kershaws, Youngs, Hendersons and Thompsons
(1 & 2), all names you
will be familiar with, no doubt. I cannot add to your archive but it is a much
appreciated source of information, for which Thanks.
Wendy Newstead, Leatherhead, Surrey,
Dec. 3, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Wendy. The website
does seem to have evolved, over the years, into something unique, i.e. one stop shopping for data & images about the history of Sunderland,
most particularly images of its ships.
203) I've only scratched the surface of your Site, but I'd like to thank you for
taking the time to gather together all this information about my home town. I am
a member of the Sunderland Antiquarian Society whom I hope can help you with
your research? If you agree, I will forward your email to the people who
specialise in the history of our city? Best wishes
John Mclaughlin, Sunderland, U.K.,
Dec. 1, 2012 John.Mclaughlin1@btinternet.com
Webmaster's comment. Your message is most kind, John. I have always
welcomed data large or small from any source that advances the content of the
web site & its accuracy. However, such assistance would be especially welcome
from the Sunderland Antiquarian Society, which has, I know, been actively devoted to the preservation
of knowledge about Sunderland's past for well over 100 years. Do by all means
forward my contact data to others in the Society's membership.
202) I am wanting information about the
Lady Gray, built Sunderland 1841 (Lloyds),
owner Wingrave ??. First voyage Pictou, Nova Scotia, wrecked Great Barrier Reef,
David Conn, Middlesbrough, U.K.,
Nov. 9, 2012 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your question, David, which gives me
a good opportunity to clarify matters. Most site
visitors believe, I think, that I have at my disposal here a vast library of maritime
books, ship images, old newspapers, etc., etc. None of that is true. I have absolutely nothing. All I
do re any subject, say re a specific ship such as Lady Gray, is to WWW
search for data - often scattered over a great many websites. I summarise the data that I find, create a hopefully tidy & accurate
summary of the vessel's history & provide links to where I myself found both
data & images. I do have, however, electronic versions of many editions of
Lloyd's Register, mainly downloaded from Google books.
Lady Gray is
then to me an entirely 'new' vessel. I have done a partial WWW search with
results that are now set out here. I do hope, David, that such data is
helpful to you.
201) On page 8 of your site you mention that Commissioners' Quay may previously have
been known as Thornhill's Quay.
In researching my daughter-in-law's Sunderland
ancestors I have a family listed on the 1871 Census as living at Thornhill's Quay
and listed as living at Commissioners' Quay on the next 2 Censuses. Although
there is a possibility that they moved house between 1871 and 1881, it could be
further proof that it was once know as Thornhill's Quay.
Barbara Thomas, Dorset, U.K.,
Nov. 7, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for writing in, Barbara. While not 100%
proof, your words surely add weight to my understanding of the history.
200) Very interesting site. My grandfather, his father and uncle, and his grandfather
all worked on the Hetton Railway from about the 1870s I guess. Anyway I loved
your photos and there are some pictures on my photo-site you might like to have
of the railway and Hetton Drops. One in particular shows my gggfather with an
named keel (?) boat which I'd love to find out more about. Great work.
Meg Crosby, Herrington, Tyne and
Oct. 28, 2012 email@example.com
Meg's website reference http://www.panoramio.com/user/3249050?with_photo_id=34159133
Webmaster's comment. We do have, on this site, a fine 'Len Charlton' article about
George Stephenson & the Hetton Railway here.
Meg's site has some quite splendid images of the Hetton Railway. Hopefully
some of them will soon be added into this site. Now I thought that I had already
included Meg's wonderful 'keel boat' image on site, but maybe I have not
yet done so. It is a beauty indeed. Here are direct links to a couple of Meg's fine Hetton Railway images. Hetton Railway, North Moor &
Hetton Railway near South Farringdon.
199) Sailed around the world for 40 + years and been on many ships (with Byers
anchors), and often wondered why we cant have an old Byers anchor as a memorial
to this fine company somewhere in our once proud seafaring city. I've seen them in Pompy, 2 or 3, and Plymouth to name a couple. Ex Bosun
Jambo, Sunderland, U.K.,
Oct. 16, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. A great idea. Let us hope that your fine
suggestion is both read & acted upon. Many people clearly have an interest in
'Byers', witness the many guestbook messages there have been on the subject & the increasing content
of the site's 'W. L. Byers & Co. Ltd.' page.
198) In reply to your request for help in naming the graveyard in Mangalore where
a number of British nationals are buried, I have not been able to find an
answer. However, I can confirm that the William Shotton who is laid to rest
there was the first cousin of the 'boy skipper' William Shotton. They were
born just a year apart. William was married to Jane Dalton Cook of Sunderland
in 1903 but I have not been able to ascertain if they had any children.
Johnson, Cornwall, U.K.,
Oct. 13, 2012 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Joan, for this your second guestbook
message - Joan's first message, also re William Shotton, is here.
I have added Joan's information into the page about William Shotton here.
197) Your list of ships built at Sunderland
in 1975 omits M/V Upwey Grange (Houlder
Bros. & Co. Ltd.) a standard B26 design from Austin & Pickersgill. I was
her first officer and stood by through the building and launch thence on her
Ian Macdonald, Hartlepool, U.K., Oct. 11, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your message, Ian. I have added
into the 1976 build list on page 135.
Hopefully soon the vessel may be detail site listed. Gradually I am trying to make the 'build
by decade' pages more complete but I have a very long way to go. It is,
particularly difficult re the later ships where data is so often fragmentary
& limited. A list kindly provided by John Oliver is assisting greatly
in that task.
196) http://www.searlecanada.org/sunderland/sunderland049.html#candlish. See
writer's name provided, Oct. 10, 2012
Webmaster's comment. Thank you (whoever you are) for the link. I have
added a reference to the matter at the bottom of the Candlish section here. I do
not know if 'Candlish' of Sunderland is related to a Middlesbrough business with Candlish in its
name - i.e. Candlish, Fox & Company.
195) Very interesting reading about my Great Great Great Grandfather Luke Blumer and
his ship building Co. Has helped me add some missing dates on family tree. Was
wondering if there is a maritime museum with a Sunderland collection.
Anne Blumer, Brogo, New South Wales, Australia,
Oct. 10, 2012 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I am glad to hear, Anne, that the site's limited data about Luke Blumer was useful to you. There were a number of folks named Luke Blumer -
& they would seem to have been more associated with Hartlepool than with
I am advised that despite the many centuries of shipbuilding
history in Sunderland, no maritime museum really exists there. To be polite
about it, the powers that be in Sunderland, now and for many years prior, seem
to have no appetite whatsoever for the city's distinguished maritime history.
Peter Maddison was the major exception - a maritime museum was, I believe,
contemplated had the City of Adelaide been returned to Sunderland where
it was built instead of being shipped to far away Australia. Not to deny in any
way the significance of the City of Adelaide in the immigration history
of Australia. The city hall folks at nearby Hartlepool feel quite differently
about their long maritime history.
194) William Shotton (the boy skipper) was my second cousin twice removed. I have
researched him a little and can tell you that he didn't die until
1958, aged 82, in the district of Chatham, Kent. He married Margaret
Blackie, a Scot, in 1903, and they had five boys, all born in the south
of England. William left Sunderland when his father Stephen took the
whole family to live in Hewelsfield, Gloucestershire, sometime during the 1880s.
Stephen was married three times and fathered fifteen children, William being
the third eldest. Stephen must have been a prosperous man because on the
1911 census he and his family are living in an eighteen roomed house.
Johnson, Cornwall, U.K.,
Oct. 6, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Maintaining & expanding this website does demand,
day by day, much of my available time. But I consider myself well rewarded by
messages such as this, about a most recent page that has already, clearly, been
noticed - however that happens. The page about William Shotton is here. Boy
Skipper? In late 1893, at just age 18, William Shotton was third mate aboard Trafalgar,
a 1765 ton barque. When his ship's officers all died from Java fever,
circumstances demanded that he effectively assume command of the vessel - & he
successfully navigated it, in most difficult circumstances, from Jakata, Indonesia, to Melbourne,
Australia. I have added Joan's information into the page.
193) I have a pic of a pink lustre 7 inch bowl
'The Sailor's Farewell', also a pic of a
7 1/2 inch high pink lustre pitcher, name on the front of pitcher is Andrew Rall,
Audrey Mardon, Hagerstown, Maryland, U.S.A.,
Oct. 5, 2012 email@example.com
Audrey's website reference http://www.etsy.com/listing/111042915/1850-sailors-farewell-bowl-sunderland,
& here (re the Andrew Rall,
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Audrey. On my web page which records verses on Sunderland
pottery, an image of one particular text has long eluded me - but thanks to
Audrey Mardon it can now be made available via the red box here
(England England ...). Audrey indicates that the verse was written by
Richard Howitt & can be found in The Metropolitan, Volume 21, written in
192) Great website! I bought the book from e-Bay recently and it's a great story.
Fascinating to see photos of the actual ship ...
Damian, Yorkshire, U.K., Sep. 29, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I should explain that Damian recently bought via
e-Bay a copy of 'The Boy Skipper', a book which records the story
of William Shotton of Sunderland - in late 1893, the third mate aboard
Trafalgar, a 1765 ton barque. Java fever killed the ship's officers, & in
most difficult circumstances, the 18 year old Shotton safely navigated
Trafalgar about 3,400 miles You can read all about it here.
I had written to Damian on the off chance - to enquire, in view of his purchase
of the book, if he had any additional data about Shotton that might be added to
191) L.S. Who can help me on a old DOXFORD advertisement from
where a pencil stood upright a Doxford Engine, to show the perfect
balancing. Thanks in advance.
Alfons Verheijden, Stekene, Belgium, Sep. 18, 2012 email@example.com
Alfons's website reference http://users.telenet.be/doxford-matters/
Webmaster's comment. Let us hope that somebody, who has the particular
issue of 'The Motorship', can provide Alfons (& the webmaster too!) with a
preferably large scan of the advertisement in question - which sounds visually most
interesting. It likely dates from the 1950/1960 time period. And do visit the linked site above for Alfons's vast collection of
data & images re many decades of Doxford engines.
190) Like your comment and I agree its a never ending task.
As for myself I spent
thirty years listing ships built in Sunderland and collecting photographs
of ships which now are in the local studies in Sunderland. However, I retain
much on an external hard drive. As for a web site, at 71 I feel its beyond my
capabilities - but thanks for your comment.
John T. Oliver, Newcastle, U.K., Sep. 10, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Link no longer good! I need to contact John again. Can anybody e-mail me with his new e-mail address.
Webmaster's comment. You clearly solved, John, the problem of how to
ensure that your accumulated knowledge of over 30 years was not lost. It all
continues to be available to those who are interested via Local Studies. The
Sunderland Site will, in the future, face essentially the same issue. So far at
least, I see no simple solution to the site's dilemma.
189) Good to see a listed shipbuilding site for
Sunderland. Pity I was too lazy to
continue my research.
John T. Oliver, Newcastle, U.K., Sep. 9, 2012 email@example.com
Link no longer good! I need to contact John again.
Can anybody e-mail me with his new e-mail address.
Webmaster's comment. Maybe, John, you might consider starting you own
Sunderland shipbuilding website. The
subject of Sunderland & its distinguished shipping history is vast. So vast that
at times the project seems to be almost overwhelming in its scope. Whatever I
add to the site, there is always new material still needing to be included. And
no finishing line is in sight.
P.S. You can read how 'lazy' John really is in
his 2nd guestbook message!
188) Spent 30 years on the coaliers and stone boats its all coming back to me now.
Martin Allison, Seaburn, Sunderland, U.K., Sep. 7, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I am glad that something on site, some particular
words perhaps, awakened Martin's memories. Could it possibly be Alan Carson's recent message?
- Capt. M. Allison, M.N. retired - used a term with which I was not familiar - stone boats. So I asked him about it.
He advises as follows: The stone boats were the boats that took away the colliery spoil from Wearmouth and Westoe collieries and dumped it at sea. Ships like the David
Marley (730 tons, built by Dunston of Hepple, in 1963) and the Adderstone
(814 tons, built as Springwood by Lobnitz of Renfrew, in 1950) were small ships/barges that were fitted with bottom
doors. There were designated dumping grounds for this spoil which were used
alternatively with the boats dumping fly ash from the coastal power stations.
The stone boats turned the sea bed into a deserted barren area and the fly ash
created a lush seaweed jungle.
187) 'Recollections of Southwick' was written by my great grandfather. Mum's cousin gave
it to her and she gave it to Sunderland library. I'm SO glad he didn't drown that
Lynda Clark, Glasgow, Scotland, U.K., Sep. 3, 2012 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I too am glad that he (Luke Crown I trust), didn't drown that day!
Whichever day Lynda is referring to. 'Recollections of Southwick',
is a manuscript written, at or about 1893, by Luke Crown - of long-established J. Crown & Sons / Strand Slipway. The manuscript was featured, well
illustrated indeed, in 'A and P News', the employee journal of Austin & Pickersgill
Limited. You can read it & read about it right here.
186) I was born in Sunderland in Jonson
Street South (Webmaster - Johnson Street South perhaps?). 31.12.47 the worst winter in the
last century. I to used to go to sleep to the sounds of the coal truck and the
sound of the riveters in the shipyards, Jimmy Dobbin shouting caller heron and
the odd box of fresh fruit on his horse and cart during the daytime, playing on
the gill, standing on the bridge in the gill and getting my face black off the
engine passing underneath, me, John Prior, Alan Henzel, Eddy Tagart, the
chopping a few sticks and selling them round the doors for a penny a bundle. All
gone but still got good memories of that famous street.
Alan Carson, Sunderland, U.K., Sep. 3, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. It is a pleasure to read your words, Alan. Which
words will surely conjure
up long-forgotten memories for those who are from the area!
185) I have tried to contact the site admin to leave a message but, unfortunately I
am unable to configure a new email account through this lap top. I notice you are
looking for information on the SS ZELO. Well, I can't add to what is on the
site as I was looking for information myself. However, I do have a photograph
of the crew taken on board. I'm not sure when it was taken. If you would like to
see a copy I will send it.
Pat, Bury, Greater Manchester I think, U.K., Aug. 20, 2012 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I would be delighted to receive your photograph,
Pat - whenever you have been able to conquer your e-mail system! The size of the image is not
a problem & as big as possible would be best. But ... can you clarify which Zelo you are
referring to. Two vessels of the name are site listed being built respectively in 1917 & 1921
- listed on site here
184) My fathers aunt Henriette MONCEAU, born Amsterdam/Holland, Mar 15, 1827 married Dec. 7, 1859 or
Jan. 7, 1860 Michael SOFTLEY, bom Sunderland Nov. 8, 1819. She followed her
husband to Sunderland. Her stepbrother Johannes Jacobus SPAMER emigrated also
to Sunderland and became the ancestor of the Sunderland Spamer-families.
Michael Softley got acquainted with Henriette Monceau in Amsterdam, as has
been shown by her letters to the family.
I would like to know what kind of connections could have existed between
Sunderland and Holland about 1855-1860. Is it possible that it had something to
do with shipbuilding?
My grandfather, who visited his brother and stepsister
in Sunderland many times, was confidential clerk and secretary of Anthony van
Hoboken, a big shipowner in those years in Rotterdam.
It is very unlikely that Michael Softley visited Amsterdam only accidentally.
There were 2 regular shipping connections between Rotterdam and Newcastle: the
Tyne Steam Shipping Company and the Goole Steam Shipping Company, but (as far as
I know) not between Sunderland and Amsterdam.
If Softley did not come via
Rotterdam, what could have been a reasonable motive for an inhabitant of
Sunderland, not being capable of writing, to travel to Amsterdam? What could
have been a reasonable motive for Johan Jacob Spamer to emigrate with wife and
little daughter to Sunderland?
The Hoboken Company in Rotterdam had 2 ships built in 1874 in Glasgow by
Robert Napier & Sons, the Scholten (Webmaster comment: W. A. Scholten, perhaps - 1 &
2) and the P. Caland
2 & 3), the first two ships of
the Nederlandsch-Amerikaanse Stoomvaart Maatschappij, later transformed into
Holland America Line. In my possession is a painting of the P. Caland, inherited
from my grandfather. Hoboken & Sons was already an important shipping
company long before 1865. Were there connections between Hoboken and Sunderland
about 1860? That could explain a lot.
I hope it will be possible for you
to give some clarifying answers. I would be very grateful.
Anton (Ton) Spamer MA, Zaan 34, 5751 XH DEURNE / Netherlands, Aug. 18,
Webmaster's comment. I am myself unable to help re your
questions, Ton - hopefully site visitors with greater knowledge in
the area of genealogy, will be able to guide you. My understanding of Sunderland's history
is rudimentary, however, its major activities in the mid 19th century would
seem to have been coal mining & shipbuilding - but there were surely many
lesser areas of activity at the time which could prove to be the reason for your family history.
183) Very interesting pages... I liked the one of the Volturno !
Kainic, France, Aug. 16, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Pascal's website reference http://www.oceantreasures.org/
Webmaster's comment. While I stand to be corrected, I do not think
that there are any references on this site to Volturno, an immigrant ship
which burned en route to North America in 1913 - with major loss of life. The subject is,
extensively covered at a sister site available here.
182) I am a native of Southwick, Sunderland and my memory allows me a picture of a
pied piper with his flutes and tin whistles followed by serenading children. Am
I wrong was his name Charlie Chuck?
Alex Harrison, Penshaw, Sunderland, Aug. 11, 2012 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I remember similar images. What comes to my mind is the Pied
Piper of Hamlin. A fairy tale set in Germany in the Middle Ages, in which a
rat-catcher is hired by the town of Hamlin (Hameln), Lower Saxony, to lure rats away
from the town with his magic flutes. When he does not get paid, he 'retaliates by
turning his magic on their children, leading them away as he had the rats'.
You can be reminded of the story here.
Sunderland's Charlie Chuck is referred to here.
181) It is great to have found this site. I always loved Sunderland and lived there
for 30 years until 1968. I'm proud to be able to call myself a Mackem.
Bill Mather, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, Aug. 01, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I am glad, too, that you have found the site,
Bill. I find your e-mail address to be quite unusual!
BUT ... in
Jun. 2013 Bill's e-mail address as above no longer works. How do I know that?
Alan Coulson has been in touch about a photograph that may be of Joe Mather,
Bill Mather's father. He tried to reach Bill but failed. You can contact the webmaster here, if I can help in any way.
180) Great site, I particularly liked page 10 on Wearmouth Colliery, worked there
many times during my 20+ years in the coal industry. I'm particularly interested
in old industrial sites as I'm in Environmental Scientist & part of my job
is remediation of these sites.
Norman Allan, Houghton le Spring, nr Sunderland, Jul. 29, 2012 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your message, Allan. I hope it will be
possible, some day, to expand site coverage of Wearmouth Colliery which
colliery, after all, figured so prominently in the life of the city for over 170
years. But ... relatively little data & imagery seems to have yet emerged.
179) Peter, very interesting site, to find particulars about ships and Doxford
Engines. Kind Regards, Alfons, (Retired Chief Engineer "Dutch Merchant
Alfons Verheijden, Belgium, Jul. 25, 2012
- Alfons's website reference http://users.telenet.be/doxford-matters/
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Alfons, for your kind words - most
particularly because Alfons himself
maintains an extensive site about Doxford & their engines. A site that I
have visited many-a-time in my WWW search for data. Here.
178) Pictured is a Byers stockless anchor at Hope Square, Weymouth, Dorset. It is an untended exhibit outside the old Devenish Brewery which is now
virtually derelict. The revenue man was the attraction but the swastika
stirred my interest and led to your authoritative website. Thanks.
Anthony Tozer, Dorset?, U.K., Jul. 23, 2012
provided a link is to his 'Flickr' image, available in many sizes, which you can view here.
Webmaster's comment. The interest 'out there' in Byer's anchors
continues to amaze me. That interest is surely in large part fueled by the beautiful
brass model anchors with which Byer's promoted its anchor business - samples or
customer gifts perhaps at the time. Such model
anchors, in two or maybe more sizes, are available from time to time via e-Bay.
The most recent such sale, as this page is updated, was here, an 8 1/2 inch long model
which sold for U.S. $122.50 on Jul. 07, 2012. And the models are indeed most beautiful. 'Byers' is
featured on its own site page
here, while the
earlier swastika trade mark to which Anthony refers, can be seen here.
177) got photo eppletonhall
Joseph Coatsworth, Washington, Tyne
and Wear, U.K., Jul. 08, 2012
Webmaster's comment. I would be delighted to receive your image,
Joseph, ideally if you can have the image scanned & e-mailed to me via the
address at the top of this page. Image size is of no concern - the bigger the
scanned image the better. Eppleton Hall, is today a particularly famous tug - a 'paddle'
tugboat which was built at South Shields in 1914 & had a long & distinguished
history of service on the River Wear. Her working life being over, she was
destined to be scrapped in 1964. In 1970 however, thanks to the folks at 'San
Francisco Maritime Museum', she was saved & refurbished. She 'paddled' her way across the North
Atlantic, unassisted, to the Panama Canal & then up the W. coast of the United
her final destination in San Francisco. A Wikipedia article
about Eppleton Hall is here. A Sunderland Echo article about
here, while the
Museum page about her can be accessed here.
But now, in late May 2013, a page has been added to the site about the vessel. Here.
176) I working for france fenwick in 1958 boy of pddle tug hoghton.
Joseph Coatsworth, Washington, Tyne
and Wear, U.K., Jul. 04, 2012
Webmaster's comment. Were you indeed! Joseph would seem to have served
aboard Houghton, a 133 ton paddle tug that was built back in 1904 by Hepple & Company Ltd.
Shields. It must have been most sturdily built since it outlasted many of its
fellow paddle tugs & served for an amazing 60 years - until being scrapped in 1964 by Clayton & Davie Ltd.
at Dunston, on the Tyne. In 1964, it was an old-timer as Joseph himself must be
today! Cherished memories, Joseph, I am sure. I read that the tug was transferred to
'France Fenwick Tyne & Wear Company, Limited' in 1945 & served for many
years in the port of Sunderland. A few modest images of Houghton seem to
be WWW available. Someday, it is hoped that the tug will be honoured on this
site, & its history & images proudly featured in a future page devoted to
Sunderland's tugs. There is so much that needs to be yet site recorded,
including this sturdy little workhorse.
175) I would just like to say its really nice to see Sunderland as it was then. I just
wish my mam and dad were still here to take a trip down memory lane. Thank you.
Lenny Ferguson, Hendon, Sunderland, U.K., Jun. 18, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your words. Lenny is surely referring to the many
'Len Charlton' articles which are now on site. A newly created index of Len's articles is available here.
174) I am lined up to give a presentation to our local U3A Archaeology group in
September. As we cover industrial archaeology, I want to focus on the history of
shipbuilding in Sunderland and have found this site very useful for its vast
collection of historical information. What would be extremely useful for me is a dvd on that subject - does anyone know if such a thing exists? Thanks for the
work you have put in to create and maintain this site.
Colin Revell, Thurcaston,
Leicestershire, U.K., Jun. 11, 2012 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. A worthy project, indeed, Colin, but a very large
one! I am not aware of a 'dvd' on the total subject, but that does not mean that
none exists. You may need to end up creating your very own 'dvd', Colin, & if
that proves to be so, by all means use available site data.
173) I have been researching my Mariner family and found your website excellent. I have
passed it on to our Group Leader here for others to use. Great grandfather
sailed on the Onyx when it was an intercolonial ship between Australia and New
Zealand. He may have also been on the ship from England to Australia but I am still searching for those details.
Gloria Ballard, Australia, Jun. 10, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Onyx, a 420 ton barque, was built by Laing
in 1864. An early iron ship, it had a long life - I can quickly see that the vessel was still Lloyd's
Register listed in 1889/90. In fact it served many more years, thru 1909, & then
became a coal hulk. In 1925 it was scuttled off Auckland, New Zealand. The
vessel is now site listed here.
172) Family from Sunderland. Listed in Captains'
BUTCHART, George b. London 1842 C26403 London 1866 Extra
Steam 1866 vol.2 1866-1873; vol.16 1874, 1876-1879; vol.29 1880. Does any one know how I access this information.
His two sons also listed both sea captains.
Dennis Calvert, U.K., Jun. 09, 2012 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. The data that Dennis provides clearly originated here, at page 147 of 156. It would seem that
Lloyd's published an annual 'Lloyd's Captains' Register' from 1868 to 1947 & that such registers are available for viewing at the Guildhall Library, in London. See this
And here. I
do hope that a site visitor is able to advise Dennis as to how to further
171) Served my time as a plumber at the N E M. Then worked at G Clark's and Doxfords.
The site is informative.
John Clark, U.K., May 30, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your message, John. We certainly have
lots of data about 'Doxford', commencing here,
including a 'Doxford' build list, but really nothing about
(The North Eastern Marine Engineering Company Limited). Just yesterday, I added a reference
for George Clark, just to have somewhere to be able to show an aerial image of their facility. Hopefully
more data will be at those last links in the future.
170) Information re North East Shipbuilders is incorrect. The ships indicated as
being built there were not in fact. NESL basically built a series of double
ended ferries (of which none were converted to single ended, crossed wires
somewhere). NESL also completed other vessels which were started by the previous
constituent yards and also a relatively small linkspan. Otherwise good site
'Southern mackem', South Coast, U.K., May 24, 2012 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I have written to 'Southern mackem' about his
concerns but have received no reply. I invite him to respond to me, via the
e-mail link above, if my message went astray. 'North East Shipbuilders Ltd.' is covered on site here.
Such data will gladly be corrected if it proves to be in any way inaccurate. It
seems, however, to essentially confirm Southern mackem's understanding of the
basic history. With just a single vessel so far listed.
I now learn that a 'linkspan' is the term used for the means by
which vehicles drive onto and off a ferry ship - essentially a hinged bridge
designed to accommodate changing tides etc. There are a number of quite
different types of 'linkspan' all with the same basic purposes.
169) Wonderful, interesting website. Congratulations. I believe my great grandparents Swinhoe owned tug boat(s) on the Wear. William Swinhoe, b.1862 was a steam tug
master and his sons, George b.1859 steam tug engineman, William b.1862 steam tug
fireman. Daughter Barbara (Cox) apparently ran the post office in Southwick and
lived above the shop. Any more information information please? Grandad, Robert
Newby, opened a grocery shop 'Newby's Stores' 1929 on the corner of Tennyson
Street, Southwick. Dad took over after the war and started a mobile shop.
have a few photos which, if I can, I could send you by email if you want.
Annette Brown, Catalunya, NE Spain, May 11, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Annette.
Unfortunately, the webmaster is unable to provide you with additional
information - he lives in far-away Canada & has never, in fact, ever been to
Sunderland. Hopefully others may provide you with their knowledge & memories.
Your message reminds the webmaster that in the future a page could usefully be
devoted to the many tugs that served the port of Sunderland. Sturdy vessels,
workhorses of the port & of its shipbuilders. It would seem that few of them
were actually built at Sunderland, but they surely were an important part of the
Sunderland shipping scene.
168) Found one of the original WL Byers & Co. Sunderland stockless ship anchors
in the St. Lawrence River between New York State and Canada. Its in very good shape and
stands 7' tall by 4' wide. Weighs appx 1800 kgs plus 30 foot of chain. I proudly
have it displayed in my front yard but would like to sell it if anyone might be
interested. Can send pictures. Just email me if interested. Thanks. I learned
a lot from your site. Keep up the good work.
Billy LaPrade, U.S.A., May 2, 2012 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I continue to be amazed at the amount of interest
'out there' about anchors & particularly about Byers anchors. I thought I was
the only one
who had an interest in the subject, but clearly that was quite wrong. I
contacted Billy upon reading his message, & two images of his anchor can
now be seen here.
167) Any information on the Roman Dam/ causeway would be greatly appreciated, any
Roman finds in Sunderland? Great site by the way, thank you.
Neil Martin, U.K., Apl. 22, 2012 Nellym1963@yahoo.co.uk
Webmaster's comment. Your question is timely, Neil, because I recently
did start a draft page on the 'remains' at Hylton - remains which many believe to be of
Roman origin - as a result of receiving an e-mail message from a site visitor.
That site visitor provided both data & images & Keith Cockerill
kindly provided additional information, I recall. There seemed, however, not to
be a lot of definitive data WWW available on the subject, so the page has not
yet advanced to the point of being ready to uplink. Hopefully it will be soon. The wider subject - about
Roman finds in Sunderland, must be, for now at least, in the future.
really has not occurred to me before to suggest that articles on any Sunderland
related subject would be welcomed for site inclusion, from anyone who is so
inspired as to want to create them. There are, I know, many aspects of
Sunderland history which would be of wide public interest & merit an article or
page on site - the 'Roman dam' is but one example.
166) Great website. Thanks for the time you must have spent accumulating all this
Re James Westoll - may not be quite fair on his predecessors saying he
founded the shipping business. His grandfather was George Westoll (also of
Sunderland) who was described as a ship owner in the record of his will.
Iain Hill, North Yorkshire, U.K., Apl. 21, 2012 Iainahill@hotmail.co.uk
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your words, Iain. And for your
interesting data re James Westoll & George Westoll, his grandfather. I have
amended the 'Westoll' page (161)
accordingly. Your use of the word 'accumulating' is interesting to me. It is a
good word to describe the endless flow of data from so many sources, mainly from
e-mails, that result in these many pages.
165) A distant relation told me about this site. It's so very interesting. I could and
probably will spend hours on it. I served my apprenticeship at the Sunderland
Forge and Engineering Co. It was an excellent firm for training. It was a part
of the TLF (Thompson Laings Forge) organisation and at the time the Marr family
(WB and his son) were in control. There was a groups sports and Club area behind
Redby School. It was an excellent facility.
It is such a pity that there
aren't facilities and opportunities as there were in those days (1950's) but as
a previous contributor said technology moves on.
John Coulthard, U.K. I presume, Apl. 18, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Am glad that you are finding the site to be of
interest, John. There is very little on site, however, about 'Sunderland Forge & Engineering Co. Ltd.',
which company, I read, used to manufacture
switchboards, generators, alternators, electric winches, controls etc. I wonder
what later came of that company?
164) Very interesting information re: Wearmouth colliery. My grandfather John "Jack"
Dunn worked as a hewer there most of his life but because of illness
finished his service in the "medical room" administering first aid. He died in
the 1960's from pneumoconiosis.
Elizabeth Roberts, U.K., Apl. 17, 2012 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I am glad, Elizabeth, that you found the site content about Wearmouth Colliery
(mainly here) to be of interest. It has always seemed to me that the data
that is available about the colliery is really quite limited - for reasons that I
cannot explain. Pneumoconiosis is bad news - a lung disease, caused by breathing in coal dust over a long period of time.
163) I served as an engineer officer on Indo China Steam Navigation (Jardine
Matheson, Hong Kong) vessel Loksang. Her sister ship Taksang
is listed amongst those vessels built in Sunderland, but nothing about Loksang.
Both were built for the same owner by Short Bros with reciprocating steam
engines by North Eastern Marine. Loksang was launched Nov. 7, 1945, yard number 489. She was
sold in 1971 and renamed Frankford. I would be grateful to see this vessel
included in the Sunderland shipbuilding detail.
Fergie Pearce, Auckland, New Zealand, Apl. 15, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Fergie. Such modest
data as I was able to WWW locate re Taksang, is, indeed, site available here.
And hopefully data about Loksang will soon be available also. Maybe once Loksang is site
listed you might provide additional data - perhaps including detail about her
routing while you served aboard her.
Loksang has since been site listed, here,
with much of the data originating from a 'Fergie' posting elsewhere.
162) I checked your site for updates on the ugly, old whalebacks and saw that you're
looking for the names of the whaleback barges. I have put together a list of the
names that were attached to the whalebacks that I would be very happy to send to
you. Can you provide an e-mail or mailing address? All the best.
Neel R. Zoss, Hamilton, Michigan, U.S.A., Apl. 12, 2012 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. It is particularly gratifying to receive Neel's
message of today & also his earlier message of last November.
After all, Neel wrote the definitive book on the subject of whalebacks -
'McDougall's Great Lakes Whalebacks', a fine
softcover, of 128 pages, published
by Arcadia Publishing in 2007. Yet, accomplished author as he is, Neel is prepared to offer
his help to little old
me, re my modest whaleback page available here. I have written
to Neel to accept his kind offer & note in passing, for those who may wish
to get in touch, that my e-mail address is
posted at the top of this very page & also at the top of the guestbook entry page.
I know well that
Neel really loves, as do I, what
he terms the certainly distinctive 'ugly,
161) Found via the dying northeasthistoryhub website. Just getting the feel. I spent
5 years as an Apprentice Plumber tramping the streets either side of the river
and my ancestors were in business in the town from around 1850. 'I belong to
Sunlun' to the tune of a scottish variant.
Ray Pearson, Mid-Cheshire since 1970, U.K., Mar. 20, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Until the receipt of your message, Ray, I was not even aware
of the existence of northeasthistoryhub,
(Note: that is now a link to a
Google cached version of the site but it will surely soon be gone as is the site
itself) nor of its problems. I now see that it was not successful in defraying its costs
by publishing a fee newsletter or in soliciting donations. Now the 'Sunderland
Site' really has no significant cash costs. It does, however, make huge daily
demands on the time of its webmaster, & on the time of Len Charlton & other
contributors. While the site's distant future is unknown, it will continue, for
years yet I hope, to do what it does, both unadulterated & commercial free.
160) I recommend anyone interested in the Alcock shipyard to the book 'C.W.Alcock.
The Father of Modern Sport' by Keith Boothe. C W A (my great uncle) was the son
of the shipbuilding family and the book gives a good description of the history
of the family, where they lived and subsequent move into shipbroking, football
(founders of the FA) and journalism. If anyone has any more information or
photographs of the yard or ships I would be very interested to know.
Karen Gunnell, U.K., Mar. 15, 2012 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for the lead, Karen. It would be good,
indeed, to locate data about J. T. Alcock, the Sunderland shipbuilder, because at present we have
information about him - just a name reference here.
The book that Karen is referring to is correctly entitled, I believe, 'The Father of Modern Sport. The Life & Times of Charles W. Alcock', by Keith
Booth, published by Parrs Wood Press, of Manchester, in 2002 (its cover). I invite
anybody who does have a copy of that book to provide some detail to the
webmaster of what it actually says.
159) Colonel Arthur Robson was my great grandfather and I am helping my uncle to find
out more about the family. This is fascinating information on your site, but if
you have anything further on Colonel Robson I would be most interested. I know
that he appears in the 1891 census as living at Falstone House, Roker Cliffside,
and the year of his birth was given as 1851.
Colonel Robson's son was born in
1888 at this address. Colonel Robson also had a daughter, Frances, born in 1884,
about whom I know nothing. My father, also Arthur Robson, was an inventor. Any info from anywhere would help to fill in
Mary Williams (nee
Robson), Market Drayton, U.K., Mar. 07, 2012
Webmaster's comment. I am unable to provide you with any additional data, Mary,
but hopefully others who can will see your message & be in contact with you. The site
reference to Colonel Robson, part owner & financier of 'Blumer & Company', is here.
158) This is the first time I've been on this site. I received the Fatfield Monthly
and found this site mentioned adjacent to the lovely picture of Fatfield. I have
all of Keith Cockerill's books and anyone interested in local history should buy
and covet them. We live in a lovely place with a fantastic history. Well done to
all who have created this site and those who have supported it with their
Christine Scott, Penshaw, near Sunderland, U.K., Mar. 02, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. On behalf of all concerned, & especially on
behalf of Keith Cockerill, I thank you for your kind comments, Christine. (A
Keith Cockerill slideshow is here). I must confess that I am not familiar with 'Fatfield
Monthly' - a 'Google' search for the publication did not help me very much. But
I thank them also for their link.
157) I bought an old Victorian etching by A J Moore. It shows a river scene with a
bridge in the background. In trawling the net to find out where it was, I was
surprised to find it is the river and bridges on your web site. As you don't
have this picture would you like a copy? Least I can do after your help in my
Graham Wood, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, U.K., Feb. 20, 2012
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your kind offer, Graham. I would be
delighted to accept. My e-mail address is at the top of this page. The print,
later received, is
now included on site here, with a
fine & large version of the print visible here.
156) I finished my apprenticeship at Sir James Laing's in 1967, and used to cross
Gillbridge everyday to go to work. What a change! I remember Alan Usher (whom I
went to School with) having the scrapyard at the top of the Gill opening on to
Silksworth Row. It's a shame the town has gone this way, but modern technology
marches on. I'm still a very proud "MACKEM' even though I've been in OZ 32
Dave Cooper, Perth, Western Australia, Feb. 20, 2012 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Dave. Am well
familiar with Perth having relatives there still.
155) What a marvellous site. I have just found it by accident whilst searching for
something else. I lived in Sunderland from my birth in 1943 until 1962 so I must
study this further to see whether I can make any worthwhile contribution.
Colin Reid, CH-6300 Zug, Switzerland, Feb. 14, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your kind comment. I would welcome any contribution you might be able to provide,
Colin. And, need I say it, contributions of other site visitors would be
154) An image of ss Curaca. Re
message 150 from email@example.com.
Tom Carroll, Sunderland, U.K., Feb. 11, 2012
Webmaster's comment. Thanks, Tom. Have added a link to the image in
the Curaca listing.
153) A great view of our once very great town that has diminished into pathetic empty
Sunderland, U.K., Feb. 11, 2012 Tom's website reference is
Webmaster's comment. An opinion shared by many, it would seem.
152) Hi Peter. What a fabulous website and resource for anyone interested in Sunderland. I
have been researching the 'Glendenning' Family History for quite a few years.
They mostly come from central and east Sunderland and your website has given me
great insight into where they lived and worked. Kind regards.
Willetts, U.K., Feb. 6, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I am glad to hear, Keith, that the site has been
able to provide you with material of such interest.
151) I would appreciate some advice. Purported to be my late grandfathers I have a
jug. It appears to be the same as the one listed on this site. Pink edging on a
cream background it stands 7" and is 5" across the top. There are no mfc
markings. On one side there is the 3 rigger Northumberland 74 and on the other
the verse "Swiftly
See Each Moment Flies". As a family historian I am trying to
find out if there is any kind of family connection; my grandfather being as ex
sailor. Could anyone tell me what, if any, was the significant event which
prompted this jug to be produced. Really would appreciate some advice. Many
Brian Ranson, Congleton, Cheshire, U.K., Jan. 24, 2012 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. An interesting question, indeed, Brian. I find that I have, in my files, a listing image of a long expired e-Bay
item, that featured 'Northumberland 74' & the identical verse. Likely a jug
similar to yours. Here. The ship does indeed have 3 masts as you indicate,
to my eyes the vessel is a naval ship - with
gun ports along its sides, naval ratings high in the rigging, & flags a flying.
It seems clear now that the jug was so decorated to honour and remember Northumberland, a Royal Navy third rate ship of the line,
of 74 guns (hence the 74). It was launched on Feb. 2, 1798, by
Barnard's Yard at Deptford, London, participated in & was damaged during the
Battle of San Domingo in 1806 & saw later action. Now the vessel would seem
to have become particularly famous, & depicted therefore on pottery, because in Aug. 1815, the vessel carried
England's great enemy Napolean Bonaparte to imprisonment on the island of St.
Helena. Northumberland was hulked in 1827 & broken up in 1850. You can read
about it here:- A,
I presume that your jug must date from 1815 or later.
150) Does anyone have a picture of the ss
Curaca? She was built at North Sands in
1912, yard no 489. Curaca was severely damaged with heavy loss of life in the
Halifax explosion of 1917. However, she was later rebuilt and sailed on until
Bill Fairbrother, Ipswich, U.K., Jan. 7, 2012 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Hopefully a site visitor will be able to provide
you with an image of Curaca, Bill, since I am unable to help you. Curaca was built by Joseph L. Thompson & Sons Limited in
1912. I have now listed the vessel, here, & could only find a single modest
image of the vessel, damaged &
on her side as a result of the Halifax Explosion of 1917. Which image you are
surely already familiar with. It is surprising that other
images are not available of a vessel which was a prominent casualty of that
historic explosion & lived on for another 17 years. Let us hope that another
149) I believe the ship SS BAGDALE was built 1905 at Robert Thompsons yard for Thos.
Smailes and Son of Whitby as my father served part of his apprenticeship on it
completing it in 1908. I cannot find a reference to it in your excellent work
and wondered if I was looking in the wrong place. I believe it was torpedoed in
1917 off France. Can you advise at all?
Patrick Palmer, U.K., Dec. 27, 2011 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. In replying to an earlier message, Patrick, I
indicated that there are about 9,200 Sunderland built vessels yet to be site
listed! Bagdale is one of them, per Miramar a vessel built in 1904 by, as
you say, Robert Thompson & Sons. Sunk by a torpedo from UC-66 on May 1,
1917 with the loss of 23 lives. But .... I have now added a site listing for Bagdale
148) Thank you for all the wonderful information about the Wear. I hope that we can
get more people involved in supporting the WALKS along the Wear in
Washington! The riverside is such an interesting and historical place.
Fiona Miller, Washington, Sunderland,
U.K., Dec. 7, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Fiona, for your message. While the
never visited the area, he has seen photographs of the riverside at Washington,
photos taken by Sunderland author & photographer Keith Cockerill. The
riverside is a place of beauty indeed, at
any time of the year.
Fiona Miller is Councillor Fiona Miller, who represents Washington East on Sunderland City
Council, having won her seat handily in the Local Elections held on May 5, 2011.
147) Hi Peter, your site is a credit to you.
I am from shipwrecked family READ, "The Rockingham", built Sunderland 1818, wrecked Careening Bay, Western
Australia, May 14, 1830.
Searching for pictures, or drawings of her, there is one somewhere of her
loading for Australia, her fatal voyage, my family "George Read" was on board. I
want to paint her in her glory for our family.
I would appreciate any help or
advice you could give as this is something I must do before I leave this
planet. I'm 62 and have left it a bit late I know. I would love to hear
from you if possible. Kind regards, Rodney.
Western Australia, Dec. 7, 2011
Webmaster's comment. Let us hope that a site visitor, searching for
Rockingham, (note that the vessel seems not to have been named The Rockingham) sees your message, Rodney, & comes to your assistance.
Via the webmaster at this address. Locating
data from such an early period in the 19th century is most difficult - I alas
have no knowledge that would locate any such data or the vessel image that you refer
to. Though I would probably start with a search for references in Australia's
splendid 'Trove' archive -
where I just found a reference to 5 ships, including Rockingham, being
driven ashore on May 20, 1830 (top of 2nd column). The ship's passengers, 177 of them, were landed
earlier, on May 14, 1830, & the vessel was
likely at anchor when the storm hit. It would seem that the hulk of the ship was offered for sale in Jan. 1833
by William Lamb (middle column at page bottom). Most Lloyd's Registers of the period
seem to be WWW available.
An update. Rockingham was site listed in Jun. 2012.
146) I can’t find anything about the Kosmaj built at Northsands Sunderland.
Launched 18th Aug 1977. 72,050 tdw for Jugooceanija. I worked on the building of
her as Foreman Shipwright. The launch ways caught fire and I was in charge of
removing and replacing the almost 75% of her double bottom whilst still
continuing the erection of the rest of the vessel. I can elaborate but am afraid
of repeating information you may already have? Yours faithfully
Sunderland, U.K., Nov. 26, 2011 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Hello again, Stan! I would be delighted to
receive whatever detail you have re the bulk carrier Kosmaj. Perhaps you
might contact me via the e-mail address above. Kosmaj is one of the
Sunderland built ships yet to be site listed. There are 1822 vessels listed
as of today but, would you believe it, there are
about 9,200 vessels yet to be listed! The number of ships built at
Sunderland is truly
Your message prompts me to advise
you, Stan, & all other site visitors also, that in fact I have no knowledge of
any vessel not already site listed. I have no archive of maritime books
here nor a giant collection of ship images. All I do is search the WWW for
data about each vessel I list, & condense all of that data, often scattered
around many WWW sites, into a hopefully accurate summary history. Since the
above was written, a listing for Kosmaj has been added into the site. Here.
Not a very complete listing however, since WWW data about the vessel seems to be
145) I submitted
this letter to the Sunderland Echo on the 9/9/2009
Stan's Borgsten modern
art. THE interest in modern art and the determination of a minority, including
our elected representatives, to persuade us that we are Philistines if we fail
to accept their purchasing of these items, reminds me of 1963, when I was a
shipwright working in JL Thompson's on the Borgsten, the largest vessel to be
built on the Wear at the time.
I was on nightshift, and written orders had
been left for me to mark off the bow crest for welding and painting in. This was
a piece of "modern art" that the owners had commissioned for a substantial
amount of money. The artist had drawn it on a flat surface, and it had to be
expanded to be applied to a shaped surface. The resultant templates were left
for me to apply to the ship. As the job progressed the shapes did not come
together and eventually gaps of up to nine inches or so were occurring. As the
ship was to be launched, and other trades were involved i.e. welders and
painters, I was expected to complete by morning. Unlike dayshift there was
nobody in authority to consult with, including the artist, so I took the
decision to add or detract from the shapes until they fit together, I kept this
to myself. Several days later the scaffolding was removed, the ship was duly
launched and no one noticed the difference from the original. I would like to
think the artist was looking up on launch day, and thinking: "That looks even
better than I remember it". I apologize to the Fred Olsen Line and I promise not
to send a bill in for the "improvements".
Sunderland, U.K., Nov. 22, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thank you Stan, for your message. Stan refers to
Borgsten, a tanker of almost 50,000 tons, which vessel is site listed here. Stan's 2009 words were
indeed published by 'Sunderland Echo', along with an image which shows the
artwork in question, as you
can see via the 4th thumbnail image at that last link, or directly here.
144) My family came to Canada in 1872 on the
Medway. I have been unable to find a
photo of the Medway built 1865. Does anyone have a photo of the
Dell, somewhere in Canada I presume, Nov. 20, 2011 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Two guestbook messages in a single day - I think
this is the first time that has happened. Medway, was a passenger/cargo ship
built by Oswald in 1865. Of 1823 gross tons. Such limited data as I have
available about the vessel is here.
It would seem that the vessel made at least 14 voyages from London to Quebec, &
maybe also to Montreal, in the period of 1870/73, presumably often carrying
immigrants. A photo or a print of the vessel would be welcome indeed for
inclusion on site.
143) Excellent site - had a look whilst searching for Crane Tank information. If any
readers have any pictures/historical information they would like to show me, it
would very much appreciated.
George Bowler, Glossop,
Derbyshire, U.K., Nov. 20, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
George's website reference http://www.bahamas45596.co.uk/kernel/wordpress/.
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your message - hopefully site visitors
will provide you with any old photos, etc., that they have in their possession. George is clearly
most interested in early locomotives & is involved with 'The Bahamas Locomotive
Society' which maintains a locomotive museum at Glossop, Derbyshire. George refers, I believe, to the limited data on this site
about the crane tank locomotives which were used at the 'Doxford' ship building
yard. As referred to here & here.
142) I was born in Sunderland in 1947 at Grangetown
- my mother was a Laing whose
ancestors were shipbuilders from Dunbar, Scotland. Our ancestor who moved to
Sunderland via Liverpool was a shipwright from Dunbar born about 1770-80. He and
his wife both died from cholera in the 1830s. Wish I was aware of this site
earlier. Not so homesick now. Thank you.
Arthur Hogg, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, U.K., Nov. 13, 2011 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for this, Arthur. Such data as has so far been accumulated re
shipbuilding company can be read here.
A long established shipbuilder indeed - it was John Laing who started
shipbuilding in Sunderland, way back in 1792.
141) What a
fascinating site especially for anyone who was born in Sunderland, or it's
surrounds. I stumbled across the site whilst trying to find out a bit more about
my maternal Grandfather's seafaring life which began about 1873. What I have is
his Merchant Navy Discharge Book that was issued to him in 1900, which was the
year that they were introduced. Additionally, I have several of his loose
Certificates of discharge which predated the book. The papers indicate that over
the years he served on three vessels registered in Sunderland - i) SS Matin (1) No.
68265 359 tons. the voyage that he signed on was for Coaling. ii) Rio Tinto
No. 95260 1360 tons, iii) Charrington No. 81498 1128 tons, of which you have record of.
Unfortunately, I cannot read the description of the voyage on the Rio Tinto but
the Charrington voyage is described as RA, whatever that may mean.
1872, his first vessel was a Sailing boat the Vixen registered in Fowey,
Cornwall, and when he was 43 he must have enlisted in the Army during the First
World War. He was transferred to the Army reserve in 1919, after which he went
to work at Wearmouth Colliery. I was born in 1940, and I can remember him
working there probably at the end of WW2.
I could go on for ages about my
memories of Sunderland, and my village of Whitburn where I was born, but
enough's enough, and my thanks for the work you have done.
David Headley, Deeping St. James,
Lincolnshire, nr. Peterborough, U.K., Nov. 12, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for you kind words, David. Two of the
three vessels that you mention were built at Sunderland, I see - Charrington
was built in 1881 by Laing & Rio Tinto was built in 1888 by Shorts. Your
remind me of how very many Sunderland built vessels still need to get site listed!
But one less now since such limited data that I could WWW find about Charrington
is now on site here.
140) Good morning
Peter. I have a connection to Hylton Castle via my Dad's side of the Family. I
have been on the site at Sunderland many times over the years as I am interested
in the Hilton Genealogy which is huge in size. The castle amazes me as to the
height and structure of it. The main point of interest are the COAT OF ARMS that
are carved in the Stone in relief. I wish there could be a restructuring of the
Castle. Please do what you are able to keep the structure from further
deterioration. I hope that something is in the works. The City of Sunderland has
sent me several links to the site when I could not get it from the DENE. One
question I would like to get an answer to - is there or was there a CRYPT at the
CASTLE? Is there a Burial Ground nearby for the many folks who worked and lived
there over any of its earliest years ?? Thank you for giving us a chance to be
able to write in your Guestbook. I have a photo in my collection that David Allen
sent to me several years ago. I have a site at MyFamily.com - The Hilton/Morris
site, and I have recently posted it to our site in Memorial to David Allen. Would
it be possible to see some of his photos of other areas of Sunderland and its
very large history ?? I do not mind receiving e-mails sent to me via email@example.com All the best to you and your staff and
Paul Morris Hilton, Harvey Station, New
Brunswick, Canada, Nov. 04, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. It would seem that there is no data on site about
Hylton Castle, a matter that hopefully can be rectified in the future. The
long ruined castle is located in North Hylton & a Wikipedia page with extensive information
about it can be seen here.
A Sunderland Public Library Service leaflet about the castle, a 'pdf' file, is here. Since the castle & its history
and also Mr. David Allen, are subjects with which I have no familiarity, perhaps
site visitors will come forward to answer your questions & provide additional
data. I have just tried to locate the image by David Allen that you refer to -
but without success. And have tried also to provide a link to your family site
at 'myfamily.com'. But there would seem to be no search facility at that site, &
no facility for non members to view its content. Am I correct in that?
139) I am one of Stephen Moriarty Swan's grandchildren and you have certainly made a
fantastic site. I also know one of the Calvert descendents.
Lys Kellett, Oct. 28, 2011
Webmaster's comment. Len Charlton will surely be pleased to read
your words, Lys. Site references to 'Stephen Moriarty Swan' & to J. T.
Calvert & Co. Ltd., are contained within Len Charlton's fine illustrated article re the history
of 'Joplings Department Store' & of the 1954 Joplings fire. Possibly, Lys, you & your friend might be able to add to the 'Joplings'
Len has now read your message, Lys, & wonders whether Stephen
Moriarty Swan was related to the Sir Joseph Swan of Monkwearmouth who developed the first electric light bulb.
And here, as this page is updated, at least.
And here also. Len advises that Joseph Swan joined forces with Edison in the United
States & the 'Ediswan' bulbs were the result. There may well have been a
relationship since the Hedley Swan shop in High Street East was the first store
in Sunderland to install electric light.
138) As a bloke who is Sunderland born and bred, this site is incredibly informative.
I grew up in the 80's when Thatcher was doing her best to destroy the North
East; the wealth of info on the industrial past is amazing! well done!
Reavley, Sunderland, U.K., Oct. 25, 2011
Webmaster's comment. Mrs Thatcher's 'best' was most effective - it
essentially gutted seven centuries of shipbuilding tradition at Sunderland. I have never
figured out what Britain got in return.
137) I am humbled before the weight, scope and importance of your Sunderland web site;
thank you over and over, for honouring the city; and not only helping to save
Sunderland from the scrap heap of history, but by the excitement, pride and
meaning your site inspires, creating a spirit that enables the town to build and
do great things again. NIL DESPERANDUM.
Peter Maddison, Sunderland, U.K., Oct. 10, 2011
Webmaster's comment. Your words are most kind, Peter, & I thank you. I
make no claims to the lofty purposes to which you refer - the site is, to me,
rather an ongoing pleasure to create. Which demonstrates, however, what can be
accomplished by absolutely anyone, if they are prepared to invest a portion of
their time every day in advancing their particular 'project of interest'.
Not all site visitors will be familiar with
Peter Maddison, who wrote the above message. He was for four years thru 2010 an
independent councillor on Sunderland City Council. While in that role he
spearheaded the attempt to return to Sunderland, the city of her birth, the
famous 'William Pile' clipper ship 'City of Adelaide'. As Chairman of the
'Sunderland City of Adelaide Recovery Foundation',
i.e. (SCARF), he continues in that effort today. City of Adelaide, built
way back in 1864, is today slowly rotting away on the river bank at Irvine,
Scotland. Peter, his Committee & volunteers galore work towards the ship being
returned to Sunderland, restored, & placed in a position of honour on the banks
of River Wear in Sunderland. To be a permanent, public memorial to the
shipbuilding greatness of the city. There are however giant hurdles to overcome
to achieve that goal, & Adelaide, in Australia, has the upper hand today. But
the game is not yet over! Stay tuned. Or better still, do what you can to help
136) What a wonderfully informative website! Very interesting and very detailed. The
information you have on my favorite ships, the whalebacks built by Alexander
McDougall and the American Steel Barge Company, is impressive. Thanks very much.
Neel R. Zoss, Hamilton, Michigan,
U.S.A., Oct. 2, 2011
Webmaster's comment. Neel, I thank you for your kind comments. Neel is
referring to 2 modest page about 'whaleback' ships, available here &
Those pages are however incomplete, a start only in fact, on providing information about these most
fascinating of ships. Re many of the vessels, especially re the whaleback
barges, the data is in an early stage. Neel's words are especially appreciated
since Neel is the
author of the definitive book on the subject of whalebacks - 'McDougall's Great
Lakes Whalebacks', a fine softcover, of 128 pages, published by Arcadia
Publishing in 2007. Quite full of interesting images. See
re that book, which is also available now & from time to time via e-Bay. You
would enjoy it.
135) Hi Am researching the convict ship
the 'Australasia' built in the Sunderland
dockyards circa 1847. Was it a frigate? Was it a clipper ? (it made the journey
to Van Diemen's Land in 95 days). Anything you can tell me about this subject
would be most helpful. Regards.
Catherine Fleming, Sep. 14, 2011
Webmaster's comment. Australasia is not yet listed on site, Catherine,
I will add the vessel to my 'to do' list to WWW research. The vessel is,
however, included in the on site build list of James Laing of Sunderland. Where
it is recorded as Hull #170, of 512 tons, built in 1847 for Riddell &
Co. of London. Lloyd's registered as a barque. There is wide interest in ships which were used as convict ships
so I would be surprised if data about the ship is not now WWW available. The
ship had a rather short life it would seem - about 8 years only - wrecked on Mar.
19, 1855, at Portland, Victoria, Australia.
I do not have the knowledge to properly
answer parts of your message, Catherine. But that said, & subject to what an
expert may choose to add or correct, a clipper ship would seem to have been a
narrow, fast, square-rigged vessel with sails galore, designed for speed,
ideally suited to low-volume, high-profit goods, such
as tea, opium, spices, passengers & mail. Not intended for the carriage of bulky
cargoes. A frigate? A warship. Which came in many sizes, often with many guns,
intended solely for war & not intended to be used to carry either cargo or
Australasia is now site listed - here.
134) Re: David James McIntosh (1871 - 1943)
David James McIntosh, my Great Uncle, was born 14-2-1871 at Sunderland, Tyne
and Wear. He was the first child of David McIntosh & Constance Paxton who
married in Newcastle in 1867. In the 1891 census records David James was stated
to be a Grocer. Yet in 1905 he married Eva van der Sluis in Rotterdam & took
on her five children by a previous marriage. On his marriage certificate he is
stated to be a ship’s bosun!
I’m not sure how he became involved in Shipping but later David James was in
the Ship Repair & Salvage business being a representative for 'The Rotterdam
Dry Dock Company' (New Waterway Shipbuilding Company, Schiedam, Rotterdam,
Holland or 'RDM') for at least 24 years. Attached is a copy of his business cards (both
sides). I also have two photographs, one shows him on a vessel with a colleague,
both in Naval Uniform, the other also attached, bears the legend 'Motor Life
Saving Launch and Surf Boat of Thetis'. It is pure speculation, but he may have
been involved in the ill fated submarine’s salvage. He thus lived in Holland
from at least 1905 until he died at Gouda in 1943. In the 70’s I visited Rotterdam to witness
& sample the unloading of Gilsocarbon, used in the manufacture of graphite for Nuclear Power Stations. The
Shipping Agent contacted a then director of RDM & found that he had attended
my Great Uncle’s funeral in wartime. However I did not follow this up at the
Could anyone shed any light on my Great Uncle’s involvement with the Sea
& RDM? Many thanks.
Gordon McIntosh, Ovingham,
Northumberland, U.K., Sep. 7, 2011
Webmaster's comment. This site covers now a vast number of Sunderland related
subjects - re its shipbuilders, ships, a pottery, a place, an event in its
history, etc. etc. But I
have no idea where sensibly this message might fit anywhere on site. But ... the
guestbook message was posted none-the-less. Gordon was in touch directly &
provided some images. Here:- 1,
2, 3. If you can help him, by all means do so,
to his e-mail address as above. But, forgive me saying it, everyone, this site
is just not set up to respond to such matters & likely will never be so.
133) How well I remember the Polamhall in Holyhead, Anglesey,
about 1962 I think. Would
love to hear from Peter Finnie last seen about 40 years ago in Sunderland.
Carol, Lancashire, U.K., Sep. 7, 2011
Webmaster's comment. Let us hope that Peter Finnie one day does a web
search for his own name & finds this message. Polamhall is listed here.
The listing contains no references to Holyhead, Anglesey, but does refer to
Peter W. Finnie, Polamhall's 3rd officer in 1961.
132) Now in my late 80s. My parents who were both born in
Sunderland (Southwick) would
take me as a very young boy to stay with relations and as my uncle was employed
as a cage winder at this colliery, I found the details of this site fascinating.
His name was Sam Mosley and the time would be the late 30s.
Stan Urwin, Southport, Merseyside, U.K., Sep. 3, 2011
Webmaster's comment. So glad you wrote in, Stan. You must be
referring to Wearmouth Colliery, covered on site here,
in a fine Len Charlton illustrated article.
I am happy that you found the
page to be of interest. To me, it has seemed that data about the colliery is
most scarce. How that can be so? For a colliery that was there for 170 years!
There must be thousands of photographs & literature galore 'out there somewhere'
about Wearmouth Colliery. A 'cage winder' refers I believe to those who worked
at the drum mechanism which was used to lower & raise miners & materials to
working levels of the mine.
131) With reference
to M. Wawn & Son, consulting engineers. I met a Mr. M. Wawn at his office
in West Sunniside, Sunderland in January 1959. I had applied for a post as
fourth engineer in a West Hartlepool tramp company and was directed there for an
interview. He was a very small man, around 5'2'' or so and I met him later on
board ship where he was known to staff as 'Middy Wawn', evidently a derivative
of Middlemost. Wawns provided technical services for the company and for other
North East coast tramp companies I am sure, who did not employ their own
superintendents because of the number of ships involved, three being the case in
the company I was associated with. I also think that this Middy Wawn had served
in the RAF during WW2 but of course can not confirm this - my memory could be
playing games after fifty three years.
Brian Smith, Sunderland, U.K., Sep. 2, 2011
Webmaster's comment. Thanks Brian for your contribution. Such data as I have about 'Wawn' is
here. There were two 'Wawn' companies it would appear. A company
named 'M. Wawn & Son (Propellers) Limited' which for many decades, as its name indicates,
manufactured propellers. And also 'M. Wawn & Son', consulting engineers &
ship surveyors, the company to which Brian Smith, I believe, refers.
130) absolutely a fantastistic site. so interesting. thank you for showing it
Kathleen Dobson, Sunderland, U.K., Aug. 31, 2011
Webmaster's comment. Kind words, indeed. Glad that you found content of
129) Having received death certificate for person who could be my great grandfather,
found your site when looking for details of a disaster off the Sea Beach,
Ryhope, November 1901. Certificate states my great grandfather, George Smith,
died, drowned by storm at Sea, sailor of the Barquentine Life of Falmouth. Can
anyone give me any more details.
Marjorie Hayman, Essex, U.K., Aug. 29, 2011
Webmaster's comment. I have just tried, Marjorie, to find references to
Life of Falmouth. To particularly establish where she was built, since the vessel
may well need to be listed in these pages in the
future. Or regardless, should be included in my Sunderland area 'wreck' page. However the
vessel seems not to be listed at Miramar & is not listed in the last of the
Lloyd's Registers that I have available, that re 1889/90. Indeed, I could not quickly
spot, via Google, any references at all to a vessel of the name. Marjorie, can
you provide, preferably via the e-mail address at the top of this page, such data as you
have about the vessel. Hopefully we can provide sufficient data in these pages to permit
site visitors to come to your assistance.
128) Brilliant, brilliant site. I come back again and again for information. Long may
I just wish there were more pictures of the Doxford/Laing/Vaux ladies
and not just the gentlemen. If anyone reading this has pictures of Laura
(Barber) Doxford or Ada (Barber) Doxford I would be very interested in
seeing them. Many thanks again for such a wonderful website.
Sandra Hamilton, Norfolk, U.K., Aug. 26, 2011
Webmaster's comment. A satisfied visitor, it would seem! I too would be
interested to receive such images & would most gladly find a place for them on site.
your words 'Long may it last' remind the webmaster of his nagging concern - what will happen to
the site when the time comes that I can no longer, for
whatever reason, maintain it. I would hate to think that someday the site will
'go dark' & that all of the gathered material will be lost again. I anticipate prepaying my ISP provider to ensure that the
site itself continues to be available for some years. But that is by no means a
long term solution. The site will surely need, in the future, some person or
organisation to maintain it & in their own way,
build upon what I have started. I would welcome the thoughts & suggestions of
site visitors in that regard.
127) I served my time at Bartrams plumber shop.
Everyone agreed it was a good place to
work but they also think it was one of the coldest yards in the country. We all
said if you could stick it out there you could work anywhere else. I was
there 1945 till 1961 and then again in 1971 till 1983 when it looked likly
they were going to close.
Edward W. Mustard, Silksworth, Sunderland, U.K., Aug. 23, 2011
Webmaster's comment. I can well imagine, Edward, how bitter the cold must
have been, with Bartram's being located right on the coast & exposed to the
elements accordingly. The winds off the North Sea must surely have been
relentless. And working with metals under such circumstances must have been
126) I am a son of Robert Bartram who for many years prior to its sale in 1968 was chairman and
managing director of Bartram & Sons. I worked in the company from 1952 until
I have only just discovered this wonderful site (through a niece Lisa
Choegyal who lives in Kathmandu, Nepal). I have not yet studied the site in
detail but I can tell you where Sunderland Shipbuilding Co. were located. Sunderland Shipbuilding Co. were located alongside and just to the north of
the Bartram & Haswell yard which later became Bartram & Sons. Both yards
launched into the small sea basin protected by the North East Pier. The dock
gate into the South Dock was immediately to the south of Bartrams. During WW2, Bartrams expanded onto some, or maybe all, of the Sunderland SB
site, and either then or immediately after the war moved their offices into what
had been the Sunderland SB office building. I am afraid I do not have any documentation to support my statement but I am
confident about it.
Kit Bartram, Heighington, Co.
Durham, U.K., Aug. 18, 2011
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Kit, for being in touch. I am always
pleased to receive messages or mail from members of the Sunderland
shipbuilding families. Your description of the yard location is most clear - I will modify the text accordingly. The site contains a Bartram build list, here,
which I understand originated with you, Kit, via
Robert Hunter. Data about 'Bartram' can be read here,
while data about 'Sunderland Shipbuilding'
125) Brilliant site and the old map and information was really informative. Whilst
researching my wife's family tree I traced back to Robert Walker (my wife's
paternal great grandfather). Robert and family are listed in the 1881 Census as
being Ships Chandlers in Ferry Landing. Below that entry is one for the
Commercial Inn. I traced a reference in a photograph that mentions the
Commercial Inn in Ferry Landing leading to Bodlewell Street which is mentioned
in your history document. Attached to the email I have sent to you separately is
a copy of the census entry and the photographs.
Geoff Fowler, Hungerford, Berkshire, U.K., Aug. 15, 2011
Webmaster's comment. Thanks! So glad you found the site to be of interest, Geoff. Bodlewell
Steps was where folks took the ferry for the short trip across the River Wear east of
the bridges in central Sunderland. I was not aware of the Commercial Inn & the
Ferry Hotel before. Might we guess that both were public houses! A
splendid 1883 engraving of the steps at the foot of Bodlewell Lane can be seen here.
124) Marvellous site. I am still in search of a vessel built in Sunderland which was
ran aground in Australia (possibly NZ.) There were deaths and serious injuries. The date would be 1959 (7), I believe. She carried Doxford engines. It
occurred to me to ask here if you know of her name and fate. In the crew were
several Sunderland men. Maiden voyage I am told. Many thanks.
Len, U.S.A., Aug. 13, 2011
Webmaster's comment. No vessel comes to my mind that fits your words,
Len. And no vessel that 'fits' seems to be listed at wrecksite.eu for any date in Jul. 1959. That website offers pages that list shipwrecks throughout history by date of occurrence.
Now there were not a lot of shipbuilders in Sunderland in 1959, & relatively
few ships were built that year. A run-through of vessels
built by those builders in 1959 has produced no candidate either. Hopefully a
site visitor can solve the puzzle. But it might be good to recheck your sources -
a tiny snippet of additional data might be the key that leads to an answer.
123) Hi, a
fabulous and informative website!
I have recently purchased a grade 2 listed
building in Sunderland - Ashbrooke area. (Near Thornhill School). It is a
lovely Edwardian large house, with stained glass windows, marvellous wooden
panelling and many beautifully crafted art nouveau fireplaces. After some
hunting around on the internet I have found the origins of this house. It is
grade 2 listed and was built in c1890 for Joseph L. Thompson by George T. Brown. I
am in the process of finding out why this was built and who lived here. The
extra special info I have found out about this house is that it was "refitted" by
a William J. Neatby who was at the time a very famous designer (actually head of
Royal Doulton and the maker and designer for Harrods Meat Hall in London). I am
very interested in Joseph L Thompson. when he lived in my house and how he came
to commission such a huge refitting to this house. I hope this interests you -
I have many pictures of the house I can send if you would like to know more.
Tammy Flynn, of Sunderland, U.K., Aug. 7, 2011
Webmaster's comment. How interesting! Each time I receive such a message, I am reminded
that I chose wisely when I selected the site guestbook, being able to receive
messages without a cut-off in mid sentence. A photograph of the house would be
most welcome. The site page that refers to Joseph L. Thompson, is here.
It would appear that there were two Joseph L. Thompson's that could fit -
Joseph Lowes Thompson (1824/1893) & Joseph Lowes Thompson (1853/1903).
122) Hello Peter, Just found this fantastic site today, in time to show my Dad some of the
ships he sailed on in the 50's. It brought back a lot of happy memories for him
and launched a wave of tales for his grandchildren.
Looking at your message board I was interested in the correspondence from
Janet, daughter of W. L. Byers of Sunderland. By coincidence we live in the house
that the firm located to, we believe, during the war to escape the dock area and
Many thanks for maintaining this great site and keeping those times alive for
so many. Best Wishes,
Ken Smithson, of Sunderland, U.K., Aug. 7, 2011
Webmaster's comment. I am so glad, Ken, that your father was able to find
some of the ships on which he served, now so many years ago. And was able to rekindle old
memories. The earlier message to which Ken refers is here. I will drop a line to
Janet to alert her to your words.
121) Hi Peter. Your website is very interesting especially as my husband is a
direct descendant of both John Lister and George Bartram. They were both his
great, great, grandfathers. John Lister married Ann Henderson and the name
Henderson has come down through the family my husband being Malcolm Henderson
Lister. Our son and grandson also bear the name. Although I can find information
re the Bartram side of the family and have in fact visited George Bartram's
grave in Sunderland, there is no information on what happened to John Lister
when the partnership dissolved. Do you have anything about that? Thank you for
providing such an interesting website. Regards
Sheila Lister, New Zealand, Aug. 2, 2011
Webmaster's comment. Sheila, I do not have any data that would help
answer your question about John Lister. Maybe site visitors who can help in some
way, might see your message in due course & come to your assistance. The Bartram/Lister
partnership is referred to here.
And John Lister is also referred to a little higher on that same page.
again, long time since I last typed an email to you. I'm (writing about) the S.S.
and S.S. Wooler. Today I got my answer from National Archives at Kew. Regards my
G/Dad Thomas Edward Lunt 3rd engineer on the Sagamore. One of the only 7
survivors. Still trying to find the log book of the S.S. Deucalion the ship that
rescued them on the 12th March 1917. The papers showed his previous ship was the
S.S. Rose Lea, built by John Blumer in 1902. Thought I might just pass this bit of
information on if it is of any use. The S.S. Rose Lea was torpedoed 14/03/1917 by
the U-62 After leaving Cardiff for Malta (Acknowledging The Wreck Site for this
info) His was a case of a bit of luck with the Sagamore being torpedoed on the
3rd March 1917 rescued 12th March 1917 one of only 7 survivors. Then the
S.S. Rose Lea being torpedoed 14th March 1917 and would appear the crew went with
her, but not sure on that. The S.S. Wooler still looking for my great uncle Robert
William Wilde. Some sites say 19 Missing and others say 20 missing. I can recall
his daughter coming to our house before and at the beginning of WW2 and telling
my mum and me listening how he had been washed overboard and saved off the beach
by local people. He had severe head injuries and they nursed him back to health
to a point. He got back to Birkenhead Wallasey after the 1901 as he doesn't
appear on it. His wife and family are and she is married not a widow. He died in
1906, due to injuries received at sea. The lady who I remember was his daughter
and quite elderly. Anyway have rambled on once again. Love your site have dropped
a couple of scraper boxes and had a couple of crankcase crawls. Those were the
days my friend. Best regards,
Ken Berry, New Zealand, Aug. 2, 2011
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Ken, for your interesting message. There is a
Sagamore, listed on site, a 'whaleback' ship, built by Doxford in 1893, the
forerunner of the many Doxford 'turret' ships which were to follow. The
Sagamore that Ken refers to was, however, a different ship, built by Harland & Wolff, in 1892. Referred to
briefly on site to avoid confusion with the
named vessels. Ken also refers to Rose Lea, indeed built in 1902 at
Sunderland by Blumer, now listed on site here. The Wooler that Ken refers to was built by Edward Withy & Co. of Middleton,
West Hartlepool, in 1891, & foundered off Ushant, an island off the French
Brittany coast, on Jan. 2, 1899 with major loss of life. Ken Berry's earlier
guestbook messages are here - #34 & #86.
119) I have just discovered this site and am fascinated. The Frater side of my family
were very involved in shipbuilding and my 2xGt Grandfather George Frater had a
shipyard at Ayres Quay in the 1830 to 40s, where he with his partners built
several ships. I have record of these ships taken from the Corder Manuscripts.
The firm went bankrupt in 1841. The family remained connected with seafaring up
until I 'came ashore' in the late 1950s.
My father's family were also
connected with shipbuilding as my Grandfather worked as a plater at Doxfords. My
father served part of his apprenticeship there and became a marine engineer. I
may be able to help with some documentation if wished.
Reuben Charlton, Wiltshire, U.K., Jul. 24, 2011
Webmaster's comment. We note, throughout the site, quite a number of
shipbuilders whose yards were, over the years, located at Ayres Quay. But
'George Frater' is not yet referenced - a 'new' shipbuilder name to the
webmaster. I thank Reuben for bringing the history to my attention. Any
available documentation you can provide, Reuben, would be most welcome.
A section re
'George Frater & Co.' has now been added, based upon Reuben's data. Here.
118) My father was Managing Director of WL Byers & Co until he retired in 1984.
He worked at the company all his career, other than for war service. We know
quite a lot about the company and have some of the models. I am not aware it was
ever a shipbuilder, but it held the patent for the Byers stockless anchor and
had them manufactured at various foundries, together with chain cables. The
company held some small stock but generally manufactured to order. It was
independent for many years until taken over in the 70s by TS Forster & Co
and later by Fife Forges - a Scottish group.
Janet Eilbeck, Sevenoaks, Kent, U.K., Jul. 11, 2011
Webmaster's comment. It is gratifying indeed to find messages such as this in my guestbook. It adds significantly to the
limited data on
site about W. L. Byers & Co., noted Sunderland manufacturers of ships'
anchors, available here.
Janet states that she was not aware that W. L. Byers & Co. ever was a
shipbuilder. It is quite possible that they never, in fact, were shipbuilders &
that 'Messrs Byers & Co.' etc. who were Sunderland ship builders may not
have been related. I initially put them together due to the identical name. They
are now separated & 'Byers', the shipbuilder, is today covered here.
117) Hi Peter, Impressive website!, I'm researching the 19th century merchant
sailing vessels of Salcombe and Kingsbridge in Devon. I have details of 11 that
were built in Sunderland or nearby - Facility, Jessie Annandale,
Northern Light, Glendoveer, Frances,
Alvington, Lady Turner, Hesperia,
Pilgrim, Cyrene, South
Milton - according to port registers or other sources. They're not listed in
your ships index but I'm hoping you might have some information on them. In any
event you might find the info. useful. How can I send it you?
Roger Barrett, Salcombe, Devon, U.K., Jul. 9, 2011
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for this & for the detail re the 11
vessels, which detail arrived directly by e-mail. I will add the vessels to my
'to do' list, & hope, over time, to get them all aboard. Now one of the vessels
in your list, Cyrene built in 1873, was in fact already on site, included with other
vessels where the name of the builder had not been established. I have today
researched the available editions of Lloyd's Register, see that it was built by
R. Thompson, & have moved the listing to its rightful spot, with other vessels
built by that builder. Here.
Just so site visitors will know ... most folks seem to believe that I must have a vast library of
Sunderland related books here, have thousands of ship images, & related material of all sorts. None of that is true. I have virtually nothing. A few books only & a few shipping postcards
but not enough to even call a collection. All I do is search the WWW for data, say about a particular ship, distill that data into a hopefully short & accurate summary & provide links to the
major sources of the data that I find. The following vessels (in alpha sequence) have since been
site listed - Hesperia,
Pilgrim, South Milton.
116) In response to post number 45 on the barque
Thomas Wood from Sunderland, the
ship's bell has appeared for sale on e-Bay showing the building date as
U.K., Jul. 5, 2011
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for for bringing that item to my attention, John.
It is a beautiful bell, that's for sure. It has since sold, on Jul. 12, 2011,
for U.S. $1,195.00. The site listing for Thomas Wood, can be seen
115) My great grandfather, Tom Crawford, was born in Sunderland in the early-mid
1800's a great-nephew of Jack Crawford. He joined the navy as a youth and
eventually met and married an inn-keepers daughter in Torquay, subsequently
settling in Devon where many members of the family still live. His son (my
grandfather) Jack Crawford, born in 1860s was also in the Navy, his only son
another Jack was the first to break with the naval tradition after 7
generations. His sister, Elizabeth was my mother, born 1891 in Devonport. I was
born in Torquay in 1933 emigrating to Australia in 1964. My eldest sister lived
in Torquay most of her life and always named her house 'Camperdown' in
honour of our illustrious ancestor.
Showell, Adelaide, South Australia, Jul. 3, 2011 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Pauline. An illustrious
ancestor indeed! Now Len Charlton wrote for the site an excellent story about
Jack Crawford. Len's article, along with much additional & related material, can be found here.
Your message reminds me that a site visitor kindly provided to the webmaster,
many weeks back now, his most extensive research about Jack Crawford. Hopefully
that research may soon, in whole or in part, be available via this site.
114) I was wondering if anyone could help us?
Chester-le-Street sea cadets are trying to trace back the history of our
unit. We have discovered that the unit had a torpedo boat in Sunderland docks
and a ceremony took place with Mrs. Clarke (mother of Donald Owen Clarke - the
local war hero we are named after) at a renaming ceremony on board the boat. The boat was renamed T.S. Donald O Clarke GC and it was used as a training
ship for the cadets. We have a photograph of the event. There are 3 SCC Officers
and 6 cadets with Mrs. Clarke. Unfortunately this is the only information we have.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you, Steven.
(SCC) Steven Grainger, RNR, Donald Owen Clarke
centre - Chester-le-Street, U.K., Jun. 29, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. While I am not able to help you respecting this
matter, Steven, I do hope that others who can help will see your words & come to
113) Great website. I finally found how the
Glenroy came to an end near Bougie,
Algeria, in February 1916. The photos show a fine ship and I am glad to learn,
even after so many years, that there was not a single casualty in the wreck.
Henri Lunardelli, Faches-Thumesnil, Lille, France, Jun. 21, 2011 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. We thank you Henri! The Glenroy was not, in fact, a ship built at Sunderland. The ship is however featured
on site, & has an especial significance for site contributor
& supporter Robert Hunter, whose grandfather, Frederick
John Hunter, was her Master from 1909 to 1914. Henri has kindly provided a fine image,
now on site, of
Glenroy's ship's bell, which hangs to this day on the wall of a school overlooking the sea at Bejaia (Bougie),
Algeria. The vessel was wrecked
at nearby Les Falaises on Feb. 10, 1916.
112) excellent site and photos. brings back a few memories when i worked there from
1986 when horden closed till 1990 when i took my redundancy. down the pit at
first then on bank as a forklift driver with many good friends like jimmy
anderson also a forklift driver, kieth dimmock, billy pattinson, owen wilcox,
paul blenkinsop (benka we called him) little tel and many more.
('Cokey'), Horden, Durham, U.K., Jun. 18, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Am glad the site brought back old memories, Michael. Horden
is on the North Sea coast about 12 miles S. of Sunderland. For many decades it
was noted for its coal mine - Horden Colliery - which closed in 1987.
111) Great work mate. I may have mis-read
your text re Greenwells & the River
Wear Commissioners Dry Dock locations: not sure where they were? I can help.
Also have photos of Greenwells No. 1 Dry Dock under reconstruction 1952 amongst
others (ships/tugs/workforce etc.). Served my time in the old North Eastern
Marine Engineering/George Clark building on South Dock. Would be pleased to
help. Email me. All the best.
Don Simpson, Hendon, Sunderland, U.K., Jun. 11, 2011 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. What a kind offer! I am most happy to accept, Don.
Site visitors can read about Greenwell's here.
110) I have a great interest in the immense subject of bridges and by chance lighted
on your website. What a superb effort! I am enthralled. Thanks so much.
Reg Allington, Essex, U.K., Jun. 8, 2011 Rallington@aol.com
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Reg, for your kind message. It was Thomas Hemy's print
of the 1879 railway bridge in central Sunderland that triggered the very first site page some
years ago. And then spawned the 2nd bridges page, indeed the whole Sunderland site.
109) Just found your website by accident - it's excellent. I am currently walking
both banks of the Wear and am delving into the local industrial history wherever
possible. I have been photographing the information boards as I come across
them, before they fade or get too badly vandalised. My distant family had the
sole rights for the sale of Maling pottery 'seconds' so I suppose I feel a sort
of link to the past. Your website has astounded me with its facts and figures -
keep up the good work ! P.S. If you would like copies of the photographs,
drop me an e-mail.
Brian Adamson, Washington (Tyne & Wear), U.K., Jun. 5, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. There is rather a lot of industrial history in the
Sunderland area, Brian, so you will be busy indeed. It is, I suspect, a history
that few of today's residents know ever existed!
108) Came across the Sunderland pages a few months ago and have found them very
helpful when searching for information on old ships. Great work!
Trygve Eidskar, Norway, May 29, 2011 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for writing in. I am glad to hear, Trygve,
that you found information that was useful to you!
107) I came to this site via a search for W. Pile, Hay
& Co, shipbuilders of Sunderland,
which first lead me to a site listing most of the Norwegians who traveled to
America on immigrant ships www.norwayheritage.com which may interest you. One
piece of data mentioned is that Great Western was built by W. Pile, Hay
Bob Hay, New Zealand, May 28, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
I am well familiar with that site, Bob, but have provided a link above, so others can
find it easily. They really have no data, however, about Great Western, built
in 1872, which
vessel is listed on site here.
106) The painting you included on your site, 'Old Sunderland' by T. M. Hemy, is dated
I thought you might also like to know that the top floor of Sunderland
Museum & Winter Gardens is devoted to a gallery looking at Sunderland's
shipbuilding past. Best wishes,
Shauna Gregg, Tyne & Wear Museums,
Sunderland, U.K., May 27, 2011
Shauna, I am so glad that you are in touch with that information, which visitors
to this site will, I am sure, find most helpful. The 'Thomas Hemy' painting, that
Shauna refers to, can be seen here.
105) Well done! This is a very comprehensive collection. I am wondering why there is
no mention of the wooden ship the Netherby, built by Robert Thompson (Jn?) in
1857/8. It came to grief in July 1866 when it encountered the shores of King
Island, Australia and was broken up by surf on rocks. A classification survey
exists for the ship. In 2016 there will be a 150th celebration of the shipwreck.
All 502 people aboard were saved making this a success story. Please let me know
if you have any information re the Netherby. We know there are no
photos/drawings. Thank you.
Ann Rutte, Melbourne, Australia, May 25, 2011 email@example.com
Ann, I will add Netherby to my to do list, which is however a rather long
list. Why is there no mention of Netherby? I do hope that my words do not sound
uncharitable, Ann, since that is not my intention, but there is only little old me at this end & there are
practical limits to
how fast I can pedal. As of today there are 1664 Sunderland built vessels listed
on site. A large number
for sure, built up one by one over 5 or 6 years. But there are probably 8,600
such ships yet to be listed! The job is simply enormous in scope & I will not live long enough to list
all of them, even were
that to be possible. And, as site visitors may be aware, the site is not only
about the ships - there are a great many pages re Sunderland's history, & much
Site visitors should know that I have nothing at all about any
ship. All I do is search the WWW for each vessel & provide a concise & hopefully
accurate summary of what I find, with links to the major sources. I suspect that
I may be able to find data that others would miss, due to familiarity with the
A site visitor long since kindly provided a build list for Robert Thompson Jr., of Southwick
(list not yet on site). And included in that list is Netherby - a fully
rigged ship of 944 tons built in 1858 for E. Graham of Newcastle. And
Netherby is now listed on site - here.
104) A very interesting and informative website. I am currently undertaking research
in order to create an artists book about Sunderland.
Cynthia Robinson-Begg, Northumberland, U.K., May 22, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
That sounds like a most worthy project, Cynthia, & is likely a labour of love. I wish you
every success with it.
103) Hi, I am seeking photos on a snow brig that sank in 1867, (Jan)
by the name of Unison off Mantle Rock, Inveran, Co. Galway, Ireland, built
in 1863, I think, by Reay for Farrow
from Bishopwearmouth. Just wondering if there would be photos of brig or anchor
anywhere in UK. Are anchors from this type of brig big, would the anchor be made
from steel or what and would they be worth much today. Please help if you can.
Caroline, Ireland, May 16, 2011 email@example.com
I can hope, in due course, Caroline, to list Unison, with whatever data I
can WWW find about her. But re i) photographs of her & ii) what an anchor of
that period would be worth, etc. etc., I do not have the knowledge to answer
you. Hopefully there are folks 'out there' who can answer your questions & they
are invited to make contact either via the webmaster at the above link, via this
guestbook or directly to you. It might help in that regard for them to know that
Unison was of 269 tons & was 104.1 ft. long, per Lloyd's Register of
1864/65. Now I may prove to be quite wrong, but I would be surprised to learn
that there is much of a market for old anchors. Unless the ship was truly
102) I have just left an email on the website regarding a request for an illustration
of the convict ship Rodney which was "Sunderland Built" in 1850 and made its
first voyage to Van Diemans Land from Portland in 97 days.
It was wrecked on
the Kenn Reef off the Queensland coast in 1858 but crew was rescued. Any
assistance will be appreciated.
Annette Irvine, New South Wales, Australia, May 5, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
I do not have an image of your ship, Annette. It was built at Sunderland indeed,
but the builder's name is unknown. Hopefully soon, I will get your Rodney
listed on site. And when I do so, I'll invite anyone who does have an image of
her to be in touch.
P.S. The vessel has now been listed & is now on site - here.
The vessel may have been built by 'Lainey', a Sunderland shipbuilder name that
is new to me.
101) I love this website! I live in Sunderland around 500 yards from St Peter's
Church in Monkwearmouth and I walk over the bridge every day on my way to work.
I have many relatives who worked in the shipyards and have told some great
stories. It's a shame Sunderland does not have a ship building museum! FTM
Michael Thompson, Monkwearmouth, Sunderland, U.K., Apl. 16, 2011 email@example.com
Thank you, Michael, for your kind words. Many would agree that the city's long
tradition of ship building should be honoured as you suggest.
100) I have a box that has .05c with the same pic. in the lid as the one in your
article. The type on the out side is black and burned in. I would like to find
out the year.
Ken Kent, Coral, Michigan, U.S.A., Apl. 09, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
I believe that Ken is referring to a rather good looking cigar-box that is shown on site page 181. It featured the
steamer James B. Colgate,
which was built in 1892. The cigar-box there illustrated was stated to be c1920s.
Unfortunately, I do not have the knowledge to date an earlier version of the box when cigars were 5
cents only, rather than 2 for 15 cents. Perhaps
Ken might contact the Gotham Cigar Museum. It is quite possible that they would
know the answer. Or watch e-Bay for a while until such a box appears again for
99) Great site. My
great grandfather Robert McNamara was born in Bishopwearmouth in 1854, the
family moved to Sunderland from Galway in 1829 where gt/gt gt grandfather
Charles who was born in Devon was a serving coast guard, he was posted to the
Whitburn detachment retiring in 1847, he died a few months later at
Northumberland Place, Hendon of typhus. The family then moved to Swansea, my gt/gt/gf another Charles (his wife was Elizabeth Coundon born in Dudley just
north of Sunderland) moved back to Sunderland in 1874 following bankruptcy and
collapse of his ship chandlers and sail making business. Trading as a
tobacconist at High St. and Atheneneum St. He moved back to Swansea in about
1884, he died in 1886 a penniless drunk his wife dying in the workhouse 5 years
later. If anyone comes across any info on this family, no matter how trivial,
please let me know.
Steve McNamara, Chudleigh, Devon, U.K., Apl. 02, 2011 email@example.com
We do hope that this site & this message will help Steve find data about his
98) Just been informed of this excellent website. Sir John Priestman was my great
uncle and I only have a small amount of info on him, mainly his charity work.
Strange how I went myself to sea as a boy, ships must stay in the
blood. Regards Alan
Alan Priestman, Cyprus, Mar. 20, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
We list quite a few of the ships which were built by the 'Priestman' ship yard
which yard was in business in Sunderland for over 50 years. But we have only
modest data about the yard
itself & about John Priestman, later Sir John Priestman, its founder. The
information that we do have is available here, including
Sir John's image.
97) Great site, which I've spent the entire evening browsing. All my grandparents
were Sunderlanders. Mr William Dodd was a Chemist/Druggist on Roker Ave. and Mr
William Bruce was a wholesale grocer and provision merchant, as well as a town
councillor and Mayor. Their families were keen supporters of the Sans Street
My dad left the Scotia Engine Works to come to Canada in
1910. All my uncles and aunts are long gone, but some cousins remain yet.
Bruce Dodd, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Mar. 20, 2011 email@example.com
So glad to hear, Bruce, that you found the site to be of interest.
96) My daughter has an antique gold bracelet engraved: "S S
Joseph John January 4th
1889 M H Doxford." One suspects this was originally given to a daughter of one
of the Doxford Bros at the launching of the Joseph John for Otto Jaffe of
Belfast. How it found its way to an antique shop in Australia a century later is
Keith Binney, Sydney, Australia, Mar. 12, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
Keith's website reference http://horsemenofthefirstfrontier.info/
Thanks for your message, Keith. Joseph John, a vessel that would seem to
have been Norwegian owned for the final 2/3 of its lifetime, is one of the Sunderland built vessels not
yet site listed. It has lots of company! Today there are, I believe, 1571
Sunderland built vessels listed. Not an insignificant number in reality, but a
modest start when you consider that there are probably 9,500 Sunderland built
vessels still to get listed.
95) I have a bottle from Ayres Quay Bottle
Co. in my hand. Now actually I'm not too sure
whether there are many and what they would sell for. I can send you pictures or
what date its from for that matter it has on it as I would see the back of the
bottle ''Ayres Quay Bottle Co and underneath makers Sunderland'' and on the
front St. John and underneath Sunderland''. Please get back in touch.
Whitehaven, Cumbria, U.K., Mar. 09, 2011 email@example.com
How clever of you, Scott, to find the limited 'Ayre's Quay Bottle Co.' reference
on site here. I do not have any special knowledge about bottles, but
if garage &
estate sales here in Canada are any guide, few people seem to have an interest in buying
them. Now ... when this response was written, an Ayres Quay bottle was offered for sale on e-Bay - at an asking price of GBP 2.99. Is that asking price a representative price, however? I suspect that
it probably is. I would be glad to receive your images to expand my limited site
94) Interesting article on Sunderland Transport marred by some glaring errors (the
Metro extension to Sunderland opened in 2001 - not 3 years after the original
system opened in 1980), the Corporation did not go bankrupt in 1974 (with
impending local government changes that would have absorbed the Borough's
Corporation Transport Department into a countywide organisation from April 1974,
Sunderland Council decided that the transfer would go ahead 1 year ahead of time
in 1973). Oh, and there seems to be a very random picture of a bus station in
Preston on that page, about 150 miles away from Sunderland.
David Potts, Feb.
Webmaster's comment. I believe, David, that you must be referring to the
extensive article that can be found on site page 014. The webmaster appreciates any
& all help in
correcting mistakes. Indeed hundreds of corrections,
images, ideas & suggestions have been provided over the years by
site visitors - by e-mail directly to the webmaster at the above address. The
errors that you mention are noted & have now been corrected. But ... the advice of mistakes is
the purpose of this guestbook.
93) Thanks so much for your diligent work, your site is an invaluable
Lara Lynn Lane, Fairfield, Connecticut, U.S.A., Feb.
16, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org, Lara's quilting website is here.
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Lara, for your kind words. A few folks,
gratefully very few, have told me over the years that the site has no validity since I do not do
'true' research on, say, all of the Sunderland built vessels that are site listed.
I defend their right to have an opinion & express it, of course, but I suspect
that their views are not shared by very many.
92) Thanks for your great site - helped me with family history on my Mum's
side. Arrivals in South Australia 1874. Great to find pictures and details of
Forfarshire built 1867.
Geoff, Perth, Western Australia, Feb.
Webmaster's comment. Am glad, Geoff, that the site's data re Forfarshire, has helped you in some
small way. The vessel would seem to have served both Australia & New Zealand for
a great many years.
91) John Blumer is my 3rd great-grand uncle. Via Ancestry.com, I was so surprised
and intrigued to learn about his business. My great-grandmother Casilda Blumer
Maul would have loved to hear about this info! Thank you to all contributors.
Lori Zielen Donohue,
West Valley, NY, U.S.A., Feb.
12, 2011 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Lori. It is messages like
yours that encourage the webmaster & so many other contributors to continue to
enhance the site. If, from your family records, you can add anything to the 'Blumer'
record, your contribution would be most welcome.
90) Dear Peter,
ref. to message number 88 I said I would ask my son Daniel to take a photo of the
S S Claudius, unfortunately he got a lot of flashback, which made this
impossible to do.
ii) I also note that a few of your readers are keen to obtain
information on S/land pottery! Well there is a S/land pottery book on sale
through Ebay, priced around £10. If they cannot find what they are looking for,
they could through a last resort contact Shona Gregg at the S/land museum
She is the pottery expert (very busy lady).
iii) Another snippet of info. My wife's
uncle Alexander Cruickshanks worked at J L Thompson's for nearly 50 years as a
welder. He often contacted The Echo via Blue Peter. This was a chap who wrote
about old S/land under that name.
iv) One lunch time Alexander decided to walk by
the river bank, going down the river, and about where the new glass works are
now, he came upon a large anchor half buried in the sand, he thought the
writing on the anchor read Marshall/Klish. He contacted Blue Peter via the Echo
and was informed the the name was Marshall /Kish, another piece of my Ancestry.
I don't know if this anchor is still there ? Any info would be much appreciated.
Alan P. Kershaw, Perth, Scotland,
Jan. 1, 2011 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. You have covered a lot of territory in your message,
Alan. I have accordingly introduced item numbers into your message above to facilitate
visitors' understanding of my responses.
i) Maybe Daniel might try to take an image,
outside in natural light rather than indoors - to avoid the flashback.
ii) I checked e-Bay
for Sunderland Pottery books soon after your message was posted. I think that you must mean 'Sunderland Pottery'
edited by John C. Baker, & published in 1984. Two copies are offered today,
Jan. 1, 2011, one
at GBP 10.49 & the other at the (rather higher!) price of GBP 49.99. There are also two copies
of 'Sunderland Ware - the Potteries of Sunderland', edited by J. T. Shaw, &
1973. Site visitors should be aware that the material contained in the J. T. Shaw volume, was
the basis of the John C. Baker volume referred to above, but was vastly improved
& expanded in the Baker work.
iii) I am well aware of 'Blue Peter', the pen name of J. W. (Bill) Smith,
of Gateshead. An expert on 19th century north-east shipping. Long
gone, alas, I believe over 20 years ago now. A fine article that he wrote about 'James Westoll'
& the 'Westoll Line' can be
read on site here.
I would welcome more of his most readable articles.
iv) That is most interesting. But ... I am having difficulty in identifying the
vessel concerned. Miramar do not list any vessel named Marshall Kish or
Marshall Klish. There was a Kish, just one, built in 1902 & torpedoed in Apl. 1917, but that
vessel, it would seem, was owned by Clyde Shipping Co., of Glasgow. There was
also a Marshal, built as Marechal Suchet in 1893, renamed
Marshal in 1905
& wrecked off the Hook of Holland in 1906. Neither vessel seems likely to be related to Kish/Kershaw of Sunderland.
Perhaps we need to search for vessels dating from the 1880s? Hopefully a site visitor
can identify the correct vessel & advise us both of what happened to that anchor.
89) I thought you may be interested in this article
if you are not already aware of
it. Hope you find it of interest.
Young Maz, Sunderland, U.K., Dec.
Webmaster's comment. Thank you so much for bringing the 'Sunderland Echo'
article to my attention. It advises that Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums has
received a grant of £38,800 to fund a 15 month project - to make publicly
accessible the masses of historical data contained in their archives about
Sunderland shipbuilding. While the webmaster is delighted to hear of this new
initiative, he hopes it will be but a first step. A first step towards honouring
the long, rich & distinguished history of shipbuilding in Sunderland. A history
that has surely been grievously ignored in the past by the collective 'powers
that be' in Sunderland.
I am a descendant of The Kish/Kershaw family, ship builders/owners. William
Kershaw who was a pilot before being a ship builder/owner was an older brother
of my great Grandfather Thomas Kershaw. I was born in Sunderland in 1940 and
also worked in the shipbuilding industry in the late 50s & 60s. I am also the
owner of a Lithograph/water colour of the steam/sail ship Claudius, 1707
tons, built at J. L. Thompson, Sunderland, later sold to a Norwegian company and
renamed Javaan (later foundered on Scandinavian coast). And,
pottery, for the past 20 years I have been looking for a Sunderland pottery bird
drinker! There is a good example of such an item at page 28 in the John C. Baker Sunderland Pottery book
- made of brown glazed earthenware.
Alan P. Kershaw, Perth, Scotland, Dec.
18, 2010 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. That is all most interesting, Alan. I do have a little
data about 'Kish' on site, here, but it is
modest indeed. I must confess that I have not yet understood how
the two names, i.e. Kish and Kershaw, relate to one another. Could I
invite you to clarify? Any data that you might care to provide, that would
either correct or expand my most limited 'Kish' listing would be most welcome. Claudius?
A vessel not yet listed on site. Claudius was, per
Miramar, built in 1881. For T. (Thomas) Kish. It is one of the many, 9,500
maybe, vessels built at Sunderland, still to get site listed! I must admit,
Alan, that I had not noticed that 'pottery bird drinker' illustrated in the
pottery book. Maybe some day I'll scan the image, & make it available here, so
others will know what such an interesting item looks like.
87) I have information on the ship Triune, 188 tons, built Sunderland 1819, though
I'm not sure by which shipbuilder. I have an indenture describing its change of
ownership in 1831. It says that "the said ship or vessel has one deck and two
masts & a troisail mast that her length from the forepart of the mainstem to
the after part of the sternpost aloft is Eighty Three Feet Six inches her
breadth at the broadest part taken above the Chain Wales is Twenty Two feet nine
inches her depth in the hold is Thirteen feet Ten inches that the she is Square
rigged with a Standing Bowsprit is Square sterned Carvel built has no Galleries
and no Galleries and no figurehead. Cheers.
Norman Lowe, Llangorse, Wales, Dec.
13, 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your message, Norman. I have added some early
vessels into the site in recent months, mainly where I came across a WWW wreck
reference to a particular vessel & then used whatever detail was provided to try
to 'work backwards'. A time consuming exercise, made especially difficult since i) so many vessel names are not unique & ii) early Lloyd's Registers do not state the
builder's name. I have a few such registers ex Google books. There seems to be
no reference to the vessel in the 1830 (my earliest), 1831 or 1832 editions, but
in the 1834 register there are 3 Triune's, including one, of 188 tons, of the port of
Sunderland, but with virtually no detail, not even the owner's name or what it
was (a ship, brig etc.). In the 1854/55 edition of Lloyd's, there is a Triune,
188 tons, built at Sunderland in 1819, then being a brig owned by A. Strother.
That may well prove to be your vessel. At the end of its life, which I suggest may be so
since the vessel is not recorded in the 1855/56 edition. Perhaps you might advise
the old & new owners' names from your indenture. Such data may prove to be most
helpful in due course, to the webmaster & also to others.
86) Hi, Your site is
AAA+ I was looking for the S. S. Sagamore a couple of years ago, must admit was
getting a bit confused, with the Turret and Whaleback ships with the same
name. Ended up the one I wanted was built at H & W. (Webmaster: Harland & Wolff, of
Belfast). Also told you about the Hauraki and Rangitane I sailed on using Light Diesel then due to the savings on
to Boiler Oil. On Diesel "SUPREMO" not quite so good on Boiler Oil.
you can help me. S.S. Wooller built by Edward Withy & Co.
of West Hartlepool.
Have just found that my Great Uncle was Carpenter and/or Shipwright on
her. She ran aground on the Portuguese coastline 02/01/1899. He received serious
head trauma injuries. The local people nursed him back to reasonable health and
he returned to Birkenhead, Cheshire, UK. He never quite fully recovered and died
in 1906. I was wondering if you know of any photos of the ship. Or if you could
point me in a new direction. Thank you again for Lots of Enjoyment from your
site. Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Best regards
Ken Berry, New Zealand, Dec. 12, 2010 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. In retail parlance, a happy, indeed a repeat
'customer'! If I come across an image of your ship, Ken, I will be most
happy to pass it on to you. But ... the site has as its purpose Sunderland & its
shipbuilders - and while I have lots of images of Sunderland ships yet to be
listed, folks do not provide me with images of vessels built elsewhere. I suspect that
the image that you seek may rather come from another site visitor who happens to see this message. BUT .... Ken ... there would not
appear to be any vessel named Wooller built by 'Withy'. Miramar, however,
indicate that Withy did build a vessel in 1891 named Wooler
(one 'l' only). Which was wrecked on Jan. 2, 1899. Not off the coast of
Portugal, but rather off Ushant, which
is an island in the English Channel off the coast of Brittany, near Brest,
France. It presumably is the vessel upon which your great uncle
served. A quick WWW search did not locate an image of Wooler, but did provide
these three references to the vessel (1,
2 (75% down), & 3).
And there is, I see, a N.Y. Times reference to the loss, which reference I cannot
find, their Jan. 1899 list of articles being so incredibly long. The third is a 'snippet' reference to 'Marine Engineer & Naval Architect', of
1892, a volume which, though clearly 100% scanned by 'Google', for reasons
unknown, seems not to be WWW available in its entirety. I would have thought
that copyright would not be an issue with a publication of such a date.
85) Very interesting article. Being born in Sunderland pre-war, it brings back lots
of memories. My father was a Solicitor in John St, and West Sunniside. A
G.Grandmother, was born in the fishermen's cottages, Whitburn. The family being
called Dobson. My grandfather was a ship's master with the Prince Line of
Newcastle. Best wishes.
Derek Lambert, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxfordshie, U.K., Dec. 7, 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Am glad, Derek, that you found on site material of
interest to you. Am not sure which particular page you visited, but no matter!
Am well familiar with Abingdon, (do not recall Southmoor, however), since I used
to live at Maidenhead, which is relatively nearby.
84) I posted a message (Number 77 on Nov. 7) about a piece of pottery my grandmother
brought with her from England. You said you wrote to me separately, but I did
not receive anything. My ancestor James Beckwith apparently owned one of the
potteries there at NewBottle in 1841. If you could put me in touch with someone
who might know about this, I would appreciate it.
Janet Puncheon, Sunbury, Ohio, U.S.A., Dec. 4, 2010 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. You did indeed! I have already sent the message again. It was not returned undeliverable so I hope that you safely have received it.
83) Hello Peter, I believe. I have recently come across a Sunderland Mug bearing
verse and bridge picture. Oddly enough there is a frog inside the mug as well.
Would love to send you photos and get your opinion and comments. Best Regards. Di
( I presume), Colorado, U.S.A., Nov. 30, 2010, DWahlst248@aol.com
Webmaster's comment. I share your curiosity re such mugs, Di, many examples of which
have been sold via e-Bay in recent years. It would be good to have a quality image
on site of such a frog, but the available images have been
poor. Likely quite difficult to photograph. You can have attractive frogs
- indeed I have a few in my front garden as ornaments, so good
looking frogs do exist. But the pottery frogs I have seen look to me, forgive me
pottery lovers, unattractive & even gruesome. I understand that they make
gurgling noises, so presumably they are hollow. And, if you used the mug for
your favourite brew, would it not be most difficult to then clean? Maybe they were
contemporary 'novelty items'? You can see that I am clearly not an expert
on the subject - just curious, as you are too, Di.
82) Wow - this site just keeps growing. Keep it up, you are doing a splendid
job. Kind regards.
David Parkinson, Carlton Miniott, Thirsk, North Yorkshire,
U.K., Nov. 29, 2010
Webmaster's comment. Thanks! The site does indeed continue to grow, day by
day. But ... when I add new material, as I do quite literally every day, the
data backlog never seems to become any the smaller - since new material
continues to be either located or arrive by e-mail all the time.
81) I located the information on the SS
Ittersum on your web site. This ship carried
the tanks and the Tank squadron to Gibraltar in 1942. We are writing an article
in our "Chronicle" due December on this subject and would like to use the
details provided, in our article please.
Paul Baker, History Society Gibraltar, Nov. 25, 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. The site's data about Ittersum is,
in fact, most modest - just a few lines! And a modest image also. I wasn't able
to WWW find much information about the vessel so the listing surely needs to be
expanded. You are most welcome, Paul, to use whatever you need for your article.
I claim no copyright re anything on site - it is not there for the purpose of
making a profit! Perhaps, in due course, the Ittersum history to be
contained in your upcoming article might be added into the site.
80) A truly extensive site. I'm looking for any material regarding the snow brig
'Radical'. It was built in May 1836 by T. Cairncross, Sunderland. In the 1858 Lloyd's Registry, the
Radical is listed as a 251 ton brig, owned by R. French,
Sunderland. Do you have any information on the builder, owner or ship? Do you
have a photo which might be a good representation of this vessel? Many
Susan Enns, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, Nov. 19, 2010 Bellenns@rogers.com
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Susan. The short answer to your questions is 'No'. And
when you kindly state that the site is extensive, it both is & it isn't.
Compared to other sites it surely is already extensive. But there were,
I have read, over 400 shipbuilders at Sunderland over time, & so far I list
just a tiny fraction of that number. 'T. Cairncross' is a ship builder name
totally new to me. I am glad to have the name since the early Lloyd's Registers,
which indicate where a vessel was built, do not indicate the builder's
name. I do have a number of electronic
Lloyd's Registers, & I can see Radical mentioned in a number of them. Images? There probably are images
of brigs on site, but ... a brig is a two-masted vessel with square
sails & a fore-and-aft sail on the main (rearward) mast for manoeuvrability. Such as in this image
of Lizzie Webber.
Since the above words were written, I have added T. Cairncross to the site, hoping that site visitors may add such knowledge as they have about the
And have added Radical
also, in a similar hope.
79) I believe that both Mary Shepherds, the one built in 1849, and the later one
built in 1858 by James Briggs (as well as the later Mary Shepherd's sister ship
(identical - and called Queen of the North) - were all built at Sunderland.
The latter (?) two ships were built for Joseph Shepherd and were later owned by Lidgett & Sons - Lidgett was the executor of Joseph Shepherd's will and the
feeling I have is that Joseph Shepherd and John Lidgett married sisters.
Ken Wall, Australia, Nov. 17, 2010 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Ken, for your message. The two vessels named
Mary Shepherd were indeed Sunderland built & owned by 'Shepherd', per
Lloyd's Registers downloaded from Google books re 1852/53 & 1861/62. With no
builder name there stated. The earlier one being dated 1848. The third vessel
may correctly be named Queen of North, listed also in the 1861/62
register as Sunderland built & 'Shepherd' owned. But, none of the vessels are,
alas, yet listed on site. Hopefully they will be soon. We do have a spot for
data about 'Briggs', but with very little
& just 2 of the ships that he built so far listed (now 3).
78) Hello - I am the granddaughter of Harry Short, (my mother's side) and I remember
him well. My family are proud to have been part of the heritage of the North
East. Thank you for putting together the information you have - it is wonderful
Frances Baskerville, London, U.K., Nov. 15, 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Frances, for your kind message. I have really
nothing at all on site about the history of 'Short's, a distinguished name, indeed, in
the history of Sunderland shipbuilding. Perhaps, in the future, data will emerge -
indeed I think that a site visitor provided, a while back, some paragraphs that
contained a little of the
'Short' history. Enough, perhaps, to permit a start to be made on such a
77) I have a piece of pottery that my great-grandmother, Jane (Beckwith) Gardner
brought with her from England. I am not certain what it is, but my father thinks
it was a tobacco jar. Inside is a note saying it belonged to John James Beckwith
New Bottle about 1790. Any information would be greatly appreciated. I have been
researching on Ancestry.com. I can send pictures if that would be helpful.
Janet Puncheon, Sunbury, Ohio, U.S.A., Nov. 7, 2010 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I thank you for your message, Janet, but my limited
knowledge of pottery would not help you any. I have
written to you directly.
76) I think I might have something of interest on the
George Royle, too much for me
to e-mail. Regards Richard
Richard Allen, Norfolk, U.K. (I think), Oct. 28, 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Your message sounds most interesting, Richard. I have
written to you directly. The site listing for George Royle, built in 1892
by 'Short's', is
75) Hi, great
website. My husband's GG Grandfather William Keall Bynon is listed on the crew
for Annie Archbell in Nov. 1861 as a Boy aged 19 yrs for the London - Australia
route and then again as a Steward in Oct. 1862. I am wondering if you have
information on the duties of a steward and if it is that usual for someone to
rise from a boy to a steward in such a short time. Incidentally, he is later
living in Brisbane, Australia, in 1866. There is also a newspaper article
relating to the crew on the Annie Archbell which you may be interested
in: Sydney Morning Herald – Sat. 4 Jan. 1862 Water Police Court Before
the Water Police Magistrate and Mr W. H. Eldred. A charge of disobedience of lawful
commands against John Miller, William Bell and Albert Spooner, seamen of the
ship Annie Archbell was dismissed. Here. Cheers, Chris
Chris Nolan, Australia, Oct. 22, 2010 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your message, Chris. The site listing for Annie Archbell, built in 1860
by George Peverall, is
I must say that I do not have any specific knowledge as to a steward's exact
duties. But my inclination is to think that he was older than a typical 'Boy'
when he joined the ship in 1861 & probably showed himself, as a Boy, to be both
willing & sufficiently mature to be advanced.
74) Interested in reading the info on SS
Blue Jacket which ended up on the rocks at Longships, Cornwall. The ship was owned by George Hallett of Hallett Brothers
of Cardiff and I was until just recently living in the family house of GH ... a
huge Victorian corner house in Victoria Square, Penarth. I researched the other
ships belonging to GH at Lloyds Register and they were called White Jacket,
Green Jacket, Yellow Jacket and the
Red Jacket (1 &
2)! The register showed that all the
ships were either sold, wrecked or lost at sea by 1915 when GH retired to
Whilst we were living in the house in Penarth, we restored it to its
Victorian glory. We also were able to acquire a piece off the old boiler of the
Blue Jacket which was wrecked at the Longships which is now a site favoured by
Quentin Phillips, Penarth, South Wales, U.K., Oct. 13, 2010 quentinandjoanna@Yahoo.com
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Quentin, for your message.
interesting vessel - it not only ran aground at Longships, it almost hit the actual
lighthouse! George Hallett was not, it would seem, a
man with a coat of many colours - rather a man with jackets of many colours! And he would
seem to have had two red jackets! His vessels
seem to have been mostly built by Joseph L. Thompson at Sunderland, & perhaps,
one day soon, they will all be listed on site. Indeed White Jacket now is
listed, with the limited data that I was able to find about the vessel.
73) Great site! I am looking for old Sunderland Pub History, especially down the
East End - The White House off Hendon Road, gone now, like most things down there.
Susan Gifford, Norway, Oct. 12, 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. That sounds like an interesting subject for research,
Susan, maybe necessitating a new site page or pages in the future. But, not
being from Sunderland, I cannot help you from my personal experience (of
Sunderland pubs rather than pubs in general!). There were surely many pubs in
the East End, well frequented by thirsty dock or shipyard workers & others.
Doubtless serving beer brewed locally. Let us hope that site visitors will see
your message & images & anecdotes will emerge. I have had in mind, for a while,
a page about 'Vaux Breweries' to record in text & imagery its long history -
along with images of some of its visually interesting beer mats.
72) I served as an apprentice cabinet maker in the
Short Bros yard, at Pallion,
Sunderland, from 1961 till it closed down. I'm trying to find photos from that
time of the yard, workers etc. Also would love to know if anyone else was there
at same time. I remember working with a lad called Chris, from Sunderland, can't
remember his surname but do remember he had ginger hair and his birthday was
exactly the same as mine, 2 May 1947. He was in the joiners shop same as me. Any
info would be great. Stuart.
Stuart Cothill, Durham, U.K., Oct. 9, 2010 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. All we can hope, Stuart, is that others will see your
guestbook message & be in touch with you, either directly or via the webmaster.
The existing listing for Short's, here, is limited indeed.
I too would welcome
any 'Short' related images that become available.
71) Re GALES SHIPYARD, HYLTON, SUNDERLAND I am a direct descendent of William
Gales, born 1782 and is Gales senior (to answer your question) who together with
his brother John Mowbray Gales born 1784, started the Gales Yard in 1810-12 to
build a ship for John White (launched 1813), (they both married daughters of
Thomas Lawson). The previous owner of the yard was Edward Potts. John Mowbray
Gales eventually started up another yard (J M Gales yard) on the opposite side
of the river Wear, but in addition to rather than in competition. Thomas was the
son of William and Lawson was the son of John Mowbray who both followed their
respective fathers into shipbuilding and ship owning. I hope this helps. If you
have any further questions, please let me know as I also have the names of every
ship and dates that they were built. Best wishes.
France, Oct. 9, 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I am so glad to receive your message, Simon. But .... my
reply to your provided e-mail address was rejected as undeliverable. However, it
may be, for reasons unknown, that it is only messages from me that are
being rejected. And that others would have no problem. The rejection messages say
made contact but 'the sender (yours truly) was rejected'. Anyway, we have now
made contact, via a 3rd party, & hopefully soon a build list for 'Gales' will be
on site. An amazingly large list, it would seem. Many pages of data.
70) Peter, the link to Cairnglen seems to be broken, but I scrolled to it and was
pleased to see new photos dealing with the rescue by the coastguards using a
glorified 'breeches buoy' arrangement. I was also fascinated by the 'bringing home the bacon' story!
My grandfather's memorial is finished and it will honour his memory and the
memory of all the boys and men who lost their lives in Sunderland shipyards. I
will keep you posted on that.
I am indebted to Derek Haynes and your good self for keeping the Sunderland
story alive. Shame on the civic leaders who should be doing this. Kind regards, Tom Minogue.
Tom Minogue, Dunfermline, Scotland, Oct. 8, 2010
Webmaster's comment. The listing for Cairnglen, built by 'Pickersgill' in 1926, can be
Four days before the ship was to be launched, a gangway fell to the ground under
the collective weight of about 100 workmen. 50 or so men were thrown to the
ground from heights of 15 to 40 feet - three men died as a result & many more were injured. Tom has an especial interest in Cairnglen because
William Young was one of the three - and William Young, then 47 years of age
& a father of seven, was Tom's grandfather. You can read about the accident
both here & here.
Derek Haynes, is a
Sunderland historian, I understand, &
helped Tom with research into the historical details of the Cairnglen accident.
69) I found a picture of the SS Grayburn here at
this web site. Regards,
Clarence Hemeon, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, Oct. 2, 2010 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thanks, Clarence. A good find indeed. I have fixed the
Grayburn listing accordingly.
68) I received a catalog from Duluth Trading Co. with a drawing of a whaleback cargo
vessel that looks similar to the picture on the cigar box. On the inside front
cover there's a drawing of the S.S. Christopher Columbus, a passenger steamship that carried
passengers between Chicago, IL and Milwaukee, WI. Thanks for all the work you've
done on this web site.
Charles E. Waters, Jr., Navasota, Texas, U.S.A., Oct. 1, 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I am so glad, Charles, that you found my page about 'whalebacks', really a new
'in progress' page, which is far from complete & is to be added to as new data comes to hand.
The cigar box on site (here) is splendid indeed. I think that
the cigar box image shows the
Colgate, a whaleback built in 1892.
67) Dear Peter, with reference to Bartram's shipyard, you ask a number of
questions during the course of the article. Colonel R. A. Bartram (1892-1981) ran
the yard until it was taken over. Christopher, his son, still lives in County
Durham. He worked for a while in the company and more recently has been High
Sheriff for the county; I'm sure he will be a fountain of knowledge. Yours
Middlesex, U.K., Sep. 27, 2010 email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your comment. I think that most of the
articles throughout the whole site, including the vessel listings, are also full
of questions! Now, I have never had any direct contact with Christopher Bartram, but think that the
'Bartram' build list on page 141
likely originated some years ago with him - assuming,
that is, that Christopher Bartram & Kit Bartram (who indirectly provided the list) are
one & the same person. I will try to figure out a way to follow up on your
good suggestion, Barry.
66) Thanks for the info on the Grayburn built by Laing in 1938. My great uncle died
on the Grayburn when she was torpedoed on the 29th of Jun 1941 by
U-651. I hope
some day you run across a picture of her. From page 124 - Hull # 721, Grayburn, 6342 tons, launched Jul. 25, 1938, for Wallem & Co. Ltd., of London.
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, Sep. 24, 2010 firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I am gradually trying to place on site the few shipyard 'build lists' that I have available. The list for 'Laing' on page 124,
was in progress & not yet complete when your message was received, Clarence. Indeed the
reference that you spotted, was only put on site just 2 days before
the date of your message. I have made Grayburn my ship to be listed today,
Sep. 26, 2010
But no image was found, alas! If any site visitor has any Sunderland shipyard 'build lists',
or an image of Grayburn, I would love
to hear from
65) I am on a search for a authentic photograph of the sailing ship
City of Auckland,
built at the Blumer yards, Sunderland, England, in 1869, official number 60964. This
ship was used to bring immigrants to New Zealand and was wrecked on Otaki beach,
22nd October 1878. Have tried various English and NZ sites and
museums with no success. Any information as to a possible source would be
much appreciated. Thanks.
Peter J., New Zealand, Sep. 21, 2010, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. It so often seems that information & images can
best be found in Australia or New Zealand about vessels associated with those
countries - both Australia & New Zealand respect their total history to a degree few other countries match. If you have
checked within those countries, you have surely searched the most likely
sources. Hopefully, in time, a photographic image of City of Auckland will
surface, perhaps even from someone who visits this site. I will check however
with friends of the site who have an interest in matters 'Blumer'.
64) I believe that the Captain J. Parry referred to in the description of the loss
of the barque 'County of Pembroke' on p.032 was my grandfather John Parry. He
was the master of at least two other barques built by Doxford's for Wm. Thomas
& Co; 1893-95 'County of Merioneth' & 1905 'Colony' (later 'Kringsjaa').
Please could you give the reference for the captain's name, as the cited NY
Times report states Capt. Parr.
Nigel Parry, Kent, U.K., Sep. 9, 2010, firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. How very interesting, Nigel. The fact that Captain J. Parry
was in command in 1903 when
County of Pembroke
was lost is stated at the very first link that I provided - at the bottom of the left column.
However ... a single reference does not make it so. I check as many WWW sources
as I can find to ensure that the data on site is accurate, but many of those
sources - 'Google Books snippets' as examples - are too modest to offer as
links. I will e-mail you directly with a couple of such 'snippets' which seem to
confirm that J. Parry was indeed the Captain at the time. The New York Times may
merely have been guilty of omitting the final letter of the name 'Parry', in their
63) I roughnecked on the Zapata Trader (ex
Naess Trader) offshore California in
the 70s. Quite a vessel, but was very dangerous with the swells off of Catalina
Island. I find it difficult to fathom that such a technologically advanced
vessel was built in 1957. It must have been totally gutted and refitted. We had
no idea that she wasn't completely new!
Gary Stone, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A., Aug. 28, 2010, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Naess Trader was a 6853 ton ore carrier, built by 'Pickersgill'
in 1957. But, as you can read here, it was
later converted into a drill ship - at
Port Arthur, Texas, in 1973/74. It drilled in waters off Alaska & Chile, and, we now know, off California, also.
62) Great photo of James Fraser on your site, its my sons Thomas Fraser Great Great
Grandfather. Thanks for the family history, Malcolm.
Helen Wilcox, Durham City, U.K., Aug. 23, 2010, firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. The image of James Fraser is indeed a very fine &
most interesting image. Visible here. I
presume, Helen, that you and Malcolm Fraser, also of Durham City are related? It
is Malcolm Fraser who provided that image.
61) Seeking information about Boys Industrial School in Sunderland around 1908
what was it and what was its purpose. Bill.
William (Bill) Archibald, Basildon, Essex, U.K., Aug. 22, 2010, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I am sorry to say, Bill, that the very existence of the school
was unknown to me - so as a result I am unable to offer you any help. I am advised
however that there are photos with
historical captions in the Sunderland & East End section of 'East-Durham.co.uk'.
That site seems not to offer a site search engine to help you find them, but here is
a page with one such image & caption - which I found via Google. There would also, surely, be data
available through a Google search.
60) I was looking for more information on the
Anglo Indian built 1858 and was
pleased to find some details on your site. My great grandparents emigrated to
Australia on this vessel in 1883 and I knew from stories passed down that it
passed Krakatoa just three days before this volcano blew. Reference can be found
on the National Library of Australia NLA - old newspapers website - which gives a
report of the voyage out to Australia under the command of Captain Hellicot -
Unfortunately his wife passed away in the last stages of this voyage which
probably explains his retirement from that vessel. See Page 4 Brisbane Courier
3rd October 1883 for full report.
Ed Ironside, Australia, Aug. 20, 2010, firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Ed. I found that
Anglo-Indian voyage report in
the Brisbane Courier with no difficulty - & for the interest of others, it can be read here. But I suspect,
Ed, that I have not in
fact helped you at all, & do not deserve your kind words! Why do I say that?
The Anglo Indian, which
brought your great grandparents to Australia was most likely a steamship. And the
vessel in the Brisbane Courier article, which in view of the Krakatoa reference
is most likely your great grandparents' vessel, was a steamship. Likely this one
listed on Miramar, (you need to register to access), a 2,049 ton vessel built in
Newcastle in 1883. But ... The Anglo-Indian which was built by 'Briggs' at Sunderland in 1858,
(listed on site here),
was a sailing ship, a barque & probably was a cargo ship. So it's data will not,
I believe, help you any re your Anglo-Indian.
One of the problems
I face all the time, Ed, in building this web site, is that there often are many
vessels of the identical name. Miramar list 3 vessels named Anglo-Indian
but do not list the Briggs vessel. So there were at least 4 vessels of the name.
If that might create confusion, how much harder it is re vessels named
Mary or Jane where there might be 50 vessels of the name recorded in
a single edition of Lloyd's Register.
59) Hi, Great website. My father in law was on the
Leeds City when it rescued the
crew of the St. Elwyn. He is still alive. If anyone is interested in his
eyewitness account please contact me. Cheers
Steve Fletcher, Nottingham, U.K., Aug. 16, 2010, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Steve, that is a most kind offer & I would be most happy
to accept. Leeds City, built by William Gray at Sunderland in 1927, is
listed on site here. Now
St. Elwyn, also built at Sunderland - by Joseph L. Thompson in 1938 - is
not yet site listed. St. Elwyn was hit by a torpedo on Nov. 28, 1940, &
while Leeds City was able to rescue 19 St. Elwyn survivors, 29
other crew members died that day in the cold North Atlantic.
58) Antiques Roadshow from Salt Lake City, Utah by PBS TV (Ch 17 Comcast in FL) was
shown on 08 August 2010. Past TV shows may be seen on PBS web page. One
Sunderland large pitcher commemorated the Crimean War, with portraits designs
Glide on, my bark; the summer’s tide
Is gently flowing to thy
Around thy prow the waters bright,
In circling round of broken
Are glitt’ring, as if ocean gave
Her countless gems to deck the
Whilst moonlight shines like mimic day ---
Glide on, my bark, thy
Glide on, my bark! how sweet to rove,
With such a beaming sky
O’er the dark sea, whose murmurs seem
Like fairy music in a
No sound is heard to break the spell,
Except the water’s gentle
Whilst midnight, like a mimic day,
Shines on, to guide our moonlit
Ruth Lilian, Florida, U.S.A., Aug. 16, 2010, RuthofKenilworth@gmail.com
Webmaster's comment. Ruth, I had thought that I was the only person who finds interest in
pottery verses, but it would seem that I am not the only one! That fellow
'anonymous' wrote pretty well, I think! Or maybe not a fellow! The first half of
the verse, or at least
the first six lines of it, appears on
my site here.
I have added in your entire two verses of 8 lines each on that page also, specifically
at the very bottom of the 8 line group here.
57) j.l.thomson 2t builted ugs for clyd shipping company in1960 tugs flying wizard
&flying with wear ex tugboat man
Joseph Coatsworth, Washington, Tyne & Wear, U.K., Aug. 12, 2010,
Webmaster's comment. Joseph, you are quite correct. Joseph L. Thompson did
indeed build two tugs in 1960, both of 116 gross tons & named respectively Flying
Wizard & Flying Witch. Both were built for Clyde Shipping Co. Ltd. of
Glasgow, & both were built at what used to be the 'Crown' yard at North Sands.
I have added a new section into page151 (the Joseph L. Thompson build list) to include on that
built at the ex 'Crown' facility, including these two vessels.
The puzzle is that the massive list from which page
150 was derived
did not include them. And if you access Miramar, the names will not show up
under 'Thompson' there either (shipbuilder link 1519). The names are at Miramar at
shipbuilder link 1533 which is 'Crown'
related, I believe. And the hull numbers (248 & 249) are not 'J. L. Thompson'
hull numbers either. They rather are 'Crown' hull numbers.
I will try to get the two vessels aboard the site
in the near future, & will alert you when I am able to do so. Maybe, Joseph, you
might consider scanning for me the data that you have, so I can extract the information for such future
listings. Flying Wizard is now site listed - here.
I tried to alert Joseph, as promised, but his e-mail address was no longer
operative when I tried. He has since again been in touch & his new
address has been recorded above.
56) Hi, I've just begun researching the history of my house in Ashbrooke and have
been pleasantly surprised to find that it has been inhabited by a member of the
Blumer family, a town councillor/wine merchant and a rope manufacturer. I have
managed to find some information in the excellent free resource the London
Gazette but have drawn a blank with rope making in Sunderland. There is some
info on the National Archives website referring mainly to acquisitions. Do you
know of any good sources or will you be planning to add this industry to your
excellent site? Once again thanks for a very informative afternoon of reading,
your explanations are very clear especially regarding takeovers and mergers.
Jo Ramsay, Sunderland, U.K., Aug. 11, 2010, firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Jo, thank you for your kind words. A couple of site
contributors are, I know, most knowledgeable about 'Blumer', so I will invite
each of them to review your message. 'Rope-making' is an interesting industry
indeed, but that said, I do not recall seeing any data whatsoever about it.
Other than the fact that rope-walks appear on 'Rain's Eye Plan'. So if you, or
any other site visitor can provide data, I will gladly find a spot on site for
it. I see that you live in Ashbrooke, located, I believe, in the south & west
part of the city of Sunderland. The webmaster, alas, living far away in Canada,
cannot go downtown to visit say the Archives, Museums & Libraries of Sunderland,
where rope-making data may just possibly be hidden away. Thanks for the
reference to the London Gazette. I will check into that as a possible data
Rope-making? Len Charlton alerts me to three names that once were involved with rope-making in Sunderland - Burlinson, Isaac Cockerill
& Christopher Craggs. But this is not exactly 'Stop Press' news! They were the
names of the owners of the three rope
walks depicted in 'Rain's Eye Plan', whose rope walks show in this image,
i.e. in the late 1700s! Better late than never, Len!
55) Looking for tugs built by J. L. Thompson in 1960
Joseph Coatsworth, Washington, Tyne & Wear, U.K., Aug. 10, 2010,
Webmaster's comment. Joseph, a 'Joseph L. Thompson' build list, is on site, here. Or you might access,
if you prefer,
Miramar's Joseph L. Thompson listing (you need to be registered to access the
site but can do so for free for a short period). But it would seem that JLT built
no tugs at or around 1960. The two smallest vessels they built, of 1103 tons
each, were both tankers. But now see message #57 above.
54) You've missed the first SS Grainton launched 26 March 1911, built for Chapman
& Willan, 6,042 tons. Royal Navy coaler, then grain cargo ship. Went down 31
May 1928 off St. Thomas.
It's on the 1911 census - Captain Thomas Adams aged
66 from South Shields with total 36 officers and crew. Pics of it on the sea
floor are available via this diving site.
Edwina Currie, U.K., Aug. 9, 2010, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. It does not surprise me, Edwina, that any Sunderland
is not yet listed. There were over
10,000 & maybe 11,000 vessels built at Sunderland & while I have 1,425 of them listed
as of today, I
have a long way yet to go. But ... your Grainton will not be listed on this site
even in the future. Why? Because the site's objective relates only to Sunderland & its
ship builders & Grainton built 1911 was, per Miramar (you need to be registered to access the page), built by Ropner at Stockton-on-Tees.
I found Grainton data at your link above via 'Dive Sites' & 'Interactive
Map'. But the search engine in 'Photo Gallery' there seems not to provide any
Grainton wreck images. I presume they are there but one must persevere to
find them. They can, Edwina advises, be found by Google searching 'SS Grainton' -
maybe at this page.
53) I have had a ship's wheel for 40 years with the brass hub that reads John Wigham
& Sons Sunderland. The wheel is 5 feet in diameter. Can you give me any
information on it? I can send pictures to anyone if wanted.
Billy J. Scroggins, Pensacola, Florida, U.S.A., Aug. 8, 2010, firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Data so far available about 'John Wigham & Sons', is most
limited. It would seem, however, that they did not build ships but rather
repaired them. Wooden ships - since Hylton, where their yard was located,
is quite far inland & the River Wear is, at that point, most narrow & shallow. Such limited
data as has come to the webmaster's attention about 'John Wigham & Sons' can
be seen here.
Your ship's wheel must be very old indeed, Billy. Alas, I cannot add to the
limited data which is already on site. An image of your wheel would be a welcome addition
to the page, however. And might just encourage others to contribute their
knowledge about the shipyard & about your interesting item.
52) I am a descendant of William Ball. Thank you for such an informative site. I was
curious to know the type of pottery the family made when they arrived in
Sunderland from Staffordshire. I believe they first made roof tiles and chimney
pots. Nice to know they made lustreware ... even if he did cheat ... thankfully his
descendants are more honest in their business!
Julie Bramwell, Scotland, Jul. 23, 2010, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. The data that the webmaster has read about William
Ball & his Deptford pottery (1857/c.1920s) is here.
But .... there is, alas, not a lot of it! I thank you, Julie, for adding to
that knowledge. Additional information, perhaps provided by a site visitor,
would be most welcome.
51) Hi Peter, I have been looking at your website as I am conducting research into my grandmother's father. She will be 100 on 3rd August and I am trying to
find a keepsake of the ship her father sailed on and she visited as a child, as
well as a sea rescue in which her father, Captain George Heatley, was
involved. I have found a picture of the ship in question - the Bellerby -
posted by Clive Ketley. Do you know where I could get in touch with Clive? I
would love to get a copy of his photo of the Bellerby for my
Also, any help with pinning down the events or date of the sea
rescue would be much appreciated. Her father rescued a ship load of Norwegian
sailors and was awarded a silver cup by the Norwegian Royal family. Any
information or assistance would be very much appreciated. Kind
Susan Calder, U.K., Jul. 21, 2010, firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. It would seem, per Miramar, that there were two ships with the name of
Bellerby, & neither of them was, in fact, built at Sunderland. Susan's
built at Stockton on Tees in 1898, is Miramar listed here.
I have written to Clive Ketley, whose image seems to be on this page. And have invited him to be in touch with Susan.
I understand that data re the 'sea rescue' is yet to be found.
50) Am looking for info/image of iron steamship Rubens, built
in 1872 by Iliffe &
Mounsey & Co., Sunderland for Lamport & Holt, Liverpool. Ended up as a store ship at Punta Arenas, Straits of Magellan, in 1900. Thanks.
Ian Hart, Herefordshire, U.K., Jul. 13, 2010, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Rubens seems to have been a most popular name for
a ship - Miramar records 23 ships of the name in the period from 1844 & no less
than 5 of them were built at Sunderland. Though I have 1,402 Sunderland built
vessels listed as of today, (including two of the five vessels named Rubens),
your Rubens is
not included. Hopefully we will soon have it listed on site. With such data as I
can WWW find. It is most likely, however, that we will need help from site
visitors in locating an image of the vessel.
The vessel is now listed! Here.
Now I did find an image of a very old vessel named Rubens. While it may not depict
the image may well be representative of what the 1872 version would have looked like.
49) Regarding the
J. B. Eminson, J. O. Clazey could have been either John Oswald
Clazey or James Oswald Clazey. Both had business arrangements with Lord
Londonderry. In Lord Londonderry papers online, mention is made of one ship
owned by the Clazeys ... this may be a second ship because it is my understanding
that it was sold ... after the death of John and sank in the North Sea on its way to
Germany with a load of coal. John and James Clazey were brothers to my great
great great grandfather, George
Oswald Clazey who left England in 1841 and settled in New York State. His
son ... also a James Oswald Clazey returned to England, attended Durham College
and became a schoolmaster. This was a profession pursued by both his uncles
until they became involved with Lord Londonderry. (James was a schoolmaster in
one of his schools in 1841).
Sharon Spry, U.S.A., Jul. 07, 2010, firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Sharon, for sharing a part of your family
history. Though J. B. Eminson was built by 'Short's' at Sunderland in
1875, the vessel is really not yet listed on site. What IS recorded on site are some words
on page 015 about the wreck of the vessel, in 1881 at Sunderland North Pier, as
you can read here.
Alas without an image of the vessel itself. I have added Sharon's words into
that page so you can read them in their proper context. It seems that so very
frequently names are repeated within a family, as in this case. It does make it
quite difficult for strangers & later generations to keep track of 'who is who'!
48) I am writing respecting the foundering
Tressillian, off County Cork, in November 1954 and re Jerry Owston's messages.
I too have been in contact with Jerry Owston. My cousin, Charlie Howden, was one
of the survivors of that disaster in 1954. I believe that he subsequently did
not go to sea again following the incident but briefly worked tugs on the Tyne
and then served in the RAF as a National Serviceman before emigrating to
Australia with his wife Marjorie (nee Humphreys).
I have not been able to confirm that he is still living and other survivors
have not been able to contact him. It is possible that he is still surviving
and is possibly in his mid to late seventies.
Eddie Stanley, Kenley, Surrey, U.K., Jun. 29, 2010, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. It would not surprise anyone who reads about Tresillian,
your cousin, Charlie Howden, who survived, might have never wanted
to go to sea again. Certainly I would have felt exactly the same way. Why tempt
providence a second time?
I have now spotted a
1954 newspaper reference to Charlie. Which
reads as follows, slightly edited:-
'Charles Howden, one of the survivors of Tresillian
told of the captain's order to abandon ship. He said he and Winters (the
Captain) and two
others clung for a while to a floating cabin door. But the captain and one other
man were washed away.'
There was major loss of life indeed, in the
Tresillian sinking, but also very great
bravery shown in the long & hard battle to rescue survivors. Hopefully, if Charlie is
still with us in Australia, he may one day 'Google' his name, see your message & the Tresillian
listing, & be in touch with you. I wonder how Charlie got to Australia? At
that time, I think that there was cheap passage available at £10 only. So
he likely did not fly.
47) Good morning Peter. Congratulations on a wonderful web site, probably the best on Sunderland.
I have attached an article on Sunderland Anchors copied from ‘Once upon a
time in Sunderland’, a local history book published last December by Philip
Curtis and Alan Brett. Whilst surfing the net I also stumbled on an interesting article on
Sunderland Anchors and Byers Shipbuilders on the ‘England’s Past for
Everyone’ website. Search 'anchors', brings up (Webmasters's comment - in
May 2012 used to bring up) two items
'Sunderland anchors - more information'
(this lists two ships built by Byers; Borderer and Merse
that you are probably not aware of, &
'Mystery of the Sunderland anchor').
(Webmaster's comment - I have cut the two links in May 2012 since the data seems no longer to be
available) Once again, Congratulations on a magnificent site. Cheers.
Tom Purvis, Sunderland, U.K., Jun. 16, 2010, firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your kind words, Tom. The article that Tom
refers to was safely received by e-mail & can be seen here. It shows a truly
giant anchor, about 15 ft. tall, made by 'Byers' for HMS Albermarle, a British battleship
completed in 1903. Tom has since chatted with Philip Curtis & my use of the
image on site is, I understand, not a problem. The book seems not to be listed,
then & now in Sep. 2013, at least, on 'BookFinder.com'. Byers the shipbuilder is
covered here. Byers re anchors is covered here.
46) Am desperately trying to find any information - especially a
photograph - of the clipper ship Undine. I believe she was
built in Sunderland, and was a tea clipper but have no idea
if that was her original name. Regards, John
John Harding, Undine Road, Isle of
Dogs, London, U.K., Jun. 5, 2010,
Webmaster's comment. There were, it would seem, many ships named Undine.
Miramar refers to 9 vessels of the name through 1872, though there probably were
many more of them. But you surely refer to Undine, the clipper,
launched by 'W. Pile Hay & Co.' at Sunderland on Sep. 28, 1867. I had now
listed Undine here. With what may
well be an image of the vessel - but no guarantees of that!
45) Hi, I am searching for an image and or information of the barque
Thomas Wood of
Sunderland, which my great grandfather sailed on from Sunderland to Penang in
1877 (for 15 months as an officer) Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks
Sarah, U.K.?, May 31, 2010, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. It does not surprise me, Sarah, that Thomas Wood
is not listed. A ship that seems not to be listed at 'Miramar'. There were over
10,000 vessels built at Sunderland & while I have 1,363 of them listed today, I
have a long way yet to go. Hopefully we will have the vessel listed on site in
the future. Now usually, I note here when the ship is site listed, but I appear not to have done so in this case. It is,
in fact, now listed here.
44) Fantastic site, thank you for your effort. Future generations will
benefit. Was trying to find the passenger list for the City of Bristol sailed
5th May 1856 to Port Fremantle. Old wooden sailing ship. Cannot get data from Ancestory sites. Best Wishes.
Ray, (Ray Holwill perhaps), Perth, Western Australia, May 29, 2010, firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I cannot help you with that matter, Ray. If anybody
can, it most probably will be someone from Australia. Australian ships or ships
which just visited there are typically amazingly well WWW featured, & the coverage
in Australian newspapers is unsurpassed. I was astonished to find that Burwah, the
Australian ship that was added - has an astonishing 28324 newspaper
references - though for 3 vessels of the name.
Future generations will
benefit? I would like to think that the site will continue to prosper when the
day comes that I can no longer maintain it. But the future is unclear. Hopefully
someone will emerge to ensure it continues - whenever that day comes.
Hopefully not for a while!
43) Hi, I work in the Haven museum of Dunkirk and I'm looking for
an anchor. It was discovered in 2008, during a construction of a building.
This anchor is very big, it weighs 5 tons. On it is written 'byers anchor/ sunderland / stockless anchor' but the most
important thing is that this anchor has a swastika marking. I know it's probably the
trade mark of Byers. I have found some information about that but not enough... I
would like to know if Byers' anchors with swastikas were made only in a certain
period of Byers' history. My aim is to discover from which
vessel this anchor came ... I don't know if you can help me, but thank
you and excuse my poor English. Best regards,
Catherine Le Cloarec, Dunkirk, France, May 28, 2010, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Catherine, your message comes through loud & clear.
I have tidied your text up a little above, to hopefully better help others. I
thought I was the only person who had an interest in Byers! I cannot personally help you,
but perhaps others can. By contacting you directly with their knowledge via your e-mail address above, or via
this website, as they may wish. I wonder
how big a ship would need to be to require a 5 ton anchor? Let us hope some site visitor
can help you advance your research, Catherine. I think this
must be your Museum. But could not track the word 'Haven'. Am I correct?
42) Found your excellent website by chance. So glad I did as I found a photo of
James Westoll. My great grandfather's death certificate states that he was the
Master of James Westoll when he died in Portugal in 1903 - unfortunately it
doesn't state the cause of death. I'm hoping, at some point, to find more
information about him through Merchant Navy records, although it seems fairly
complicated tracking them down. Thanks. Jennifer
Jennifer Sharples, Lancashire,
U.K., May 18, 2010, firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Good luck with that research, Jennifer. I have, I see, two images of
the 1884 built James Westoll,
one of them, ex e-Bay, showing damages after a 1904 collision. The other was
kindly provided by a collector of marine items - an unusual collector I do
believe - one who is pleased to share his collection with all who are
interested, via this website.
41) Hi Peter - I was just 'Googling' a name I am currently researching here in New
Zealand - John Pile, son of Thomas Hunter Pile, and I came across your site
referring to the Pile brothers shipbuilding business in Hartlepool. I note with
interest that a relative, Mr. Arron Pile is in contact with you, and has
completed some family research, including the NZ branch (where T. H. Pile emigrated
around 1876). I was enquiring to see if you could put me in contact with Arron
with a view to comparing research notes etc? My angle is that T. H. Pile's son,
John served in the Boer War and in WW1 with the New Zealanders, and I am
researching these veterans of both wars. Best Regards
Beattie, Auckland, New Zealand, May 17, 2010, email@example.com, &
Boer War website.
Webmaster's comment. I have e-mailed Arron Pile & have invited him to
contact you directly. I wish you well with your interesting family research.
40) I was researching the Cardiff Steamship Company which my family started. I have
Articles of Incorporation etc. This site helped me see where some of the boats
were built and when. Thank you.
George Campbell, Kentucky, U.S.A., May 9, 2010, firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I am glad that you found the site to be of some
assistance, George. Though probably of only modest assistance, since I found
very little WWW available about the company when I looked. An interesting family
research project for you, I am sure. Articles of Incorporation from so very far
back, i.e. 1881, must be most rare.
39) I loved everything...I have pride in my birthplace's history that too few seem to
share. Shame on the schools for not teaching enough about Sunderland's history
which has mostly been hidden from view.
Christine Turnbull, Sunderland, U.K., May 6, 2010, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. There does seem to be a lot of truth in what you say, Christine. Maybe that history was just too dirty - mining, shipbuilding, potteries,
breweries, lime kilns etc. were not particularly pretty industries. But the history is
surely a most honourable one, even if 'dirty'. A history that deserves, I would
have thought, to be respected, indeed celebrated.
38) I have matching S.L. mugs with the inscriptions "John Snowball" and James
Snowball" respectively and dated 1852.
John Carling, East Yorkshire, U.K., Apl. 19, 2010, firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Do you indeed! A most interesting pair of Sunderland Lustre mugs, presumably
(but not necessarily) from the Sunderland Pottery of Thomas Snowball, located in
Southwick. Such limited data as I have about that pottery is
Where folks can now see an image of your mugs!
37) Hello! Does somebody out there have a photo of the merchant ship EMPIRE JOHNSON, built
in 1942, at Sunderland?
Patrick Nieuwenhuis, Amsterdam, The Netherlands,
Mar. 28, 2010, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I have listed Empire Johnson now, Patrick, as a
result of your question. What an amazing story! Available here.
I did find a couple of images of the ship, I thought, but Patrick has now
advised that my first image is rather of a similar & sister ship Empire
Halley. If site visitors can provide images of Empire Johnson/Paulus
Potter, do be in touch, either with Patrick or
webmaster. Either way
I am sure they will
end up on site.
36) I found your site thanks to Google after returning from Birmingham's visit to the
Stadium of Light. I was curious as to what had been there previously and found
the answer from you. Many congratulations on the quality of the site: although
not familiar with the area I shall certainly explore the rest of the site when I
have more time as you have accumulated much of interest. Many congratulations.
U.K., Mar. 20, 2010, firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I am glad, John, that the site was helpful to you.
It would be good, in fact, to get more data about Wearmouth Colliery on site. Images
included. There must be lots of knowledge 'out there'. Maybe some day
somebody will feel inspired & be in touch with more material.
35) Hi, I am Sunderland born and bred and this is a most excellent site of my home
town I have ever seen and I can't believe you don't belong in Sunderland itself
(I have relations in Canada). I haven't got time to look through the whole site
at one go but will certainly pop in now and again.
These might help: The old custom house was ordered to be built by Queen
Elizabeth I as she was getting no revenue from the Wear pulled down in the
1930's(?), The oldest and first purpose built factory is Websters 'under' the
Queen Alexandra Bridge, Oldest church is St. Peters 674 AD. Roker Ravine Bridge
is supposed to be the oldest wooden bridge in the country (also home to
Spotty/Spuggy, a foreign sailor who upset a witch and she turned him to stone,
he is situated on the side of the ravine in a small cave that is filling up with
debris and I don't know if 'he' can be seen these days).
Thanks for the site and hope these help in some small way... (Probably already
in the site.)
Sunderland (or originally from there, at least),
Mar. 01, 2010, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Alan, for your message. I don't think
that any of the interesting matters that you mention are so far on site. Not
even Spotty/Spuggy! So the site has a way to go yet, as new material continues
to be found.
34) Hi All. I only started to find out about ships or barges named
2 years ago as I was trying to find out about my Grandad 3rd Engineer
He had lost both lower limbs just below the knees. My Mum and
her Brothers and Sisters, would never talk about him or to him. I suddenly
realised that he must be on a pension and by sheer chance I e-mailed a site
firstname.lastname@example.org. I got a wee piece of paper back 6" x
3". All it had on it was a wee bit of printing and handwriting letting me know
that they didn't have any more information. It was just what I needed a clue. It
had on it S.S. Sagamore. 3rd Engineer Thomas Edward Lunt. Amputations April 1920,
1921, 1922 and that was it. Its a long story you may have seen it in Google
maybe. He was a Chronic Alcoholic. I got to know him a wee bit when I was
playing for Liverpool "B", "A" and 1/2 a dozen or so games for Liverpool 1950
1951. Then had to go to Scotland to complete studies and work experience with
Babcock and Wilcox Renfrew. It really had me going around in circles the name
Sagamore. Still trying to find more about him and the ship. Harland & Wolff
have no record or drawings of their ship and in fact one person told me she was
built in Glasgow. I have a good photo of her, a 4 master, with the accommodation
which was added in 1912 for 60 - 2nd Class Passengers. Have Loved the Doxford
site and loved the engines till they started to use the Heavy Fuel Oil, really
Boiler Oil. I sailed on Twin Fives M.V. Hauraki and Twin Sixes
Rangitane. Both N.Z.S. Co. as you probably know better than I. No I was not on her, I had left the
trip before the 2nd but a twist in the Crank Shaft 1956. I knew he was going to
screw something up. Thank you for reading my email. Great Guest Book as
well. Very best regards,
Feb. 12, 2010, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Ken, thanks for your message. There were many
vessels named Sagamore - Miramar lists 12 of them, in fact, over the period of 1861
through 1959. Most of them (9) were U.S. ships. The Sagamore
which concerns this site is the one built in 1893, a 'whaleback' ship, listed here. Strangely there was one built
earlier, in 1892, by Harland & Wolff, of Belfast. I say that because I find it
strange that there were 2 cargo ships in existence at the same time with the identical
name. The Harland & Wolff, 1892 built vessel was, I see torpedoed in 1917, with the loss of 52 lives.
Your grandfather surely would have served aboard that vessel & was one of the
survivors. And there was
another one, an ore carrier, built at Scotstoun, Glasgow, in 1957.
P.S. The guestbook is indeed a good one. It is set
at its maximum size so messages such as Ken's are not cut off in mid sentence.
33) Dear Peter. Thanks for a very interesting site. Perhaps you can help me or you can give me some advice to get more in
information of SMS Westburn.
My grandfather died two months before I was
born in 1951. He was a sailor for many years and he worked as second engineer on
various boats. I have in my possession a small brass cup with inscription
SMS Westburn 23.2.16. (I can send you a picture of it, if you like). It is the
same date as the crew of the SMS Westburn was released in St. Cruz in Tenerife,
I have spent many hours trying to find more information
about SMS Westburn and if my grandfather had been on board the SMS Westburn when
it was conquered by Seagul in February 1916. I am grateful for any help or ideas I can get, in my continuing quest for
more information about SMS Westburn. Best regards
Eidlert, Stockholm, Sweden,
Feb. 11, 2010, firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Christer, you would seem to have confirmed that the
crew was landed on Feb. 23, 1916. Which may, or may not be, the date on which
the vessel was scuttled. I would love to be
able to help. But ... the only way that I can assist is to ask, via the
Westburn listing, for help about the identity of the 24 crew
members that were landed at Tenerife. It is possible that the folks at link 1,
have detail about the 24 - but you may have already contacted them. For other
site visitors:- The Westburn listing is here, an interesting story indeed. 'Seagul' refers to Möwe, a
German raider, whose name translates into English as 'Seagull'.
Since the above was written,
just yesterday, Christer has
kindly provided an image of the brass cup referred to above & has commented about it. Both are now visible via a link at the bottom of the
32) Hi Peter, Just discovered your site, nice reading and interesting to. I have
been looking up my ancestors, on my mother's side. They were nearly all
watermen, keelmen, mariners, master mariners and captains of steamboats. All lived
in the east end of Sunderland, Low Street etc. The Pinchards. So far I am finding it
hard to find any information on mariners and the water trade in Sunderland. Any
Hilton Stanness, Peterlee, County Durham, U.K., Jan. 21, 2010, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I am not sure, Hilton, that I really understand what
sort of data you are seeking & would wish to be also included on site. Can you elaborate a bit, with maybe 2 or 3 examples of the sorts of
information you are referring to. Which sound however to be, perhaps,
biographical in nature? Via the guest book, by all means, or directly via the
31) Just by chance I found this web-site, I’m glad I did, I’ve just flicked through
it for now but I’ll be back again and again, what great pictures and
information. Very well done on putting it all together, it really is a pleasure
Stevie Price, Sunderland, U.K., Jan. 18, 2010
Webmaster's comment. Yet another happy visitor! Stevie, indeed every site
visitor & not just Stevie, is a possible lead to additional content. Interesting
data or images, maybe? You can reach the webmaster here:- firstname.lastname@example.org
30) By the way, are you aware that Lowry was in Sunderland and stayed at the
Seaburn Hotel (now Sunderland Marriott). He often drew sketches on napkins and
envelopes and gave them to strangers. They are now worth thousands.
Mandy Ochoa, U.S.A., Jan. 13, 2010, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I am surprised, Mandy, that you even found the page on which
two L. S.
Lowry images appear.
A temporary page, really - until a permanent home on site is found for them. It would be good if someone
were to provide, one day, for inclusion in this site, such a Lowry
'napkin' or 'envelope' sketch.
29) I'm just amazed to find so much history and information of my home town, it's a
true joy to read through it, I live in the USA now but never forget my Hendon
roots. Thank you thank you!!
Mandy Ochoa, U.S.A., Jan. 13, 2010, firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. It is strange perhaps, Mandy, that it is not someone
from Sunderland who has created the site. The webmaster has never been there!
28) Thank you so much for such an informative site, I haven't had time to read right
through everything yet as I only found it today. I am a descendent of William
Pile and was taken many times as a child to Sunderland Museum to see the bust
My nan who was a Pile by birth in Sunderland wanted me to know
about my heritage, but as a child you don't take everything in except for the
fact of who he was and what he did. Then as life carries on I got older and my
life got busy with work, then a family and running a busy
Unfortunately I lost my nan before I became interested in learning
everything about my ancestors so now being the last of previous generations I am
trying to trace everything back before my history is lost forever and pass it on
to the next generations. Without a doubt I will be back many times to learn
everything I can about my ancestry, many thanks for the information on your
Many thanks, Lorraine
Lorraine Cook, North East, U.K., Dec. 31, 2009, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. I am glad, Lorraine, that you have found the site to be
helpful. Much of the data re William Pile became available only very recently
thanks to David Crosby, another site visitor. You refer to the 'Pile' painting.
We hope, one day, to be able to show on site a quality full screen width image of that painting.
All I can do today, alas, is to provide a small image of it & links to the
modest available on-line images.
27) Hi Peter. At last the long awaited visitors book. As I have said in previous
communications, I cannot compliment you enough on your fantastic, informative
site. I often check back to see the updates and I always find something new.
Keep up the good work. Kind regards. Mary
Mary Carey, Wimbledon, London, U.K., Dec. 19, 2009, firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. Mary, closely associated
with Friends of Old Sunderland Parish Church, seems to be fast becoming a 'site correspondent'. Mary, you drew my attention to some wonderful images of the
clipper ship 'City of Adelaide' at its site in Irvine. Now referred to on site
here. And I have added in also, a reference
to the history of salt panning at Sunderland Panns,
thanks to Robert Moon's volume - here.
26) Sir Excellent site. I have a picture of the bust of William Pile. If you give
me an e-mail address I will forward it. Regards Dave
David Crosby, Sunderland, U.K., Dec. 13, 2009, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. David, I was most happy to accept your kind offer.
image of the bust, a very fine image indeed, can now be seen in the section about William Pile, for
to enjoy. Here.
25) Hello Peter, thanks for replying to my message. For once I was lost for
words ... not even living in this country! This is a most impressive website.
I love it. I keep coming back for more. I just love all those pictures of the
old ships. So elegant weren't they?
Keep up the good work, it is a really
special site. One that I will come back to again and again. Best Wishes, Sandra
Sandra Hamilton, Norwich, Norfolk, U.K., Dec. 03, 2009, firstname.lastname@example.org
24) I have been researching my uncle's family tree, surname, BARBER, and to my
delight found that 2 of his gt aunts married into the Doxford family, Ada &
Laura Barber. I do believe the Doxfords were also related to the Laing family. I
have only been researching the Barber family for 4 weeks, but I want to get as
much done before Xmas so I can show my uncle Jimmy. Some Xmas present I can tell
Fabulous website, thank you. I can see a lot of hard work has gone into
the making of this.
ps are you the man who goes to Sunderland library for
Sandra Hamilton, Norwich, Norfolk, U.K., Nov. 21, 2009, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. That will be a fine Christmas present indeed! Sandra, I am
not the man that you refer to. In fact, strange as it may seem, I
have never even been to Sunderland, & have no family connections with the city. My first (of three)
'Doxford' pages is here.
23) This is a most
impressive website. But it's more than that - it is an historic document and an
incredibly good research tool. I will be back frequently because it is fairly
local to me and because I have an interest in wartime shipping along the North
East Coast of England. Keep up the good work.
Neville Bougourd, Durham, U.K., Nov. 14, 2009, NEVandDOREEN@aol.com
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Neville, for your message. It is a site in progress, however. And with so many vessels built at Sunderland,
and so few (relatively) listed on site today, we have a very long way yet to go.
22) Hello Peter. Today I had the first look to your very impressive website. Regarding the
'Helmstrath', built 1928, I can send you some more details about the history,
because I wrote about the vessel in a manuscript which deals with the vessels
the former Kieler Howaldtswerke had built new resp. repaired during the period
1945-1967. The manuscript will be published in the autumn of 2010, in both German
and English. If you are interested, please respond. Best regards.
Hans Meyer, Ratingen,
Germany, Nov. 6, 2009, HansH.Meyer@t-online.de
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Hans, both for your kind message & for your offer which I am most happy to accept. It is a courtesy, indeed, to be offered material
which is not yet published. In due course,
hopefully we can return that courtesy by linking to the availability of your
forthcoming book. The Helmstrath listing, now including Han's
data, is here.
21) Hello Georgina. Good to hear about Sunderland contacts. I lived
in Sunderland from 1921 to 1960 and
remember the Victoria Hall well. It was really a theatre (not Opera House) and
always had a very sad air about it until finally demolished by a bomb. Went to
school with a boy called Wheelan (or might it have been Whelans?). It was along
time ago ! ! Len
Len Charlton, Abingdon, U.K., Oct. 30, 2009
Webmaster's comment. I read with interest in the first London Times article
available via this link that Victoria Hall 'narrowly escaped being the Town-hall of the borough'.
It did not escape the later German bomb!
20) Hello there, what a
wonderful site full of history...very interesting! I came across my name by
accident really, that a Georgina Whellans from the U.K. possibly Sunderland had/has
a copy of the original paper of the Victoria opera house fire in 18th century.
That's me! ... However, when my nana died (Georgina Canavan) in 1999, I came
across the newspaper in her belongings, along with other old papers etc. But unfortunately, they didn't get passed onto me!
I have no idea where it went or
who it got passed onto, it was an original in fab condition! It's a shame. I
wish I had it. I will do some asking around to see if I can locate it, my nana
had 12 children so it could be any 1 of them! I would also like to thank you for
the wonderful work you have done with this web site! Its brilliant!
Georgina Whellans, Sunderland, U.K., Oct. 29, 2009, firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. So glad to hear from you, Georgina! And if you can
locate that material it would be welcomed. I find it interesting to read the
contemporary record re events such as the Victoria Hall disaster - in this case
the very sad details.
done Peter. The new Guest book is excellent and completes a seamless transfer
from the old 'Geocities' server. Six months hard work for you but the end
results are outstanding and a credit to your efforts.
Len Charlton, Abingdon, U.K., Oct. 22, 2009
Webmaster's comment. Good progress, I think. I am particularly pleased that
at its maximum setting, long messages, such as the one immediately below, can be accepted.
18) Hi Peter, I just wanted to compliment you on your creation of a most interesting
informative web site! It's even more incredible to learn that you've never
visited Sunderland, & are living in Canada!
I was born in Sunderland in
1948 in Harlow Street, Millfield, but moved to Barnard Castle in 1951 due to my
father's health problems. He had been a boilermaker with Crown shipyard and
Clarke's & during the depression in the 30's, he worked for Florence Crown,
helping her to build her bungalow 'Clough End' at Rothbury. He died in 1954,
officially of pulmonary thrombosis, but I expect he actually suffered from
asbestosis, which was unknown at that time.
My grandfather, Peter Brant,
immigrated from Riga, Latvia, jumping ship in Sunderland at the end of the 19th
century, together with his shipmate Jack Roche (these were the new names they
took - apparently naturalisation was easy then!). They married sisters - Mary
and Ethel Young. Peter Brant was at sea all his life, latterly as a pilot on the
Wear. He died in 1959. The photo of 'Ferguson' - the ferryman you show rowing
the Hylton Ferry - is the spitting image of my grandfather.
grandfather was a brass finisher at one of the small shipyards on the Wear -
Glenholm's? I still have his indentures, hand-written on parchment - so I'll
check the exact name of the yard - I couldn't see it in your comprehensive
Thanks again, and best of luck with the expansion of your
Peter Herring, Hofkammerstrasse 28, 88069 Tettnang, Germany, tel.
+49 7542 938 2727, Oct. 22, 2009, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment: Thanks for your interesting message,
Peter. With this new guestbook, a message of
such size is possible where previously it would have been cut off. Glenholm's is not a name that I have heard before. Do
by all means confirm or correct that name & if it is a new shipbuilder name, we
shall add it in! You can reach me here:- firstname.lastname@example.org.
17) Hi I am trying to find any
information about prefabricated houses built by Sunderland shipbuilders at a
time when there was a lull in shipbuilding. The house that I have just
bought is rumoured to be one. Hope you can help with any info. Thanks.
Jim, Howbridge House, Ferryboat Lane, Sunderland, U.K., Oct. 9, 2009, email@example.com
Webmaster's comment. Jim, I was not aware of such specific activities. I have
been aware, however, that Bartram's built caravans during the Depression &
caravans & prefabricated houses are closely allied, I think.
See the yellow caravan advertisement at the Bartram listing.
Nobody has yet responded to my query on the Bartram page.
Since writing the above response I checked with a source who is most knowledgeable about
Sunderland & shipbuilding matters there. He believes it is unlikely to have been so. Because such houses
('prefabs') were mainly built after WW2, to quickly replace houses that had been destroyed during the war.
Particularly in London, but also in many other cities that suffered major war damage. The shipbuilding yards at Sunderland
were busy indeed after the war. 58 ships were built at Sunderland in 1942, the
war year of highest ship production. The numbers built in 1945 thru 1949 ranged
from 37 to 48 ships in each year. The yards were busy with shipbuilding when the
prefabs were built! But .... some years later, in Apl. 1963, the
Government conducted a study into the feasibility of using the Sunderland yards
for such a purpose (per a Sunderland Echo article of Jan. 24, 1963). And were to
report soon thereafter. I understand now that it was tried at Swan Hunter at Wallsend, apparently without success.
But ... stop the press! Alan Vickers advises, in Mar. 2012, that
there were such houses since he had an office in one of them. He advises 'Following the formation of North East Shipbuilders, for a time during
1986 - 1988, I had an office in what was one of the prefabricated houses that was located just outside Sunderland Shipbuilders offices at Pallion. The office had previously been used to house superintendents for some of the ships that were being built. I can recall that many years earlier I visited an exhibition and saw a pre-fabricated house that had been made by, I think, Hawthorn Leslie
on the river Tyne. Thank you Alan!
16) Have you had any response to your questions regarding BISCo regarding the bulk carriers? This company coordinated shipments of iron
ore into UK ports i.e. Birkenhead/Port
Talbot/Irlam Manchester/Immingham /Workington/Glasgow/Redcar. I worked fro
Norman, West Yelland, Barnstaple, North Devon, U.K., Sep. 23, 2009, firstname.lastname@example.org
Webmaster's comment. I have not received any responses to my earlier questions on that subject.
But I now have! I have added your information into the listing re Iron Ore here.
Hopefully I have it correctly. Sorry that my then guestbook cut off your message!
Incredible site, well
done! Could read all this for hours. Thank you for all your work.
SR, Durham, U.K., Sep. 20, 2009
Webmaster's comment. I do appreciate your words of encouragement.
Stephen (re item #13), I am Len Charlton who helps Peter with Sunderland History. Lived
Sunderland 1921-1961 but am now in Abingdon and I would welcome occasional e-mail
contact to cross-check data. Can be reached here:
(Len has since passed away, so I have cut the e-mail reference he provided).
Len, Abingdon, U.K., Sep. 5, 2009
A wonderfully informative site on my home city. I've lived in Sunderland for nearly 40 years and have just
learnt a thing or two. Thank you.
Stephen, Seaburn, Sunderland, U.K., Aug. 31, 2009 http://www.ascension-signs.co.uk
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your kind words, Stephen. The strange
thing perhaps is that the webmaster has no family association whatsoever with
Sunderland - and has never even been there! But he is being helped along the way
by many kind persons who know the city very well indeed.
To Julian & Jenny, re items #9 & #10 below & Lesley re item #3. I can re reached via
e-mail address email@example.com.
Please be in touch since I have absolutely no means to contact any of you.
Many visitors to Sunderland Datapages will know that the present web host will soon close. Peter is working very hard indeed to transfer Datapages to another web host and deserves our vote of gratitude.
Len, Abingdon, U.K., Jul. 17, 2009
Webmaster's comment. Len is, of course quite correct. After 10/15 years
during which time my cable provider has routinely provided web space for its
cable clients, the facility will no longer be available as of Oct. 26, 2009. No
alternative is offered. On
that date the sites will just 'vanish'. A business decision, I am told, & I think a
most regrettable one. Cable clients who do not notice that the end is coming will
experience the loss of all of their web content.
The new site
is here 'www.searlecanada.org'.
Dear Peter, I apologise
for posting the following message here, but I was unable to locate a direct
e-mail link for you which did not involve tussling with technology!! I have
just come across your fascinating website whilst looking for information on Be
Jenny, Hartlepool, U.K., Jun. 23, 2009
Webmaster's comment. How frustrating are the available guestbooks! See item 9
below. Jenny's message was also cut off by the system & is not
complete. And I have no ability
to respond to Jenny. So Jenny, if you see this response, do be
There are hundreds of links on the site that would initiate an e-mail message
that I would receive.
Searched the web for my
great-grandads ship, the Contest, no. 58065 as it appears on his Master Mariners
certificate at the public records office, dated 20 March 1882. No doubt it is
the same one as the Blumers, and not the one lost near Perth! He owned s
Julian, Dorset, U.K., Jun. 18, 2009
Webmaster's comment. How frustrating are the available guestbooks! Including
the one I alas have to use. Julian's message was cut off by the system & is not
complete. And without URL completed, (a term I cannot change), I have no ability
to respond to Julian. URL should request a means to respond i.e. an e-mail
address, hotmail perhaps, or a web address. So Julian, if you see this response, do be
What a wonderful achievement so far and being added to almost daily.
Robert, Westoe Village, South Shields, U.K., Apl. 14, 2009
Webmaster's comment. A significant portion of the site is, in fact, created from data provided by Robert.
Particularly re Bartram's. If
you have data that could add to the record, do be
Very interesting. Will
answer query later on Byers.
Tony, Sunderland, U.K., Mar.
Webmaster's comment. I look forward to your further word, Tony. I do not have much
data about 'Byers & Co.', wooden shipbuilders, of Sunderland. Write to me here.
Data has since been added.
Paul, Ponteland, Northumberland, U.K., Mar.
Very informative site! Am conducting research on the ship Kingston which was
built at Oswald Shipbuilding in 1871. However, I do not see this ship listed on
your list of ships built at this yard (page 049). Any information which you
could provide on this .....
Mike, www.shipwrecksofegypt.com, Alexandria, Egypt, Mar.
Webmaster's comment. It did not surprise me, Mike, that Kingston was not
listed. There were over 10,000 vessels built at Sunderland & while I have
nearly 1,000 of them listed, I have a long way yet to go. BUT... the vessel is now listed & a
interesting vessel it proved to be. What I could WWW find (and there is lots of
it!) about the vessel is here. Additional data/corrections are welcomed.
4) Excellent site for reference material and just reminiscing about old times. Thank you.
Philip, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, Feb. 15, 2009
Webmaster's comment. Glad you found it to be of interest. Data always welcomed.
3) I have just read your
article etc. on shipbuilding in Sunderland - about the Pile family and I have
some dates etc. if you are interested as John Edward Pile was a relative of mine
- he was born on 4th March 1886 and died about 1976. Perhaps you would like?
Lesley, Guernsey, Channel Islands, Feb. 8, 2009
Webmaster's Comment. Will be glad to include that data. And any more data you may have about 'Pile'. Contact me via the link
on the Pile page or via this link.
I have no means to contact you without your providing an e-mail address (hotmail
perhaps to WWW protect your identity).
2) This is a trial message, Peter, as you request
Len, Abingdon, U.K., Feb. 3, 2009
Webmaster's comment. The page seems to be working OK.
1) I hope that this is an operating guest book at last!
Peter Searle, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Feb. 02, 2009.