The Sunderland Site Guestbook

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To search for specific text on this page, just press 'CTRL + F' & then enter your search term. A general site search? Go here.

463) I have compiled a comprehensive history of the Star Queen, built 1854, ON 4285. If of interest, let me know how I can send it to you. Cheers.
John Anderson, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada, Apl. 12, 2023
Webmaster's comment. John, thank you for your offer which is most kind. And thank you for providing to me via e-mail your history of Star Queen. Which is indeed 'comprehensive' being of 23 pages long. Such history is now available for all to read, at the end of my existing, if modest, Star Queen listing - which can be accessed here.

462) Bonjour, je recherche un "plan" d'un sd14 pour faire une maquette, pouvez vous m'aider?
Jean Claude Sinnesael, France, Mar. 28, 2023
Webmaster's comment. Jean Claude, I think, that many years ago, I saw, on e-Bay, a large poster that was in effect a very large plan for the SD14. Normally I would save such an item on my computer - but I just cannot find it in my files today. Perhaps some kindly site visitor, who has such a plan, might forward a copy of it to you, Jean Claude, via your address as above. And hopefully to me too (, so it can be referenced in these pages.

461) Thank you. I enjoyed looking through your web pages. Best wishes, Mick.
Michael McManus, County Durham, Jan. 24, 2023
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Michael, for your kind comments.

460) Good morning again Peter Searle. I would like to know more about the ship Pedro Luis Lacave built in the Astilleros de Cádiz S.A. for the Compañía Gaditana de Navegación a Vapor de Cádiz on 06.01.1903 and purchased by the Compañía Marítima Gorocica S.A. to the Sociedad Minera Cantábrico Asturiana S.A. Santander on 07.20.1915. Sold to H. C. Gorrissen of Christiana (Norway) on 08/09/1916 and renamed Nordpol. The machinery for this ship was manufactured at Central Marine Engineering Works Ltd., West Hartlepool, Sunderland. On 12.25.1917 she was sunk by a torpedo from the German submarine SM U-35 under the command of the Captain Lothar von Arnauld de la Perière. Thank you. Fernando.
Fernando Tomás de Gorocica, Ciudad Jardín Lomas del Palomar, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 17, 2022
Webmaster's comment. Hello again, Fernando! I feel that I owe you an apology. When I wrote my response to your earlier message (#459) I intended to write to you about it & make you aware of my thoughts on the subject before you read my response. Alas, I never did write that letter.

459) Good morning again Peter. I would like to know more about two ships belonging to the Compañía Marítima Gorocica & one from another shipping company but with Tomás de Gorocica her captain. The first two were not built in England.
The ships are the following:-
Compañía Marítima Gorocica S.A.
- Ship Guernica, built by A. Putnam (1885), Maitland, Nova Scotia, Canada.
- Ship Otzamiz, built by P. R. Crichton (1881), Kingsport, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Berge, Silva & Co.
- Ship Nervión, built by J. T. Eltringham (1873), South Shields, England.
See these links from Lloyd’s Register: Guernica, Otzamiz, Nervión.
Yours truly.
Fernando Tomás de Gorocica, Ciudad Jardín Lomas del Palomar, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 15, 2022 - Fernando's website link:-
Webmaster's comment. I will surely be disappointing you, Fernando, when I tell you that I will not be researching the above three vessels  - vessels that like Amalia already covered, may well be of significance in your family's history.
When the website was commenced, 15 or maybe 20 years ago now, I had no idea that the history of Sunderland & particularly of its shipping, would prove to be such an enormous undertaking. It still astonishes me to think that 12,700 or more ships were built on the banks of Sunderland's most modest river. What has evolved is a giant non-profit website - one that is totally free of advertising & is freely accessible to all. A site that is unique in not only providing data but in showing you where that data came from. Today, close to 2,700 Sunderland built ships are detail listed on site. I would need a few more lifetimes to be able to research all of the 12,700.
Researching each ship typically takes a day or so. It is not particularly difficult to do today but is time-consuming. But, with so many vessels yet to be researched, I do not feel that I can devote my available time to research vessels that were not built at Sunderland.
So I thank you for your inquiry, Fernando, but must respectfully decline.

458) Busco información sobre un buque de carga tramp. Nombre: Armora, Capelmead, Marnetown. Año de construcción 1911. Astillero: Hyilton de Mers. ¿Disponen de alguna información? Muchas gracias. Un saludo.
Which seems to translate from Spanish into English as:- I'm looking for information on cargo ship named Armora, later Capelmead & Marnetown. Built in 1911 at a Hylton shipyard. Do you have any information? Thanks a lot. All the best.
Alberto Torres Barchino, Valencia, Spain, Dec. 12, 2022 -
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Alberto. Such vessel is at present name listed only on site, built by Osborne, Graham & Co. of North Hylton. Hopefully I can soon provide you with some detailed data about Armora.
But now, a week or so later, the vessel is detail listed - here - with a modest image!

457) Good morning Peter. I would like to know more about a ship belonging to the Compañía Marítima Gorocica, a Spanish shipping company, which ship was built by Reay & Naisby in 1867. These are its details (in Spanish) - (Note - the webmaster has added a 'best-efforts' translation of the Spanish text into English):

Bergantín goleta Amalia
Señal distintiva: HBTJ
Nombre: Amalia
Clase: Bergantín goleta
Matrícula: Bilbao
Año de la matrícula: 1867
Punto de la construcción: astillero Reay & Naisby, Sunderland - Inglaterra
Año de la construcción: 1867
Material de la construcción: Madera
Dimensiones: Eslora: 37,48; Manga: 8,61; Puntal: 5,41
Tonelaje: Total: 430,50; Neto: 419,20
Nombre y domicilio del armador: D. Juan Antonio Gorocica - Bilbao


Brig/brigantine schooner Amalia
Signal letters:  HBTJ
Name: Amalia
Class: Brigantine schooner
Registration: Bilbao
Year of first registration: 1867
Built by: Reay & Naisby, shipbuilders, of Sunderland, England
Year of construction: 1867
Construction material: Wood
Dimensions: Length 37.48; Beam 8.61; Depth: 5.41 (metres)
Tonnage: Total: 430.50; Net: 419.20
Name & address of owner: D. Juan Antonio Gorocica - of Bilbao

I was studying your boat builder's page & found these possible results: 74 & 120. Sincerely yours,
Fernando Tomás de Gorocica, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Nov. 24, 2022 - Fernando's website link:-
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your message, Fernando. Detailed data about L. R. H., later Amalia, always a barque incidentally, is now available on site here.

456) Hi, I contacted you some years ago about there having been two vessels named Albion built in Sunderland in 1820. The schooner is the one for which details appear on site (here) but David 'McLennan' (he was in fact 'McLeman') of Rosemarkie is listed in the Harbour Register of Inverness as joint owner and master of the other Albion, home port Fortrose, also built at Sunderland in 1820. She was a brigantine of 54 tons. He was captaining her on what were very much the standard coal runs - south with timber & then north with coal. The 'Newcastle Courant' of Sep. 23, 1820, for instance, shows them arriving: 'Albion, Mclemon, Inverness, Timber'. In 1823 he had her converted to a sloop (presumably had a mast taken out?) & reregistered her with himself as joint owner. She then went back on the coal runs, sometimes moving astoundingly fast.
I fear she was the sloop recorded in the 'Caledonian Mercury' of Dec. 24, 1836 as having been wrecked near the Tarbat Ness Lighthouse: 'Inverness December 13. The weather still continues boisterous. On the 14th the sloop Albion of Inverness on her passage from Wemyss for Fortrose missed stays near the Tarbetness lighthouse; and the windlass having given way, the vessel was driven on the rocks – crew saved. Should the weather moderate, it is expected that the rigging and part of the cargo, may be saved.' After 1836 I can find no further reference to her.
Helen Proudfoot, U.K., Nov. 19, 2022
Webmaster's comment. Hello again, Helen! Yes indeed, you were in touch by e-mail in Apl. 2021. One vessel named Albion, built at Sunderland in 1820, is detail listed on site here. The other was named on site but not yet detail listed.
But now it is - Here. With all of Helen's data included!

455) I love your page and check back often to see updates. My family worked on the Hetton Railway for several generations. However I can’t see anything on Thomas Hawksley and the magnificent heritage of Sunderland water supply engineering.
Meg Crosby, Sunderland, U.K., Sep. 12, 2022
Webmaster's comment. So glad to hear from you again, Meg! - Meg's previous post was many years ago but is still available here. Meg, incidentally, is Sunderland City Council Councillor Margaret Crosby.
The webmaster was in touch with Meg as a result of her message. And Meg kindly provided in her reply a great many links to websites that could be helpful, both re Hetton Railway & re the subject of water supply engineering. But I have not yet figured out a next step re the water supply subject.

454) Hi Peter, thank you for creating such an interesting website. I am looking for information on the Sir William Ffolkes, which was completed by Ratcliffe and Spence in Sep. 1852 & departed for Australia in Nov. 1852. I would love to know where the ship would have departed from, what route she would have taken to Australia, what cargo she might have been carrying, how many passengers etc. I would be very grateful if you could help. Many thanks.
Ali Foster, New Zealand, Sep. 3, 2022
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Ali. I have now detail listed Sir William Ffolkes - here. I am able to provide you with some good data about the 1852 voyage to Australia that you reference. My overall data is, however limited. In 1856 the vessel ceased to be British registered having been sold to foreign interests. To whom & of which country is, alas, unknown to me. The vessel's name may well have been changed by the new owner.

453) I worked on Doxford Hull No. 779 - original name British Defender & later named El Flamingo, when I worked on the vessel in the mid 1970s. It had been converted from a BP tanker to a dredger & used to collect stone from the North sea off the east coast near the river Humber & bring it back up the river Thames up to Charlton to a ready mixed concrete company named Marcon which was part of J. Murphy and Sons Irish building contractors. I was working as fabricator welder.  I know quite a lot about Doxford 779.
David Seery, LU61LZ (Dunstable, Bedfordshire), U.K., Jul. 1, 2022
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your interesting message, David. I have now, as a result of your guestbook entry, detail listed British Defender - here. Hopefully, with your personal knowledge of the vessel, we might both expand & improve such listing. P.S. David, I would welcome your response to my e-mail message on Jul. 2, 2022.

452) Looking for any image of SS Zone, vessel #115968. Built 1903, torpedoed Dec. 1917.
Tom Moffatt, New Brunswick, Canada, Apl. 15, 2022
Webmaster's comment. Alas, Tom, I am unable to help you in your search. Let us hope that a kindly site visitor sees your message & comes to your rescue.
Zone, which was built by Joseph L. Thompson & Sons Limited in 1903, is name listed on site only. The vessel has not yet been researched. I note however that the vessel was a refrigerated cargo ship & was owned, for its entire lifetime, by Turner, Brightman & Co., of London.

451) In the summer of 1980, we took some photos of Blasties at Seaham. They were so nice & friendly to chat to & I have often regretted not asking them their names. Someone on a Seaham Facebook page suggested he also met & chatted & he thinks they were from Ryhope. Would you be able to post a few photos in the hope someone local will remember them. As well as learning their names, there may be family members who would appreciate seeing their faces again.
Thank you for considering this request. Regards from Canada.
Sue Wright, Ontario, Canada, Apl. 1, 2022
Webmaster's comment. Hopefully we will have more about this subject, on site, very soon. And hopefully, too, the webmaster will learn who or what 'Blasties' are!
In the meantime, it would appear that many 1980 photographs of Seaham can be viewed via Sue's web site. Here.

450) I am a descendant of John Marrington, partner in Geo. Frater shipbuilders of Sunderland 1824-1841. The family story is that we had 'ships on the sea' at Sunderland named the Frances & the Isabella. Any info. please. Excellent site.
James P. Merrington, County Durham, U.K., Feb. 16, 2022
Webmaster's comment. I am delighted to hear from you, James. The 'Merrington' name is familiar to me in view of your family's long shipbuilding association with George Frater & Co., covered on site here.
You reference two particular vessels. A vessel named
Frances is included in a Sunderland build list available to the webmaster - of 248 tons, built in 1832 by George Frater. But, as I indicate on page 059, I have not site listed Frances because - so far at least - I have found no additional data whatsoever about the vessel. Isabella, built by Frater is not known to me. I will be in touch with you directly re the both vessels. Hopefully with your additional data, they can both soon be included on site.

449) A Great site! Lots of good information. THANKS!
Ken Chicken, Sunderland, County Durham, U.K., Feb. 14, 2022
Webmaster's comment. I am glad to hear that you found the site to be of interest, Ken. I am glad, too, for your being in touch with me directly also, i.e. by e-mail. You brought to my attention an error in the site - my error most certainly. Now corrected. I am always happy to have errors, however large or small, brought to my attention so they can be corrected.

448) Following on from my earlier post from today - do you know which publication the second Fleetwood lifeboat print was from - obviously another French newspaper but which & what date?
Allan Ryan, Queensland, Australia, Jan. 24, 2022
Webmaster's comment. Allan, I am unfortunately unable to provide the name of the French newspaper in which the image you reference originally appeared. I can tell you that I found the image on Delcampe, in a 2020 listing by vendor 'Kiwilice007', who likely did not reference the original source in his listing. Should I ever find the image again, I will gladly advise you.

447) Hi, I have an original copy of the Fleetwood life-boat inauguration engraving. As you mention on page 196 there is a description on the reverse of the newspaper page. The article (translated of course) reads:
   The attached engraving illustrates the inauguration of a life-boat at Fleetwood, a seaport in the county of Lancashire, on the west coast of England. These boats, present in all the English seaports, continually render great services to humanity by saving shipwrecked sailors from death on the dangerous coasts of the English Channel, the St. George's Channel and the surrounding seas.
   ....  Webmaster:- The full text is quite long. In order to conserve space on this page I have i) cut the rest of Allan's text, but ii) made the entire text available here.
Allan Ryan, Queensland, Australia, Jan. 24, 2022
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Allan, for providing to the webmaster data which he himself was not able to access. I have added in your translated text under the fine 'Fleetwood' image that has graced site page 196 for some years now. Site visitors will, I know, join me in thanking you for contributing this interesting material for all to be now able to enjoy.

446) The cargo ship John Liddell was lost on Dec. 12, 1886 on a journey from Blyth to Hamburg. One of those who died was a James Cowie, aged 40, from South Shields. He later married Christina Holmes and moved to Sunderland. Do you have a photo of John Liddell? - would be nice to see what the ship looked like. Regards John Cowie.
John Cowie, Jan. 23, 2022
Webmaster's comment. John Liddell is not a vessel with which the webmaster was familiar. I learn that it was a 196.9 ft. long steamship, built in 1863 by C. Mitchell & Co. of Newcastle, Low Walker. ON 48551. Of 562/699 tons (N/G) with 90 HP engines by R. & W. Hawthorn of Newcastle, later replaced with 90 HP engines by John Dickinson of Sunderland. The Mercantile Navy List of 1885 records the vessel as then owned by Hy. (Hyram) James of Lambeth, London. While Lloyd's Register of 1886/87 notes i) that the vessel's then owner was J. S. Barwick of London, & ii) that the vessel had gone 'Missing'. On a voyage from Blyth to Hamburg, Germany, per John's message. Lost per Lloyd's. I do not, alas, have an image of the vessel in my files, John, & could not find one in a WWW search this morning.

445) Totally absorbing website, thank-you. My g-g-grandfather Samuel Wilson worked at the sawmills under the bridges, the family also had a Thompson from the shipbuilders join them. I'm now married to someone from an old Berlin boat family and we hope to sail our old motor cruiser back to the Wear one day.
Gerard Wilson, Berlin (There are many places named Berlin. Germany perhaps? But Berlin, Germany is far inland, I think), Jan. 05, 2022
Webmaster's comment. Am glad that you found the website to be of interest, Gerard. And happy that you took the time to tell me so, via the guestbook. Such data as I have accumulated about the Wilson sawmill can re found here.

444) My Father George Reginald Charlton was the second engineer aboard the s.s. Cydnia when it ran aground and sank on September 28th 1916. His personal log, which he kept throughout his whole career at sea, simply states 'steamer went aground at Holy Island {Beale} 8 p.m. September 28th. Steamer broke up and crew finished September 29th.' The ship was en route to France from Burnt Island, Scotland, having left there on September 39th (sic).
Reuben Charlton, U.K., Oct. 10, 2021
Webmaster's comment. Reuben, I am not able to find any Sunderland built vessel with the name of Cydnia. I think perhaps you are referring to Cydonia, built in 1910 at Walker-on-Tyne by W. Dobson & Co. Miramar refer to that vessel as having been wrecked at Castle Rocks, Holy Island, on Sep. 27, 1916, while en route from Methil to Brest, France, with a cargo of coal.

443) My great grandfather, Thomas Andersen, was on the Sagamore sailing from Liverpool (built by Doxfords) when he was fatally injured. I would love to get details of the accident as he didn't die on the boat but died a few weeks or months later after a head injury. He had previously sailed on boats from Liverpool for 22 years having arrived in Liverpool from Norway.
Lucie Andersen, U.K., Oct. 07, 2021
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Lucie. Sagamore, a whaleback ship built by Doxford, is covered in detail on site here. Built in 1893, it survived, with two name changes, until May 4, 1917, when, then named Ilva, it was torpedoed & sunk off the coast of Spain. There was another vessel of the name, a much bigger vessel (ON 102059) built by Harland & Wolff of Belfast in late 1892. It served out of Liverpool & was also lost in 1917, torpedoed without warning on Mar. 3, 1917 when W. of the Fastnet. 
Perhaps, Lucie, you might provide, via the webmaster (link at top of page), some additional detail most particularly some dates. So site visitors might be better in a position to offer you assistance.

442) Hi, I find the contents of this website fascinating. I'm interested in nautical history. Towards that end, I have written the story of the Sarawak Steamship Company. Currently, I'm researching Philip Laing who purportedly built the Black Diamond for the second Rajah of Sarawak in 1884 at his Deptford yard but I don't find his name listed here. Can anyone help? Thanks very much.
Vincent HK Foo, Malaysia, Aug. 26, 2021
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Vincent. Maybe this is a good place to note that a site search box features prominently at the bottom of every site page, including this guestbook page - in yellow - & an index of the site pages is available here. I say that because site page 061 is devoted to a 'Laing' history & a first group of their ships. Other 'Laing' ships are listed on site pages 062 & 063. And a 'Laing' build list is on site here.
But .... Vincent refers to a vessel named Black Diamond, 'purportedly built' by Philip Laing in 1884. Vincent I cannot see - anywhere - a vessel of that name built in 1884 by 'Laing' of Sunderland. There was, however, a vessel named Maggie Taylor, a wooden brigantine of 347/365 (N/G) tons, built in 1881 by R. Cochrane of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. ON 77808 per Lloyd's Register ('LR') of 1882/83 but the number is suspect. That vessel, per LR of 1885/86, became registered at Sarawak & LR of 1890/91 records the vessel, now named Black Diamond, as owned by the Government of Sarawak. See here.

441) My brother sent me this link. I was born in Dec. 1948 while my brother Neil was born in Aug. 1956. We were both born in Ryhope and this message follows a discussion between us about the changes to Ryhope - as seen on Google maps!
I have been fascinated by a building on the corner of Village Green. If I had been a fit child it was my St. Paul's Infant School although that is not mentioned on its Blue Badge. Nor does it point out that it was the original village church. The current St. Paul's was needed when the opening of the Colliery lead to a vast rise in the population. By the time I was fit enough to attend the St. Paul's Junior School this building was being used as Council Offices. Wonder where the infants were? I know the building became a private house & looking at the building now the windows have been squared off although the original arches can be seen. I do know that it was surrounded by graves. I wonder what happened to them? -

Christine Arrowsmith, Bury, Greater Manchester, U.K., Aug. 24, 2021
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Christine. It is not a subject matter that I can help with, though others will hopefully come to your assistance. Click on the above image to see it in a larger size.

440) Hi, am looking for information on the ship, Belle Alliance, built by A. Leithead at Sunderland & launched on Oct. 25, 1855. I have bought a small note book from this ship. Is there any information on the ship that you can provide to me. A photo perhaps. Many thanks.
Darren Hanson, Gateshead, S. bank of River Tyne, opposite Newcastle, County Durham, U.K., Aug. 11, 2021 -
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Darren. Your purchase may well prove to be an important find. The data that was available on site, re Belle Alliance, was modest indeed. I have now researched the vessel & a more complete history of the vessel is available here. I am unable to locate an image of the vessel.

439) W. S. Lindsay & Co. - from Lindsay's journal c1845 - "The Sunderland ships had so increased upon me, that I was obliged to open, as I have stated, a corresponding agency at that port. For that purpose I visited Sunderland for a couple of days, and entered into arrangements there with a firm of brokers, who had just started under the firm of Lumsden and Byers. Lumsden was an old Master of a ship, who had made a good deal of money, was the owner of two or three vessels, and had settled down in his native town. John Byers was an active fellow of about 24 or 25 years of age. He was somewhat original in his character but of the most upright character and sterling integrity. He had been brought up as a clerk in an old Commission House there, and thoroughly understood the business. And as old Lumsden knew every shipowner in the place, they had every prospect of doing well. All they seemed to want was an active London Correspondent who could find freights for their ships, and as they had recently heard of me, by name, after opening a communication, we soon entered into an arrangement with each other."
William Stewart Lindsay, Letchworth, Hertfordshire, U.K., Aug. 5, 2021 -
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Bill. A follow-up to a message, earlier this year, where Bill advised that he was in the process of writing a biography of William Schaw Lindsay (1815-1877), Bill's great-great-grandfather. You can read a little about Wlliam Schaw Lindsay via that earlier link (Medusa).

438) Would like to add the following details for barque Duke built by T. Metcalf in 1867 - Official Number 56498: 1890 sold to H. Maaß (Maas), of Wustrow, Germany, Captain Albert Permien, German signal letters MDPC. In 1890, on a voyage from Montechristo to Falmouth for orders - when in Puerto Plata was condemned & sold. Thanks for the opportunity to add to my own lists of German ships.
Torsten Vetter, Rostock, Germany, Jul. 11, 2021 -
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Torsten. The data previously available on site, re Duke, was modest indeed. I have now further researched the vessel & the resulting expanded listing, including your new data, can be seen here.

437) Do you have any additional data (original name, shipyard, first owner ...) about the following barque. BARQUE 1865 SUNDERLAND TONS 423/407 DIMENSIONS 37,56X7,99X5,39 1891 VINKA – MEDANICH ved VINCENZA r GIACOVCICH (Sv BARBARA). I must say that I live at Sv. Barbara (a fraction of Kostrena) in Croatia. All the best.
Danilo Prestint, Kostrena, Croatia, May 25, 2021 -
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Danilo. In 1868 (not in 1865) a wooden barque named D. McB Park was launched by Sykes, Talbot & Sykes of North Hylton. Now D. McB Park has been site listed for some time with minimal detail. I have expanded such listing today as a result of the receipt of your inquiry. The vessel was renamed Vinka after its sale in early 1879. The listing can be accessed here. Corrections to such data would be welcomed along with anything additional site visitors may provide.

436) Hi, I messaged you some time ago about my family of surgeons who lived & worked at Ayre's Quay Villa in Deptford. I now have an article researched & written up - would you like a copy? I am working with the Donnison Heritage Society & will be adding more research with them. This article covers Ayre's Quay Villa from 1822 to 1890 . Your site is still very useful. Thank you.
Tracey Finnamore, Leicestershire, U.K., Mar. 26, 2021 -
Webmaster's comment. Glad to hear from you again, Tracey! A follow-up to your earlier, 2017, guestbook message. More on this topic soon, I hope.

435) I was born in Sunderland, in the old hospital on Roker Avenue down from the Wheat Sheaf & which later became a 'ropery' for the manufacture of rope & associated products. My grandfather was Oswald Wilson of the sawmill owner family & my father, William Lacey, was manager of the Bromarsh theater at the NE corner of the Wearmouth bridge until it was bombed on May 24, 1943 (my 14th birthday). My grandfather & his two brothers were pilots at the time of the first world war, but I don't know if they served in the RFC. My mother, Violet Wilson, had two sisters, Hilda & Julia. Hilda married a farmer, Hugh Martin, & lived in Carsphairn, Scotland. They had four sons. Julia married Alfred Grossmith Mason who became a Captain in the Merchant Navy & wrote a spellbinding book on the second convoy to Archangel, Russia, in 1942. My great, great, uncle Frank Wilson was the Premier of Western Australia on two separate occasions.
Bryan H. Lacey, Peoria, Arizona, U.S.A., Mar. 9, 2021 -
Webmaster's comment. Delighted to hear from you again, Bryan. You were in touch via the guestbook pages a  few years ago (here) & the info that you then provided became part of the site (here). I have added some links to your today's message so site visitors can read a little more if they so wish.

434) Thanks for compiling all this great information. My father-in-law is descended from Captain Alexander Storey of the James Cameron - Westoll line ship. Was interesting reading a bit about the ships of that time, e.g. 1880s.
Kim Miller, Scotland, Mar. 9, 2021 ->.
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your message, Kim. James Cameron, which was built in 1882 by Short Brothers, was initially named Prinz Albrecht & owned by German owners. It became a Westoll ship five years later in 1887. Alas, the vessel is not detail listed on site, merely named. James Westoll & the Westoll Line, is, however, covered in some detail here.
I learn that on Jan. 27, 1910 James Cameron was abandoned in the North Sea, after a collision with Vanessa (built at Newcastle in 1872) - while en route from Rouen, France, to the Tyne, in ballast. Hopefully the vessel will soon be detail listed on site.

433) Hello, I would like to know if it would be possible for me to use the photos which evoke the sinking of the SS Glenroy within the framework of a small video. My English being very poor, I am writing these few lines to you using Google's machine translation system. I would therefore ask you to excuse the very many language errors that punctuate my message.
Alvéo, Algeria, Mar. 8, 2021 - .
Webmaster's comment. It would seem that Google's translation service works very well indeed! Glenroy, built in 1899, was not built at Sunderland, rather at relatively nearby West Hartlepool. Yet the vessel's history is covered extensively on site page 180 - here - inspired by 'friend of the site' Robert Hunter. The vessel was lost off Les Falaises, Algeria, on Feb. 10, 1916.
I am sure that Robert would be happy that you use the images on site for your stated purpose, Alvéo. For my part, I claim no copyright in the content of page 180, but also encourage its use as suggested.

432) Super website.
'dsbs', Mar. 7, 2021 - No e-mail address provided. But a blogspot link was provided - i.e.
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your kind words.

431) Hi, I am in the process of writing a biography (watch this space!) of William Schaw Lindsay (1815-1877), my great-great-grandfather. He was MP for Sunderland & had several of his ships built there as, no doubt, you know. See Wikipedia. Bill.
William Lindsay, Letchworth, Hertfordshire, U.K., Feb. 8, 2021 -
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Bill. I certainly know the name of your GG grandfather. And am glad to think that his life & career, & maybe his unfortunate medical issues, will be better documented as a result of your efforts. In the meantime, as you indicate, interested parties can read about him here (Wikipedia). And in this vessel history re Medusa, built at Sunderland by Laing in 1862. I have read that via his company, W. S. Lindsay &  Co., he owned as many as 220 ships. It would be good, one day, to learn the names of the other vessels that he owned which were Sunderland built. Helen Lindsay was one of those vessels. A follow-up message from Bill is here.

430) I'm looking into the loss of the snow/brig John White of Sunderland, which stranded on the coast of Jutland, close to the Agger canal, on Sep. 16, 1846. The crew of 9 was saved, with some of the cargo. Captain Wilson Orwin. Do you have more information about the ship, the shipowner & the captain?
Asger Nørlund Christensen, Denmark, Jan. 6, 2021 -
Webmaster's comment. So glad to hear from you, Asger. It would seem that there may have been two vessels named John White built at Sunderland, the first built in 1831 & the second in 1837. Neither vessel is even named on site at this moment. I will try to research those two vessels to see if one or other of them 'fits' with your data - it is quite possible that there was another vessel of the name built elsewhere. It likely would help greatly in my research if you could provide by e-mail, the source of your knowledge of the matter, likely a contemporary newspaper article.
Since the above was written, Asger has kindly been in touch with the webmaster with some truly extensive further data. The vessel named John White, built at Sunderland in 1831, is now detail listed on site - here. But it is clearly not the vessel to which Asger refers. The 1837 vessel, complete with Asger's data, is now on site here.

429) Thank you for this wonderful site. My Great-Grandparents resided in Sunderland in 1901.
Ann (no surname, e-mail address or country of residence indicated), Dec. 1, 2020.
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your words, Ann. They are much appreciated.

428) I was born in Sunderland as Susan McBain. My grandparents were Charles and Nora McBain of Featherstone St. Nora's maiden name was Burnside and I believe her family owned the pottery. Anyone with any information would be wonderful.
Sue Rose, Australia, U.K., Nov. 29, 2020 -
Webmaster's comment. Sue is referring, I believe, to Burnside's Pottery, covered on site here. Where it is indicated that the pottery was in operation from 1850 thru 1858 at a site in central Sunderland on table land above the river on the south side & close to the bridges. If site visitors can provide additional information to Sue Rose, that information would be welcomed also by the webmaster, to expand & improve upon that modest listing.

427) Thanks so much for a wonderful website which has provided so much information regarding vessels and shipbuilders.
David Carder, West Yorkshire, U.K., Nov. 07, 2020 - David's website link:-
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, David, for your thought & your kindness in taking the time to post your message in my guestbook. It is very much appreciated.
Now Penarth is located not in West Yorkshire, where David lives, but rather in relatively far-away Glamorganshire, South Wales. David's website, at the link he has provided above, today has an astonishing 4212 pages. Do drop by! His message presents also a perfect opportunity for the webmaster to publicly thank the 'National Library of Wales', for making available, entirely free, Welsh newspapers of the period from 1804 to 1919. Here. I frequently visit their splendid website in my search for data with results that feature frequently throughout these pages.

426) Great site as it has lots about shipping as most of my ancestors were mariners. I wonder if any one can help me with a problem I can't seem to solve -  my 4 times great grandfather John Morgan was master of a schooner the Keipier, owned by John Ray & built by Edward Brown in Sunderland. On Apl. 30, 1839, the ship went down in Campbelltown Roads & John Morgan drowned. There is no record of the vessel in Lloyds and no record of it sinking. All I have is his wife claiming from Trinity House for her & the children, & a notice in the 'Newcastle Courant' saying it was on its way to Inverness. I would be grateful if anyone can provide additional information.
Marian Cook, Sunderland, U.K., Oct. 20, 2020 -
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Marian. I can gladly add the vessel into the site with whatever data is available. And can invite anybody 'out there' who has more data to be in touch. Two 1838 Sunderland build lists rather list the vessel as Keepier. Update:- The vessel is now site listed - here - with data mainly supplied by Marian Cook.

425) Ship Canaan 1854-1884? suffered a near-disastrous fire 9 days out of Sydney on 31 March 1869. Caused by spontaneous combustion in a bale of wool. Reported in 'The Empire' newspaper, Sydney, 3 Sept 1869. See here.
John Tomlinson, Cheshire, U.K., Sep. 17, 2020 -
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, John, for your input. I have modified the Canaan listing to include the history. Spontaneous combustion in cargoes of coal happened frequently. I do not recall reading before of spontaneous combustion in bales of wool.

424) There are no converging streets on Derwent Street so there would be no corner shop of any description on the photograph of the derailed tram. That tram is outside the Mountain Daisy pub in Hylton Road, as stated in the excellent article. So poster #422 below is in error, Peter.
Stan Taylor, Sunderland, Sep. 13, 2020 -
Webmaster's comment. Stan is following up on Billy Donaldson's comment below. Stan and Billy are both referring to the fine image of the derailed tram visible here, derailed back on Jun. 15, 1933.

423) Hello, I have the original family register of John Laing and family. John born in Ceylon 27th Jan 1851 til; 1941.
J. Christopherson, Merseyside, Aug. 18, 2020 -
Webmaster's comment. That sounds most interesting indeed! On Aug. 21st, I sent an e-mail message to J. Christopherson, hopefully to learn a little more about this John Laing, & how he 'fits' in relation to the Laing shipbuilding business.
The first of 3 data pages re the Laing yard is available here. While extensive data about the Laing shipyards, biographical in nature, & kindly provided by Dr. Ian Buxton, can be found here.

422) The derailed tram that is described as being on Hylton Road is in fact on Derwent Street. The shop is an ironmongers, Frederick J. Watson & Sons.
Billy Donaldson, Aug. 4, 2020 -
Webmaster's comment. The image that Billy refers to is surely this interesting image on site page 201. The webmaster has never been to Sunderland & is therefore unable to comment.

421) D. H. & G. Haggie were my ancestors firm - Norman Haggie was my Grandfather and Henry Derek my Dad. I began my training with then British Ropes in Sunderland, Roker Avenue - then producing sisal binder twine. Spent 20 years after training in Willington Quay, Teams, Doncaster, Charleston with British Ropes in San Juan Puerto Rico. Visited Sunderland last year - what a change.
Norman Haggie, Virginia, U.S.A., Jul. 30, 2020 -
Webmaster's comment. Will comment - hopefully very soon.

420) Very nice to see this webpage. My Danish great-grand father married my Sunderland born great-grandmother in St. Stephens Church at Ayres Quay, in Feb. 1901. So it's wonderful to be able to get an impression of what Sunderland looked like at that time.
Morten Barfoed, Copenhagen, Denmark, Jun. 05, 2020 -
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your kind words, Morten. Stan Mapstone advised some years ago that St. Stephen’s, a Church of England Parish Church, was located on Ann Street, in Ayres Quay. The parish was formed on Aug. 27, 1878. Stan believed that the church was closed in about 1958. If any site visitor can provide an image of the church, I will make it available here.

419) A delight to see the page is still here. Been busy so was not by for some time. I thought of you when someone mentioned the Doxford's narrow gauge chuffers we used to watch from the Alexandra bridge. Wondering if they went to a collection or were scrapped. Your website collection is nothing short of excellent. It's a little Sunderland library.
Leonard Smith, of Wisconsin I think, U.S.A., May 21, 2020 -
Webmaster's comment. What a lovely description of the website! Thanks so much for that. It has indeed grown, over the years, to become 'a little Sunderland library'.
I have a few images on site of the wee railway engines that were kept busy in Sunderland shipyards, most particularly Doxford's. Such images do become available from time-to time via e-Bay, but so often these days vendors feel that to protect their interests, they must apply a logo to their images. Removing such logos is difficult & often impossible for me. In the past I was able to write to the purchaser of an e-Bay item & ask if they might provide an image for site use. But that course of action is no longer possible. Even so, e-Bay is still a major source of on-site imagery.

418) Hello! I need a photo of the 1900 built screw steamship Aristea - Yard No 112. built by Osbourne, Graham & Co.  If you can find I shall appreciate very much.
Cem Gürdeniz, Turkey, May 10, 2020 -
Webmaster's comment. Aristea is one of the thousands of Sunderland built vessels which have not yet been detail researched & site listed. I see that the vessel was built for G. L. Premuda of Trieste. Many later changes of owner. In 1915 it became Russian owned & renamed Kako. In 1924, it was renamed Plekhanov. I have seen a reference to its later possibly being renamed Plehanov. It was, per Miramar, broken up in 1960. Alas I have no images of the vessel whatsoever. I did, however, WWW find an image here of the vessel as Kako (image thanks to Nikita Prokhorov). If you have other images of the vessel do consider providing them to both Cem Gürdeniz (at the above address) & also to the webmaster.

417) Have a few (not many) typed pages with the 'Linden' history gleaned from Australian newspapers 1894-1900. Hopper sold to Danes in 1900 & the vessel was subsequently run down by an Australian steamer off the New South Wales coast in 1907. You are welcome to the notes of both - let me know. Regards.
Richard Jenkins, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, Apl. 14, 2020 -
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your kind offer, Richard, which I would be happy to accept. Now a few days ago I added into the site detail about a steamship named Linden, built by Short Brothers in 1877. Listed here. But clearly Richard is referring to a later vessel of the name - a steel barque built by Robert Thompson & Sons in 1892.
An Apl. 19, 2020 update - data re Richard's Linden is now on site, developed in large part from Richard's amazingly extensive research which proved to be of many pages.

416) Peter - thanks so much for all your work and information about Sunderland. Fascinating & most interesting! Cheers.
Murray Wright, New Zealand, Apl. 10, 2020 - no e-mail address provided.
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your kind message, Murray. It is much appreciated.

415) Necesito contactar con alguien que estuvo embarcado en el buque ms mahinda en los años 79 -80 81. Which translates into English, I believe, as 'I need to contact someone who was on the MS Mahinda in the years 1979, 1980 & 1981.
Jesus Fernandez Gil, Bilbao, Spain, Mar. 17, 2020 -
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Jesus. Mahinda is covered on site here.

414) Looking for plans relating to the SS Riverina 1905, specifically for the lifeboats, one of which is in a local museum and needs restoration.
George Raitt (I think), Australia, Mar. 1, 2020 -
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, George. Which brought to my attention so many old WWW links in my detail listing which no longer worked. Hopefully somebody will see your message & provide you with the plans that you seek. Riverina is covered on site here.

413) Hello Peter. Love the site & wondered if any readers could help in my research. My father was John Robert Semens & in Dec. 1962?, he was in a accident at the J. L. Thompson Shipyard. I believe that a steel girder being lifted by crane fell, resulting in him losing part of his leg and other injuries. Not sure if anyone else was hurt. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks.
Bryan Semens, Sunderland, U.K., Feb. 11, 2020 -
Webmaster's comment. I do hope that site visitors come to your assistance, Bryan. With perhaps a contemporary newspaper article or some other document that will tell you exactly what happened all those years ago. I do not have access to North East newspaper archives, perhaps the most likely source, living where I do, in far-away Canada. 

412) I am enjoying reading your website very much. This is in relation to Monkwearmouth Colliery where my uncle John Bellerby was Deputy in the 1960s. He took a party of us down to the training face which was only about 3 feet high. I was sitting under a roughly circular fault line in the ceiling and he told me Don't sit there that's what we call a 'carbon arse'. I can't find a reference to this phrase anywhere on line and wonder if it is unique to that colliery and whether any of your readers can help. I want to include it in a short play I am working on. Thanks.
Jim McConnell, Moffat, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, U.K., Feb. 4, 2020 -
Webmaster's comment. I am glad to hear that you enjoy reading the site, Jim. The on-site coverage re Wearmouth Colliery & the staithes is largely the work of Len Charlton (no longer with us, alas) whose love for Sunderland lives on through these pages. 'Carbon arse' is certainly a new expression to me. And a most descriptive one. Which I presume means an area that is dangerous & unstable & likely to crash down without warning. I wish you success with your play. And hope that a site visitor will tell you more about the meaning & usage of that most unusual term.
Stan Taylor has (thanks so much!) come to our rescue. Stan advises that 'Carbon arse', a term used in the Durham pits, was a corruption of 'carboniferous trees' that were notorious for dropping without warning from the pit roof. If you imagine a tree fossilised in an upright position, any disturbance need only be slight for it to fall, as a tree trunk is naturally tapered inward at the top & can dislodge quite easily when a hewer undercuts it. I am surprised to read of Jim McConnells' experience, however. Carboniferous trees were usually supported by shoring immediately they were discovered.
The webmaster has added a new section to this page to record this, and likely in the future, other unusual mining terms.

411) Hi. I'm Dave born in the East End in 1945 at Burleigh Garth. My mother's side of the family lived around the Sheepfolds (back of the pit as it was known). The surnames names of family members were Harden, Horn, Waugh, and maybe Hennessy. My mam was Ellen Elizabeth Harden before becoming Stockdale. Regards.
Dave Stockdale, Sunderland, U.K., Feb. 3, 2020 -
Webmaster's comment. Hopefully, Dave, a site visitor will come forward & help you with your family genealogical research.

410) Hi, I read your article re 'The Slave Market in Cairo' with interest. My great great grandfather, William Henry Dierken, was the art dealer who took the painting on tour. The story in the family is that the painting burned & as a result, because it was not insured, Dierken went bankrupt. I have never found anything to back up this story.
Hilary, Minnesota, U.S.A., Jan. 27, 2020 -
Webmaster's comment. Thank you so much for your message, Hilary. Especially since I do not recall any previous comments about the magnificent work of art in the 15 or so years the work has been covered on site. The truly giant painting, which was displayed in Sunderland maybe in or about 1890, is covered on site here. Let us hope that new information will emerge to confirm or deny your family's understanding of what happened to it - and when.

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 -
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 going'.
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 -
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 -
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 see.
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 -
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 -
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 - Debby's website reference is (correctly I think),
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 it is accomplished.
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 - Alan's website reference is
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 -
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 on site:- here. I have written to Sandra & hopefully her additional data will soon be on site also.

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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 regards
Claire Mair, Sunderland, U.K., Feb, 16, 2019 -
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 -
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 will come 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 -
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 -
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. 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 -
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. Good Luck.
Allan Davenport, Pouzols Minervois, France, Jan. 1, 2019 - no e-mail address prpvided.
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 experience.

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 -
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 -
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 any of 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 access here. '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 -
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 -
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 on site.

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 -
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 Saint Joseph, 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 -
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 -
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 now 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 -
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 read here. 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 & 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 -
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 knowledge?

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 - Alison's website reference is
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 -
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 -
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 important project.

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 -
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 here.

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 -
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 -
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 -
Webmaster's comment. I much appreciate your kind words, Colin.

374) Wonderful site, great for researching maritime histories.
Stephen Kentwell, Canberra, Australia, Apl. 2, 2018
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Stephen, for your kind words.

373) 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 -
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.

372) 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 -
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your advice, Steve. I have added a reference to David Savill into the text on page 190.

371) 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 -
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 -
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 passenger. And 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 time.

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 & seemed 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 & lived 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 -
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 of 1854. 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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 subject 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?
Neil Saunders, Sydney, Australia, Dec. 14, 2017 -
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 as I have found this morning.



Vessel history

Official No.

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 1875 clarify such owners name to mean Jno. Tinnion, 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 the above?


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 -
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 not know of its status without help.

362) Excellent site. I've bookmarked it for future reference.
John Osborn, Derbyshire, U.K., Nov. 15, 2017 -
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 Eppelton Hall.
Bryan D. Potgieter, South Africa, Oct. 15, 2017 -
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 - 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 -
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 Sunderland.
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 site with 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. 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 & additions 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 -
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.
John mentions 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 referenced here.

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, ships built 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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 also.

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 -
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 (1, 2). 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 -
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. Cheers.
Russell Whayman, Bermuda, May 21, 2017 -
Webmaster's comment. Thanks Russell! I have now extensively modified & improved the existing  Wychwood listing & have now made available your fine image of the builder's plate.

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.
Newcastle Chronicle 22 November 1862
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 -
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.
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 -
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 -
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 (North East 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 -
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 -
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Allison. Am glad to have the church at last identified. I have modified the page accordingly. Here.

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 & 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 'Erected - 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
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.
Site 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, the subject of Noel Clark's message immediately below. And 2) the paddle steamer built by Laing, which is really not properly detail listed on site due to lack of data. It is, however, covered 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 'Bradford'.
Noel Clark, Melbourne, Australia, Feb. 4, 2017
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
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
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 all.

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
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 German 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 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. Kind regards.
Rex Allen, Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire, U.K., Jun. 29, 2016
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 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
Webmaster's comment. I agree entirely about Re your other words - least said soonest mended!

333) Hello Mr. Searle. Thank you for visiting our website (COLINDA) at 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, Sunderland, 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 Mick's website reference is
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. Colinda is 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, & the Sir George Seymour in 1844 in Sunderland. The Cressy & Randolph were built for Duncan Dunbar of London, & the 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
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 time.

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
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
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. Such listing was greatly expanded in Dec. 2022 & moved to 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
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 south pier.

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 '' website and of course the amazing Sunderland Pages of
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
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 indefinite future. 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
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 Unison lists the owners as Farrow jr, later William Farrow jun, both of Sunderland. Does the 'jr.' stand 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
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
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
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
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 answer.

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
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 Santa coming.
Joyce Walker, Peterlee, County Durham, Jan. 31, 2016
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
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 here.
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
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 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
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
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 Radiant 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
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
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
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 astonished.

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
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
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, Tom.

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
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
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 in Sunderland?

306) Is there a page for "humour" that occurred in the yards, Peter?
Arthur Haynes, Newcastle, U.K., Aug. 30, 2015
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
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your kind words, Aidan. They are appreciated.

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 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 life.
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.
Stan Mapstone, Cheshire, U.K., Jul. 29, 2015
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
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, Stel.

301) Well Done
Stan Adie, Castletown, U.K., Jul. 16, 2015
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 childhood.
Joyce Marley, U.K., Apl. 30, 2015
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
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.
I descend 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
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
Webmaster's comment. Am glad that such limited data as I have assembled re Binns Department Store has been helpful to you. 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
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 significance.

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
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' page.

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
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
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
Webmaster's comment. We do indeed feature two Snowball mugs on site, specifically here. 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
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 detail 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
Webmaster's comment. Darlington occupies, I know, a unique place in the history of railways in the U.K., a history celebrated with the Darlington 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
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 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
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
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
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 vessel.

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).
Joanna Hammond, British Columbia, Canada, Dec. 7, 2014
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
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 re Bartram.  

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 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 due course. 

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
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
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 that relate.

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 Garrison Pottery.
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, indeed.

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 grandfather.
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 say 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 vessel can 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, 2014
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 Bridge.  

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.
Nick Pearson, 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)
Ian Jameson, Sunderland, U.K., Aug. 23, 2014
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.
James Scott-Smith, Princes Risborough, Bucks, U.K., Aug. 22, 2014
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
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 Sunderland, 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 No 5V264
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.
Stan Ravenscroft, Staffordshire, U.K., Aug. 07, 2014
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 vessel is 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
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 machine.

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
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
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 such data.

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?
I found 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
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
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
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 now, 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
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 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
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 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 sister 'Sunderland 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 'Facebook'. 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 ULPIANO, 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. All 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 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
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
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
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 Some of Russ's photographs can be seen here
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 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
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
Webmaster's comment. Jo, having seen your message, I have added Emigrant (ON 2545), indeed built at Sunderland, into a new (Jan. 2023) 'Forest & Co.' listing here (previously on site page 123). 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, having been lost under circumstances that now, in Jan. 2023, have become known to me. I presume that the voyage to Australia that you reference is this one (1) in 1852/53.

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 -
Helen Leithead, Bath, England, U.K., Dec. 05, 2013 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 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 on this 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
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 146. 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
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 read, 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' ( 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 -

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 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 'turret' ship - & 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
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
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
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 '' 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
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 appreciated.

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
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 The model website is here While Steve's own website is here
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
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
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
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
Webmaster's comment. Hopefully somebody will come to your rescue, Richard. Modest images of the 88 Low Street pub are available here & here - on the '' 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
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
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 Regards to everyone.
Alan Coulson, Newcastle, U.K., Jun. 29, 2013
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.
Margaret, Kent, U.K., Jun. 25, 2013
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 'piece is'.
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
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
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 images & 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.
As this 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 The writer's website reference
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
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 further details:

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 here.
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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 family 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
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
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
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 & to Ian 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
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 provide.
Harold Bradley, Alamo, California, U.S.A., Feb. 17, 2013
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 ... some thoughts re your message. I was under the impression, as most folks probably are also, that all British ships 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 Scotland, 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 rail lines 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
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
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 this page.

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
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 tin whistle.
Alan Vincent, Old Penshaw, Sunderland, Jan. 14, 2013
Webmaster's comment. Charlie Jeffries, also known as Charlie Chuck, was, I learn, one of Sunderland's many '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
angry, 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
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, England, Dec. 3, 2012
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
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, 1844.
David Conn, Middlesbrough, U.K., Nov. 9, 2012
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
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 Wear, U.K., Oct. 28, 2012 Meg's 2012 website reference, which was at Google's '' is, alas, no longer operative, the 'panoramio' service having been discontinued.
Webmaster's comment. We do have, on this site, a fine 'Len Charlton' article about George Stephenson & the Hetton Railway here. Meg's site, now no longer operative, used to have 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 seem not to have done so. That has now, in 2022, been corrected. But you can see it here (1 & 2). It is a beauty indeed. It used to be possible to see more of Meg's fine Hetton Railway images, but they too were at 'panoramio' & are now no longer operative. Some of them are available here. Previous links - 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
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.
Joan Johnson, Cornwall, U.K., Oct. 13, 2012
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 maiden voyage.
Ian Macdonald, Hartlepool, U.K., Oct. 11, 2012
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your message, Ian. I have added Upwey Grange 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, surprisingly perhaps, 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) See
No 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
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 Sunderland.
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.
Joan Johnson, Cornwall, U.K., Oct. 6, 2012
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, 1842.
Audrey Mardon, Hagerstown, Maryland, U.S.A., Oct. 5, 2012
Audrey's website reference, & here (re the Andrew Rall, 1842, pitcher).
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 1838.

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
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 the story.

191) L.S. Who can help me on a old DOXFORD advertisement from 'The Motorship' where a pencil stood upright a Doxford Engine, to show the perfect balancing. Thanks in advance.
Alfons Verheijden, Stekene, Belgium, Sep. 18, 2012
Alfons's website reference
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 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 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
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?
Now Martin - 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 day !!!
Lynda Clark, Glasgow, Scotland, U.K., Sep. 3, 2012
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
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
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 & 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 (Webmaster: 1, 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, 2012,
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 !
Pascal Kainic, France, Aug. 16, 2012
Pascal's website reference
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, however, 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
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
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
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 Navy")
Alfons Verheijden, Belgium, Jul. 25, 2012 - Alfons's website reference
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 Anthony 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 was updated, was 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.
Many years after the above text was written, in Mar. 2021, I have found this reference again & have added into the site images of the item sold in 2012 - here. The image is worthy of your interest, I think. Do see it in a large size!

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 States to her final destination in San Francisco. A Wikipedia article about Eppleton Hall is here. A Sunderland Echo article about her is 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. at South 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
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
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
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' Register of Lloyds. 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
Webmaster's comment. The data that Dennis provides clearly originated at page 147 of 156 of a 'pdf' at a link now out of commission. 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 page. And here. I do hope that a site visitor is able to advise Dennis as to how to further proceed.

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
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 NEM (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 though ...
'Southern mackem', South Coast, U.K., May 24, 2012
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.
I 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
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
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
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.
It 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 detail.
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. Again thanks.
Iain Hill, North Yorkshire, U.K., Apl. 21, 2012
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
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
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
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
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, old whalebacks'.

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
Webmaster's comment. Until the receipt of your message, Ray, I was not even aware of the existence of 'northeasthistoryhub' (Note: I used to provide a link to a Google cached version of the site but it is now long gone) 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
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 virtually no 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 gaps!
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 interesting postings.
Christine Scott, Penshaw, near Sunderland, U.K., Mar. 02, 2012
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 quest!
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 years.
Dave Cooper, Perth, Western Australia, Feb. 20, 2012
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
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 welcomed also.

154) An image of ss Curaca. Re message 150 from
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 city.
Tom Carroll, 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.
Keith Willetts, U.K., Feb. 6, 2012
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 thanks.
Brian Ranson, Congleton, Cheshire, U.K., Jan. 24, 2012
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, B. 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 1930.
Bill Fairbrother, Ipswich, U.K., Jan. 7, 2012
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 image emerges. 

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
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 - here.

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
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Fiona, for your message. While the webmaster has 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.
Rodney Read, 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
Stan Taylor, Sunderland, U.K., Nov. 26, 2011
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 astonishing.
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 non-existent.

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 panded 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".
Stan Taylor, Sunderland, U.K., Nov. 22, 2011
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 Medway ship.
Dell, somewhere in Canada I presume, Nov. 20, 2011
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 George's website reference '', which link no longer works.
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
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for this, Arthur. Such data as has so far been accumulated re the 'Laing' 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.
Born in 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
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 words 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 - 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 All the best to you and your staff and friends. Sincerely,
Paul Morris Hilton, Harvey Station, New Brunswick, Canada, Nov. 04, 2011
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, used to be available but I cannot find it (in 2021). It had an ID of 6960. 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 ''. 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' story?
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!
Adam 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 SCARF succeed.

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 & 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 here 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, but 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 passengers.
Australasia is now site listed - here.

134) Re: David James McIntosh (1871 - 1943)
Hi Peter. 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 time.
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, directly 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 interest.

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 it last.
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.
Sandra, 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 particularly difficult.

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 1963.
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' is here.

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 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. Thanks.
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 quite long 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 the bombing.
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.

120) Hi again, long time since I last typed an email to you. I'm (writing about) the S.S. Sagamore 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 2 identically 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, Lady Turner, 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 1859.
John Briggs, 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 here.

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.
Pauline Showell, Adelaide, South Australia, Jul. 3, 2011
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.
S/Lt (SCC) Steven Grainger, RNR, Donald Owen Clarke centre - Chester-le-Street, U.K., Jun. 29, 2011
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 your assistance.

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
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. 
Michael Cockburn ('Cokey'), Horden, Durham, U.K., Jun. 18, 2011
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
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
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
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
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 which may interest you. One piece of data mentioned is that Great Western was built by W. Pile, Hay & Co.
Bob Hay, New Zealand, May 28, 2011
Webmaster's comment. 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 1885.
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
Webmaster's comment. 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
Webmaster's comment. 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 more besides.
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 search process.
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
Webmaster's comment. 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. Thanks
Caroline, Ireland, May 16, 2011
Webmaster's comment. 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 famous.

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
Webmaster's comment. 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
Webmaster's comment. 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
Webmaster's comment. I believe that Ken is referring to a rather good looking cigar-box that is shown on site page 181. It featured the 'whaleback' 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 sale.

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
Webmaster's comment. We do hope that this site & this message will help Steve find data about his family history.

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
Webmaster's comment. 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 Methodist Mission.
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 
Webmaster's comment. 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 a mystery.
Keith Binney, Sydney, Australia, Mar. 12, 2011 Keith's website reference
Webmaster's comment. 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.
Scott, Whitehaven, Cumbria, U.K., Mar. 09, 2011
Webmaster's comment. 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 reference.

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. 17, 2011
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 really not the purpose of this guestbook.

93) Thanks so much for your diligent work, your site is an invaluable resource. Lara
Lara Lynn Lane, Fairfield, Connecticut, U.S.A., Feb. 16, 2011, 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. 14, 2011
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, 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
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,
i) With 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. Regards, Alan
Alan P. Kershaw, Perth, Scotland, Jan. 1, 2011
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, & published in 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. 19, 2010
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.

88) 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, re Sunderland 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
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
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.
Wondering if 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
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
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
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
Di Wahlst ( I presume), Colorado, U.S.A., Nov. 30, 2010,
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
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 thanks.
Susan Enns, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, Nov. 19, 2010
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 ship builder. 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 & website.
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 information today, & 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 to read.
Frances Baskerville, London, U.K., Nov. 15, 2010 & website.
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 project.

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 I can send pictures if that would be helpful.
Janet Puncheon, Sunbury, Ohio, U.S.A., Nov. 7, 2010
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
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 here.

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
Webmaster's comment. Thanks for your message, Chris. The site listing for Annie Archbell, built in 1860 by George Peverall, is here. 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 Malvern.
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 local divers.
Quentin Phillips, Penarth, South Wales, U.K., Oct. 13, 2010
Webmaster's comment. Thank you, Quentin, for your message. Blue Jacket is an 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
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
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.
Simon Gales, France, Oct. 9, 2010
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 read here. 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. Regards, Clarence.
Clarence Hemeon, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, Oct. 2, 2010
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
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 James B. 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 sincerely, Barry.
Barrington Brown, Middlesex, U.K., Sep. 27, 2010
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.
Clarence Hemeon, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, Sep. 24, 2010
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 - here. 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 you.

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,
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,
Webmaster's comment. How very interesting, Nigel. The fact that Captain J. Parry was in command in 1903 when the 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 1903 article!

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,
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,
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,
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 ''. Or at least there used to be. I cannot find them again in 2021.

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,
Webmaster's comment. Thank you for your message, Ed. I found that Anglo-Indian voyage report in the Brisbane Courier with no difficulty - but today, written in 2021, I cannot find it again. 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,
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 and verse:

Glide on, my bark; the summer’s tide
Is gently flowing to thy side;
Around thy prow the waters bright,
In circling round of broken light
Are glitt’ring, as if ocean gave
Her countless gems to deck the wave;
Whilst moonlight shines like mimic day ---
Glide on, my bark, thy moonlit way.

Glide on, my bark! how sweet to rove,
With such a beaming sky above,
O’er the dark sea, whose murmurs seem
Like fairy music in a dream;
No sound is heard to break the spell,
Except the water’s gentle swell;
Whilst midnight, like a mimic day,
Shines on, to guide our moonlit way.
Ruth Lilian, Florida, U.S.A., Aug. 16, 2010,
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 page ships 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 (2012) e-mail 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,
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 source.
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 (in 2021 used to be) available via the 'blueislanddivers' diving site - which may well no longer be in business.
Edwina Currie, U.K., Aug. 9, 2010,
Webmaster's comment. It does not surprise me, Edwina, that any Sunderland built ship 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,
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,
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 grandmother.
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 regards, Susan
Susan Calder, U.K., Jul. 21, 2010,
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 Bellerby, 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,
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 your Rubens, 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,
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 of 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,
Webmaster's comment. It would not surprise anyone who reads about Tresillian, here, that 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,
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 ''. 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,
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,
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 last 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 information about 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, (0)328633307
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,
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
Phil Beattie, Auckland, New Zealand, May 17, 2010,, & his related 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,
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,
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,
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 here. 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,
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 with the 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.
John Reeves, Birmingham, U.K., Mar. 20, 2010,
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.)
Alan Vincent, Sunderland (or originally from there, at least), Mar. 01, 2010,
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 Sagamore about 2 years ago as I was trying to find out about my Grandad 3rd Engineer S.S. Sagamore.
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 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,
Ken Berry, New Zealand, Feb. 12, 2010,
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, Canary Islands.
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
Christer Eidlert, Stockholm, Sweden, Feb. 11, 2010,
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, (or Mowe or Moewe) a most famous 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 Westburn listing.

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 ideas??
Hilton Stanness, Peterlee, County Durham, U.K., Jan. 21, 2010,
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 link above.

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 to read.
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:-

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,
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,
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 and painting.
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 business.
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 site.
Many thanks, Lorraine
Lorraine Cook, North East, U.K., Dec. 31, 2009,
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,
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,
Webmaster's comment. David, I was most happy to accept your kind offer. David's image of the bust, a very fine image indeed, can now be seen in the section about William Pile, for everyone 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,

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 you!
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 research?
Sandra Hamilton, Norwich, Norfolk, U.K., Nov. 21, 2009,
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,
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,
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,
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.

19) Well 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.
My paternal 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 lists.
Thanks again, and best of luck with the expansion of your site!
Peter Herring, Hofkammerstrasse 28, 88069 Tettnang, Germany, tel. +49 7542 938 2727, Oct. 22, 2009,
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:-

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,
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,
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!

15)  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.

14) 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

13) 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
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.

12) To Julian & Jenny, re items #9 & #10 below & Lesley re item #3. I can re reached via e-mail address Please be in touch since I have absolutely no means to contact any of you.

11) 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 ''.

10) 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 in touch. There are hundreds of links on the site that would initiate an e-mail message that I would receive.

9) 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 in touch.

8) 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 in touch.

7) Very interesting. Will answer query later on Byers.
Tony, Sunderland, U.K., Mar. 30, 2009
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.

6) Very interesting.
Paul, Ponteland, Northumberland, U.K., Mar. 29, 2009

5) 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,, Alexandria, Egypt, Mar. 10, 2009
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 most 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.

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