Aerial view of the Southwick shipyard of Austin & Pickersgill, Sunderland looking down the River Wear, May 1965 (TWAM ref. DT.TUR/2/36078A).
This set of aerial images is intended as a short historical tour of the River Wear from the Piers to Pallion. It gives us an impression of what the River looked like during the middle years of the Twentieth Century, when it was a hive of industrial activity.
Sunderland had an international reputation for shipbuilding and this is well represented in this set with images of its famous shipyards such as Austin & Pickersgill, J.L. Thompson & Sons and Sir James Laing & Sons. The River Wear was also home to a thriving marine engineering industry, reflected here by images of the engine works of William Doxford & Sons and George Clark.
Other industries are also featured such as glassmaking and of course the key industry of coal mining. Mining is represented by images of Wearmouth Colliery and the riverside coal staithes, which were vital to the coal trade.
These images reflect how much the River Wear has changed over the past 50 years, with the disappearance of traditional heavy industries. Those businesses may have gone but Sunderland can be proud of its industrial heritage and the men and women who worked on Wearside and helped to shape the City we know today.
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Owner: Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
Source: Flickr Commons