Preparing to launch 'Baron Berwick' at South Shields

Download this image

More from this collection

Support Pastpin!

Where: Unknown

Try to find the spot where the photographer was standing.

When: 25 July 1956

Try to find the date or year when this image was made.
View of the cargo ship 'Baron Berwick' on the berth prior to launch from the shipyard of John Readhead & Sons Ltd, South Shields, 25 July 1956 (TWAM ref. DS.RDD/4/PH/1/589/1).

This set celebrates the achievements of the shipyard of John Readhead & Sons. The firm has played a significant role in the North East’s illustrious shipbuilding history and the development of South Shields.

The company began in 1865 when John Readhead, a shipyard manager, entered into business with J Softley at a small yard on the Lawe at South Shields. Following the dissolution of the partnership in 1872, it continued as John Readhead & Co on the same site until 1880 when the High West Yard was purchased. After Readhead’s four sons were taken into the business in 1888 the company traded as John Readhead & Sons becoming a limited company in 1908. In 1968 the company was absorbed by the Swan Hunter Group and in 1977 became part of the nationalised British Shipbuilders. In the same year the last vessel was launched and the site was sold off in 1984.

Readheads was prolific and built over 600 ships from 1865 to 1968, including 87 vessels for the Hain Steamship Company Ltd and over forty for the Strick Line Ltd. The shipyard also built four ships for the Prince Line, founded by Sir James Knott. The firm built vessels, which were involved in the major conflicts of the Twentieth Century. During the First World War they built patrol vessels and ‘x’ lighters (motor landing craft used in the Gallipoli campaign) for the Admiralty. During the Second World War the firm built tankers for the Normandy Landings.

(Copyright) We're happy for you to share this digital image within the spirit of The Commons. Please cite 'Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums' when reusing. Certain restrictions on high quality reproductions and commercial use of the original physical version apply though; if you're unsure please email [email protected]


Owner: Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
Source: Flickr Commons
Views: 6681
southshields shipbuilding johnreadheadsonsltd cargoship shipyard shiplaunches vessel rivertyne launch historic northeastengland tyneside maritime industry industrial ships baronberwick workers cranes blackandwhitephotograph digitalimage shipbuildingheritage maritimeheritage industrialheritage johnreadhead johnreadheadsonssouthshields fascinating interesting unusual impressive majestic striking northeastofengland unitedkingdom archives abstract preparations berth 25july1956 structure construction development production platform timber pile ground sky rail debris pole flag deck cabin porthole emblem signage letters crane machine wire bank window glass frame building wall roof doorway brick stairs hat overalls crease board

Add Tags
  • profile

    Steve Ellwood Whitley Bay

    • 22/Nov/2016 18:42:03

    She changed name to FILTRIC in 1965 and was wrecked 5 miles south of Cape Finisterre 12th January 1970. Her cargo had shifted during a storm and was abandoned by her crew, all of whom survived. She eventually went ashore 13th January 1970 and was wrecked.