Elswick Shipyard, 1885

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When: 01 January 1885

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View of Elswick Shipyard, 1885 (TWAM ref. 696/5). This appears to show the Austrian cruiser ‘Panther’ ready for launch. The photograph seems to have been taken from the King's Meadow, an island in the middle of the Tyne, which has since been dredged away.

‘Workshop of the World’ is a phrase often used to describe Britain’s manufacturing dominance during the Nineteenth Century. It’s also a very apt description for the Elswick Works and Scotswood Works of Vickers Armstrong and its predecessor companies. These great factories, situated in Newcastle along the banks of the River Tyne, employed hundreds of thousands of men and women and built a huge variety of products for customers around the globe.

The Elswick Works was established by William George Armstrong (later Lord Armstrong) in 1847 to manufacture hydraulic cranes. From these relatively humble beginnings the company diversified into many fields including shipbuilding, armaments and locomotives. By 1953 the Elswick Works covered 70 acres and extended over a mile along the River Tyne. This set of images, mostly taken from our Vickers Armstrong collection, includes fascinating views of the factories at Elswick and Scotswood, the products they produced and the people that worked there. By preserving these archives we can ensure that their legacy lives on.

(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: 21473
newcastleupontyne shipyard rivertyne elswick ships boat sirwgarmstrongwhitworthcoltd industrial panther cruiser kingsmeadow ststephenschurch shipbuilding victorian 1880s industrialheritage blackandwhitephotograph digitalimage social abstract industry manufacturing workshopoftheworld striking fascinating interesting grain mark 1885 austriancruiser ‘panther’ launch island tyne scotswood elswickworks scotswoodworks factories customers products williamgeorgearmstrong lordarmstrong sand beach shore paddle men suit hat standing land church buildings vegetation timber construction structure mast deck cabin roof wall chimney window glass porthole propeller tallsteeple scotswoodroad ship vessel britain landscape

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    optimal chicken

    • 08/Jul/2015 07:56:05

    That's fantastic! The tall steeple which can still be seen along Scotswood Road is in this photo. Of particular interest to me is the fact they appear to be on a sandy beach?! It certainly doesn't look like that now - all thick deep dirty mud..

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    • 08/Jul/2015 08:52:25

    That tall Steeple is St Stephens church and as you say, can still be seen today, and I believe they are on the sandy shoreline of what was once Kings Meadows Island, which a local tower block took its name from. This apparently is the only known picture of the island which had its own public house and horse racing track...all long since dredged away of course.

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    Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums

    • 08/Jul/2015 09:21:46

    Many thanks for your comments - we've updated the entry to take account of them.

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    optimal chicken

    • 08/Jul/2015 13:26:29

    Fascinating. I'll have to go trawling through my old maps now!

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    Billy Embleton

    • 08/Jul/2015 19:28:17

    Chilean ironclad Blanco Encalada moored on the left of the photo, the first ship in the world to be sunk by a torpedo in 1891!! en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chilean_ironclad_Blanco_Encalada

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