View of Shervick Tractors inside 136 Shop, Elswick Works, Newcastle upon Tyne, April 1948 (TWAM ref. 1027/269). These tractors were manufactured by Vickers after the Second World War, using Sherman tanks, which had become surplus to military requirements.
‘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.
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Owner: Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
Source: Flickr Commons