Launch party of the cargo ship 'Empire Hazlitt'

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When: 14 May 1942

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Members of the launch party of the cargo ship ‘Empire Hazlitt’, at the shipyard of John Readhead & Sons Ltd, South Shields, 14 May 1942 (TWAM ref. 1061/1043).

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: 18042
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    optimal chicken

    • 21/Dec/2015 13:41:04

    Princess Diana Spencer left of the two wheels? Zoom in.. I love looking over these images because they show us so much detail of what life was like then. I sat for a while wondering what their accents would be like - if they'd changed much. It then dawned on me that they'd speak like our grandparents..

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    • 21/Dec/2015 15:01:03

    Diana must have had an appointment with the good Doctor (Timelord).

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    bawdy kittens

    • 23/Dec/2015 00:58:21 ... I think the dead fox hanging around the woman's neck probably didn't get a chance to speak at all!

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    optimal chicken

    • 23/Dec/2015 06:51:21 Haha bad one! The resemblance is uncanny.. Ah. Poor wee thing - I didn't spot it. Back then it was quite normal for people to own furs (if they had the money). There are businesses around today who back then as extra income would import furs. One business close to me here is very well known for selling fruit and veg but back then imported tons of furs.. I'm saying no more!