Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Lytham Shipbuilding and Engineering Co

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Dock Road, Lytham, Lancashire

Previously known as Richard Smith and Co, the Lytham Shipbuilding and Engineering Co was set up c.1893. It was based on the Ribble estuary to the East of Lytham at Lytham Creek.

1893 Advertised that it built light draught ships, river steamers, single and twin-screw tug-boats, launches, marine engines, and screw propellers.[1]

The yard made shallow-draft river craft which were sent in pieces and rebuilt at their destination. In addition, the yard made a variety of sternwheel, quarterwheel and tunnel propulsion river boats, barges and tugs.

1904 Business incorporated as the Lytham Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Limited

1912 Constructed a steam launch for the British East Africa Railway which later featured in the film African Queen, although some question this

WWI The yard made three "Saint" class naval tugs, smaller tugs, ammunition barges, telegraph repair ships and other small craft for the Navy. It also began making British coasters.

1920s The yard focussed on making river craft for West African and the Congo.

1930s The yard was affected by the Depression and only launched a few ships during this time.

WWII The main output was fourteen water carriers for Dockyard use, naval steam lighters, landing craft and coasters.

1955 The company went into voluntary liquidation. J. A. Friedenthal was the chairman. The silting up of the channel to the Ribble was a factor in closure. The yard and its contents were auctioned off.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1893/02/24
  • British Shipbuilding Yards. 3 vols by Norman L. Middlemiss
  • Directory of Shipowners, Shipbuilders and Marine Engineers 1955
  • London Gazette 10 May 1955 p. 2748
  • Shipbuilding and Shipping Record August 4th, 1955