Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Parkin and Richardson

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Parkin and Richardson, shipbuilders, of Hartlepool.

1836 Thomas Richardson formed a partnership with Joseph Parkin as Parkin and Richardson to build wooden sailing ships. They were the first people to build ships in Hartlepool since medieval times. Their site was near the old ferry landing on the Headland. This was not a shipbuilding yard as we would understand it today. It was simply an area of land near the shore-line. When the wooden ships were ready to be launched they were put into the sea by sliding them down the beach.

There was a problem with the location of the Parkin and Richardson site. Part of the old town wall ran through it. This cut off the area where the ship was being built from the beach. The wall had to be taken down before a ship was launched, then re-built as quickly as possible afterwards, to stop the sea coming in.

1837 Parkin and Richardson’s first ship, the Castle Eden, was launched early in 1837. They built three others at the site, before deciding to move because of the problems with the wall.

1838 they moved to a new site at Middleton. They built two more ships here before the partnership dissolved in 1839.

1839 The shipyard was sold to J. P. Denton, another local shipbuilder. Joseph Parkin stopped shipbuilding at this time.

1844 Thomas Richardson returned to shipbuilding; he built two vessels in Hartlepool over the next two years. His main interest from now on, however, was in building engines, later becoming T. Richardson and Sons.

See Also

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Sources of Information

[1] Hartlepool Council Web Site