Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Pile, Spence and Co

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Pile, Spence and Company, shipbuilders, of Hartlepool

1859 The company was a partnership between John Pile and Joseph Spence. Both were already successful shipbuilders. They had two shipyards at West Hartlepool. The first was in Jackson Dock, and was known as the North Yard. The other, the South Yard, was in Swainson Dock.

By 1861 they employed around 1,500 workmen. Around this time they took over the West Hartlepool Steam Navigation Co, which had a fleet of nine cargo and passenger vessels.

By 1865 its local assets included shipyards and dry docks covering nine acres, the West Hartlepool Steam Navigation Company and the West Hartlepool Rolling Mills and Blast Furnaces (presumably West Hartlepool Steel and Iron Co).

1866 "Another large ship is ready for launching"

1866 Although the business was successful, the partnership ended in 1866. The bank which the firm used went out of business, so all their money was lost. The last ship to be launched was the Murton.

The liquidators agreed to complete four outstanding contracts and the last of these, the Avon, was launched in 1867. The yards were eventually taken over by Denton, Gray and Co.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Port Cities Web Site (archived copy)[1]
  • The Engineer of 9th February 1866 p100
  • Hartlepool Built [2]