Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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T. and W. Smith

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T. and W. Smith of North Shields, merchants, ship repairers and builders, and rope makers (see Thomas and William Smith)

1756 The business was established at St. Peter's, Newcastle upon Tyne

1782 The Yard was established as wooden ship repairers and builders. It became a key Tyne yard building East Indiamen, warships and also manufacturing rope.

1810 Thomas Smith (of Newcastle), with his sons Thomas, junior, and William, started a ship building business at St.Peter's taking over the shipyard of William Rowe.

1850 Thomas and William Smith, rope manufacturers, St Lawrence; ship builders St Peters Dock, New Dock, North Shields; merchants, 2 Broad Chare[1].

1850s The Smith yard became iron shipbuilders, building a number of vessels including large numbers of steam trawlers for various North Shields owners. These were designed by Shields Engineering Co of North Shields. King Edward (1902) and Lawrenny Castle (1908) were listed in Lloyd's register of Shipping as still in service, fishing around Spanish and Portuguese coasts.

1860 the company was run by Thomas Eustace Smith after his father's death (along with James Southern and George Luckley)[2]

1865 See 1865 Tyne Shipbuilders for detail of the tonnage produced

c.1870 R. and W. Hawthorn acquired the St. Peter's works,

1870s Coasters of the quarterdeck design were built in the 1870s.

T. and W. Smith established a major drydock complex at North Shields in the late 19th century.

1883 After building 7 ships in 1882, the North Shields yard built only 2 ships in 1883[3]

1890 Building of ships ceased [4].

1891 A limited liability company was formed (with the same name) focused on ship repairing. Smiths Dock Co was incorporated[5]

1899 The yard amalgamated with the Bull Ring repair yards of Harry S. Edwards and Sons and Edwards Brothers to form Smiths Dock Co which became the largest ship repairing business in the world at one time. The rope making business continued under the title of Thomas and William Smith.

1900 Building of ships resumed under the Smiths Dock name[6].

1907/8 The new Smiths Dock shipyard and associated drydocks and repair facilities were developed on a completely new site fronting the River Tees at South Bank, a little way downstream from Middlesbrough, with steelworks to east and west[7].

1909 Montcharles a coaster, was the last ship to be built by the North Shields yard; launched in late 1909.

1909/10 The last two vessels launched at North Shields were fitted out at the new South Bank yard in 1909-1910; the sequence of yard numbers was maintained from the Tyneside yard[8].

1922 Wire rope makers, of Guildhall, Newcastle-onTyne. Directors: Mrs. E. Smith and C. D. Smith (Managing).

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Ward's Northumberland & Durham Directory, 1850
  2. Ancestry [1]
  3. The Newcastle Weekly Courant December 26, 1884
  4. Tees built ships [2]
  5. The Times, Mar 09, 1910
  6. Tees built ships [3]
  7. Tees built ships [4]
  8. Tees built ships [5]
  • British Shipbuilding Yards. 3 vols by Norman L. Middlemiss
  • The Engineer of 28th June 1889 p542