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British Industrial History

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Appledore Shipbuilders

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Appledore Shipbuilders is a shipbuilder in Appledore, North Devon.

1855 The Appledore Yard was founded in 1855 on the estuary of the River Torridge. Appledore Shipbuilders was founded in 1855/56 at the Richmond Shipyard when the first open building dock was constructed. In those early days vessels up to 2,000 tons dead-weight could be constructed.

The Richmond Dock remained the main facility until 1969/70 when the totally enclosed "Ship Factory" was constructed.

In 1963 the yard’s previous owners P. K. Harris and Sons sold it to the Seawork Group. The yard was then renamed Appledore Shipbuilders Ltd.

In 1964 the yard changed hands again and a syndicate comprised of Court Line and Alltransport were now the new owners (still trading under the Appledore name). Tugs continued to be the main output of the yard along with sand suction dredgers, hopper barges and tank barges of differing sizes.

In the late 60s the yard made six coastal liners too for the Royal Navy.

1970s The yard was modernised with a new covered hall enabling it to make larger ships and also work with steel prefabrication. A series of coastal tankers were built for various petrochemical companies along with sand dredgers, container ships and mini-bulkers.

In 1972 Appledore Shiprepairers was placed into liquidation which meant that all shiprepairing ceased.

In 1974 Court Line collapsed and the Labour Government took over the ownership.

It was then incorporated into British Shipbuilders in July 1977. Following this a series of five mini-bulkers were completed along with gas and oil tankers, mini bulkers dredgers, oil rig supply vessels, a research ship and a naval armaments carrier.

1980s During the 80s the covered Shipbuilding Hall was used to make over 70 large ships.On the privatisation of the nationalised British Shipbuilders, the Appledore Yard was acquired by a group called A. and P. Appledore International, formed from the former assets of Appledore and the Sunderland shipbuilders Austin and Pickersgill. A & P Appledore also acquired a number of other British Shipyards including Hall, Russell and Co in Aberdeen and the Falmouth Dock Company in Falmouth.

In 1986, A & P Appledore took control of Ferguson Shipbuilders on the breakup of Ferguson-Ailsa to form Appledore Ferguson Shipbuilders.

Appledore Ferguson was sold in 1989.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  • [1] Wikipedia
  • British Shipbuilding Yards. 3 vols by Norman L. Middlemiss