Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 126,814 pages of information and 199,901 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Charles Mitchell and Company were shipbuilders at Newcastle from 1853-1882
1820 Charles Mitchell was born in Aberdeen on 20th May 1820.
1852 He returned to Newcastle and set up his own Low Walker yard next to the Coutts yard.
His first vessel Havilah was launched in February 1852 (a coaster for the Australian trade).
1854 Another notable ship was Hesperus which was ordered for German owners but on completion in 1854 was bought by the Admiralty and sent with a cargo of iron rails for the Crimean War railway.
1855 C. Mitchell and Co, iron ship builders, Low Walker yard 
1856 Three ships launched in a unique triple launch at the yard; an event never repeated again on the Tyne.
1864 Henry was sent to St Petersburg to build five small warships. Many orders from Russia were taken at the yard.
1865 See 1865 Tyne Shipbuilders for detail of the tonnage produced at Low Walker and St Petersburg
1867 The first British gunboat was built at the yard (Staunch of 1867) followed by 27 similar gunboats built as the ‘Ant’ class up to 1881.
1871 The first undersea telegraph cables were being laid. The Hooper Telegraph Company ordered a ship to lay 5000 miles of cable off the South American coast. Hooper 4935/73 was built in 100 days.
1871 Public company, the Wallsend Slipway Co, was formed by a group of Newcastle shipowners, and one shipbuilder, to repair the vessels of their respective fleets. Yard established by Charles Mitchell; named after two 300 foot slipways to be used for the sole purpose of repairing ships. The company was registered on 2 October.
1871 acquired a small site at St. Peter's, further up-river towards Newcastle. At this site, 2 of his associates began building ships under the style of Coulson, Cooke and Company. OR
1873 Charles Mitchell purchased a site at Wallsend to deal with excess orders from his Low Walker Yard. John Coulson, yard manager from Low Walker, and Richard Cooke, were placed in charge.
1874 That firm ran into financial difficulties and it became necessary for Mitchell to take over the Wallsend yard. He entrusted it to the management of his brother-in-law, Charles Sheridan Swan, who continued the work of the firm through mixed fortune until his untimely, accidental death in 1879.
1877 A 1,000 ton floating dock was built for the Dutch Government and towed out to Java.
1878/80 George Burton Hunter, a young Wearside shipbuilder, had dissolved his partnership with a S. P. Austin and Son and entered into negotiations with Charles Mitchell and H. F. Swan. The outcome of this was a new partnership with Charles Swan's widow C. S. Swan and Hunter, with Hunter as managing director 
The backbone of the Low Walker yard was tramps for British owners, with 16 being produced for a number of different owners.