Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 134,769 pages of information and 213,810 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Earle's Shipbuilding and Engineering Co

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search
1881. The Works at Hull.
1881. Engines of SS Assyrian Monarch.
1881. Engines of SS Assyrian Monarch.
1885. Engines of the SS Eastwood.
1885. Engines of the SS Eastwood.
1891. Triple expansion engines for HMS Philomel and Pearl.
Shipyard model of HMS St. George, 1892, at Hull Maritime Museum
DSCN7690 (2).JPG

Earle's Shipbuilding and Engineering Co was the largest yard building the biggest ships on the Humber in Hull.

formerly C. and W. Earle.

1871 The yard was taken over by Earle's Shipbuilding and Engineering Co which was a consortium of shareholders. Sir Edward Reed became chairman.

1871 Company incorporated.

1870s Things did not get off to a good start when the yard tendered for Admiralty contracts, but was not awarded any business (due to a technical design difference of opinion between the then chairman Edward Reed and the Admiralty itself). However, the yard did mange to secure a number of prestigious overseas contracts for the Chilean, Japanese, Russian and Greek navies.

1874 Following Edward Reed's resignation in 1874, the Admiralty were more forthcoming with their business and orders for a variety of cruisers came in.

1880s The 1880s were typified by large iron construction ships, and then following a switch to steel, the vessels became larger and larger. Steamers, ferries, passenger/cargo ships and trawlers were mainstays of the yard throughout the later 20 years of the nineteenth century and into the early twentieth century.

1890s The yard lost a lot of business to competitors in the early 1890s with the result that by 1897 the yard was facing a financial crisis.

1900 This led to voluntary liquidation in 1900 and no work was completed at the yard for a further year.

1901 Local shipowner Charles Henry Wilson acquired the yard and the company began trading again. The yard was modernised, and over thirty five ships were built for the Wilson Line. The yard also began picking up naval orders again.

1901 The company was registered on 24 December, to acquire the properties formerly owned by a company of the same name. [1]

1901 Company was bought by C. H. Wilson who formed a new company bearing the same name.

1914 Iron and Steel Ship Builders, Marine Engineers and Boilermakers. [2]

WWI The yard made three "Flower" class sloops, tankers, cargo-liners, seven "B" types, two "E" types and two refrigerated ships.

1920s The yard diversified its customer base making steamships, trawlers, tugs and barges for a number of different companies.

1930s Orders began to run out following completion of the Great Lakes steamer Thorold. Unusually, the yard also made a "flat pack" ship for the Peruvian authorities. The ship was made in kit form and shipped out to Peru where it was reassembled by a small team from Earle's. Launched on Lake Titicaca as the passenger/cargo ship Ollanta on 18th November 1931, the ship stayed in service until the 1980s.

1932 the Earle’s yard was acquired by National Shipbuilders Security and dismantled, with the yard's fitting-out crane being sold off to the Kowloon Dockyard in Hong Kong.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  2. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  • British Shipbuilding Yards. 3 vols by Norman L. Middlemiss
  • The Engineer of 5th January 1866 p4