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 148,103 pages of information and 233,633 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

John Blumer and Co

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John Blumer and Co of Sunderland were shipbuilders.

1859 The company was established by John Blumer and started wooden shipbuilding in North Sands.

1864 The company transferred to the far eastern end due to William Pile extending his yard to develop iron shipbuilding.

1864 Blumer's first ship was the wooden Avon. He then moved on to iron steamers. He built a variety of ships ranging from tramps to colliers to coastal packets. His customers ranged from P&O to the Admiralty.

1865 Arthur Robson joined the firm.

1900 Output for the yard was six ships of 18,679 tons including the largest tramp they had ever built; Drumcruil which was 6,500 dwt in size. The yard never built any larger type of vessel during its lifetime.

1906 The freight slump which began this year, reduced output to three ships in 1908/09.

1910 Orders rose again with requests being made for 25 tramps and colliers between this year and the start of the Great War.

1914 Iron and steel shipbuilders. Employees 820. [1]

1914 Directory: Listed as Iron Ship Builders of North Dock, Sunderland. [2]

WWI 14 ships of 48,456 tons were completed during the War: five Admiralty lighters and eight standard WAR "C" types were ordered by the Shipping Controller. Five were completed after the end of the War.

1915-22 A further 18 ships were built to private order.

1922 Scarcity of orders led to closure of the yard after the completion of Ixia in July 1922.

1927 In January Cydonia, which had been an unfinished hull for many years, finally set off for sea trials. Subsequently the last yard to build at the North Dock was dismantled. This ended a long tradition of shipbuilding on this part of the River.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • British Shipbuilding Yards. 3 vols by Norman L. Middlemiss