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British Industrial History

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Wood, Skinner and Co

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1911 model of Tyne Ferry South Shields on display at the Discovery Museum, Newcastle

Wood, Skinner and Co of Bill Quay, Newcastle-on-Tyne

1883 James Skinner and William Wood opened the Tyne yard with six slipways, in 1883 at Bill Quay. Both of the business partners had experience working for other well-known shipbuilders (Skinner worked for Coutts Low Walker yard and Wood for Schlesinger, Davies and Co). The shipyard expanded to eight slipways in the 1920s.

1883 Initially the yard built coasters and short-sea traders, largely for Scandinavian companies.

1889 The yard also made ships for the Burnett Steamship Co of Newcastle. The small steamer Angelus was the first of 30 colliers and short-sea traders to come from the yard. Burnett had a strong working relationship with Wood, Skinner & Co. Ltd for 32 years. It only came to an end when Wood, Skinner went into liquidation in 1925.

1897 Incorporated as a limited company.

1901 This was one of the best years for the yard. 11 vessels launched ranging in size from small tramps to trawlers.

1911 Built San Mateo, a steel screw steamer with engines by the North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. [1]

1911 Built the vehicular ferry South Shields for the Tyne Improvement Commission. The vessel operated until the 1970s (see photo of model)

1912 Two very large self-trimming colliers were built in this year: Fulgens for Gas Light and Coke Co and Combe for Stephenson Clarke.

1914 Directory: Listed as Ship Builders of Bill Quay, Newcastle. [2]

1914 Listed as shipbuilders and repairers. [3]

1917 WW1 output included 12 self trimming colliers, two "Insect" class boats and six WAR 'C' and 'D' ships.

1921-25 After the War, the yard relied heavily on orders from Gas Light and Coke Co and Burnett, Sharp and Stephenson Clarke building a total of 11 ships for them in this period.

1925 The yard failed financially having built 330 small vessels and maintaining a reputation for building colliers.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  • British Shipbuilding Yards. 3 vols by Norman L. Middlemiss
  1. The Engineer of 1st September 1911 p244
  2. Kelly's Directory of Durham, 1914 p771
  3. 1914 Whitakers Red Book