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British Industrial History

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Cleland's (Successors)

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Cleland's (Successors) Ltd, shipbuilders, Willington Quay, Wallsend-on-Tyne.

1867 The yard was originally owned by William Cleland, who had been a manager for T. and W. Smith of North Shields, and had began business for himself in 1867, and registered William Cleland's Graving Dock in 1872.

1932 during the Depression, William Cleland's Graving Dock was offered for sale. It was purchased for £3000 by the Craggs family of the Goole Shipbuilding and Repairing Co in the same year. The yard was famous for the sideways launches of its ships, a practical solution to cramped space.

1934 Company name became Cleland's (Successors) Ltd

1934 The company started building coasters.

WW2 Output of five coasters, thirteen tugs, a ferry and a barge.

1946/50 Three coasters were built along with 60 barges of 80 feet length for a number of oil companies.

1954 Facilities expanded, with a new fabrication hall being built and later expansions of the main slipway and a new yard for launching berths. These improvements cost £1m.

1959 Queensgate was the first coaster to be launched broadside. The yard output was mainly coasters, coastal tankers, tugs, barges, drilling platforms, towing launches, tenders and yachts.

1960 The yard employed around 700 men and production remained steady. Cleland's also began marketing their standard design coaster known as EXCELSHIP 2600 with 12 vessels being built for various coaster owners.

1967 Kenneth Craggs was chairman of the company[1]. The Craggs family sold this yard and the Goole yard to Swan Hunter

1970-75 The yard mainly built trawlers with over ten vessels constructed and Junella being the last trawler ever launched on the Tyne in 1975.

1979 The largest ship ever built by the yard was delivered in April: Ashington of 6570 dwt built for Stephenson Clarke Ltd.

1981 The yard started to build oil-rig supply ships and anchor handling tugs for the North Sea oilfields.

1983 Steyning was the last ship to be built by the yard. It was launched on 9th August 1983 and completed on 20th October of the same year. The yard was then closed by British Shipbuilders Corporation, but continues to be used by a number of oil rig building companies.

1985 A private-sector attempt was nadeto re-open the yard on a smaller scale[2]

See Also


Sources of Information

  • British Shipbuilding Yards. 3 vols by Norman L. Middlemiss
  1. The Times, Nov 04, 1967
  2. The Times Wednesday, Apr. 16, 1986