NORTH EAST MARINE ENGINE BUILDERS

Re: NORTH EAST ENGINE MARINE BUILDERS

Postby Whickham » Sun May 27, 2018 8:39 am

Additionally Vickers Armstrongs Barrow are credited with 26 engines but there is some uncertainty about how many of these were Tyne built and how many were Barrow built.

I don't believe that Vickers Armstrongs had an engine works on the Tyne.
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Re: NORTH EAST ENGINE MARINE BUILDERS

Postby fitter » Sun May 27, 2018 9:23 pm

Thank you Dave.
Several years ago I got a list of Doxford engines built by Vickers Barrow from Barrow Museum that I relied on entirely. Quite recently, some one who held a senior position at Doxford Engine works for many years and represented Doxford engine works all over the world, questioned if Vickers Barrow built any Doxford engines at all and suggested that Vickers Armstrong on the Tyne would have built any Doxford engines. At the time of my post I hadn't contacted Barrow museum to clarify who built what, but I intend to in the next week or so. If anyone could say, reliably, if Vickers Armstrong built Doxford engines on the Tyne, I would be pleased to know.
Thanks for your reply
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Re: NORTH EAST ENGINE MARINE BUILDERS

Postby Whickham » Mon May 28, 2018 8:20 am

Tom, my information came from Ian Buxton, who is as reliable as you can get. In an email to me a while ago he wrote "Walker Naval Yard never had an engine works (not room) so Armstrong got machinery from other Tyne engine works. After merger with Vickers, some came from Barrow" I'm sure he won't mind me quoting his words.
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Re: NORTH EAST ENGINE MARINE BUILDERS

Postby fitter » Mon May 28, 2018 8:36 pm

Thanks Dave. That's how I had believed until unsettled by a man for whom I have profound respect and that I felt would be disrespectful to contradict without some sound reasoning. I'll get confirmation from Barrow Museum this week, they are brilliant when dealing with enquiries. I did notice Tyne built ships had "engines by Vickers Armstrong, Barrow in Furness" for all the ships I checked.
Thanks again
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Re: NORTH EAST ENGINE MARINE BUILDERS

Postby fitter » Tue May 29, 2018 11:27 pm

Two pictures that apparently should have no connection with North east shipbuilding and marine engineering: William the Conqueror who is allegedly responsible for William Doxford.
The story is that after conquering Britain, William rewarded his knights with land. The knights are named in Hastings Abbey in what are known as the Battle Abbey Rolls. Two such knights were Sire de Gaugy and Sire de Menville. De gaugy was rewarded with land at Doxfordham south of Alnwick, De Menvilles near by. A de Gaugy (de Gaugi) married a de Menville and a generation or two later changed their name to de Doxford after the land they held. Later again they became plain Doxford one of them becoming the first rector of Ellingham. All went well for them for about 679 years when, in 1745 they fled from their family seat because of the Jacobite rebellion. One of the Doxfords is recorded as settling at Kinley Hill,(some records have Haseldon, Kinley Hill Low House), Dalton, which because of parish boundary changes is now part of Easington. From there he established a timber yard at Sunderland's North Dock and the business eventually began wooden ship building at Coxgreen, near present day Penshaw Monument, over the river from Nissan. From there Doxfords moved to Pallion where they remained until the yard closed.
Charles Doxford commissioned the Sunderland family pedigree historian James Watson Corder to determine if the link between Doxfords and William the Conqueror was factual. The conclusion of Corder's research was that whilst he had been unable to prove the link he believed that it was most likely to be true.
My own research left me unable to find irrefutable documentary evidence and I wasn't prepared to travel to Morpeth to research records there that may contain the truth. I was concerned about the number of Daltons in the north east and wondered if Dalton le Dale was the place that a Doxford settled. The specific address, apparently a farm (?) still in existence, was the most convincing record.
Sentimentality, sadly, has got in the way of fact and there are some Doxford devotees whose minds are made up and they wouldn't like to be confused with mere facts, that assert that the link has been proven beyond doubt but are unable to provide the evidence. But what a fascinating story if it is true, how William the Conqueror was responsible for William the Con Rod.
Incidentally, Doxfords had been bought by Northumberland Shipbuilding Co before the first Doxford oil (diesel) engine had been installed in 1921, (thanks to the famous Workman of Workman Clark, Belfast fame), so it was only Doxford in name. The Doxford AGM minutes in Tyne and Wear Archives make interesting reading, where in one instance, not enough people turned up for the meeting in Newcastle for it to be legal and it was abandoned. The account of how Northumberland Shipbuilding had a value of only about £500,000 when Workman bought it which quickly increased to several million pounds, allowing Northumberland to buy other shipyards that eventually included Workman Clark itself at a reduced value and resulted in a court case against Workman, is also in Tyne and Wear Archives in the form of reports in the Belfast Whig newspaper.
william the conqueror bayuex tapestry.jpg
William The Conqueror, Bayeux tapestry

william the conqueror.jpg
william the conqueror.jpg (20.66 KiB) Viewed 3414 times

Sadly William's camera was broken in the skirmish, so the war historian had to do a sketch instead. Apparently the Bayeux Tapestry image is of William lifting up his helmet to prove he was still alive, the fact the he was still standing would have been convincing enough for me.
Last edited by fitter on Sun Jun 03, 2018 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NORTH EAST ENGINE MARINE BUILDERS

Postby northeast » Wed May 30, 2018 6:26 am

What an excellent story, Tom! Of course old Willy the Conk needed an awful lot of wooden ships to get across to Hastings so maybe there were some shipbuilding genes in his knights.
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Re: NORTH EAST ENGINE MARINE BUILDERS

Postby E28 » Wed May 30, 2018 7:23 pm

A most interesting thread with much valid information, machinery and their builders always playing second fiddle to the builders. Many forget if it was the machinery manufacturer which was awarded the contract to construct a vessel, the builder then doing their part under contract.

As an observation all mention of Vosper Thornycroft, no e, must be invalid prior to 1966 when Vosper Ltd merged with J Thornycroft to form Vosper Thornycroft Ltd.

Vospers were renowned for their fast boats, invariably the M.T.B. whilst Thornycroft were destroyer builders foremost but like Vospers can also trace their roots to small fast craft in the 19th Century when based in Chiswick when Yarrow was their principal competitor with both also manufacturing their own machinery and most boilers on the Thames. Once London wages made continued construction there uneconomic in the early 20th Century Yarrow went North to Glasgow and Thornycroft the opposite direction to Southampton.
Last edited by E28 on Wed May 30, 2018 9:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Thats all folks. Sean.
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Re: NORTH EAST ENGINE MARINE BUILDERS

Postby Whickham » Wed May 30, 2018 9:36 pm

E28 wrote:Many forget it was the machinery manufacturer which was awarded the contract to construct a vessel, the builder then doing their part under contract.

I am surprised by this quote. I know of some instances where it was true, but not I think, a general case.
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Re: NORTH EAST ENGINE MARINE BUILDERS

Postby E28 » Wed May 30, 2018 9:45 pm

Oops Dave, i left out the word if which consequently left the sentence out of context. My error, now edited.

Machinery manufacturers could tender for the construction of a ship and when successful would then sub contract the hull to a builder. That sounds better.
Thats all folks. Sean.
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Re: NORTH EAST ENGINE MARINE BUILDERS

Postby Whickham » Wed May 30, 2018 10:33 pm

Yes, Sean a small but important word. Hepple and Rennoldson were cases in point where they both dropped out of shipbuilding for a while but still were the prime contractor for a number of vessels. Parsons were another who in the early days were prime contractors for a number of warships.

We have included Parsons as a shipbuilder in Tyne Built Ships. See: http://www.tynebuiltships.co.uk/Parsons.html

These contracts are the only ones we can find published in the press. If you know of any more?? Do tell.
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