North Sands yard plan

North Sands yard plan

Postby northeast » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:49 pm

Does anyone have a yard plan for North Sands showing the later slipways used for the largest ships towards the end of the yard, such as NORDIC CHIEFTAIN / AURORA in 1974/1975? I have an enquiry from a lady owning one of the new houses between the glass centre and North Dock, who is interested in the history of the site.
Cheers, George
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Re: North Sands yard plan

Postby Whickham » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:34 pm

Sorry no map, but following photo is dated 1969 and shows the position of the big berth in relation to other landmarks that still exist eg St Peter's Church and what I know as Dame Dorothy Street but seems to be called A1018/A183.

Sunderland 1969.jpg
Photo Tyne and Wear Archives

Following Google map shows rough position of berth.

Sunderland-2.jpg

and just next to the Glass Centre is a green marker in the river. I understand that this marks the end of the large berth.
The modern housing is on the original building berths which in the first photo appear to have been converted into a plate stockyard with gantry cranes and some preparation/fabrication sheds.

Sunderland.jpg
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Re: North Sands yard plan

Postby northeast » Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:57 pm

That's great Dave, knew I could rely on you!
The lady enquirer has a house between Topcliff and Mulgrave Drive which it seems were on the downstream end of the yard, as your 1969 photo shows. I had always assumed somehow that the original berths were upstream and had been obliterated when the big berth was built for BORGSTEN and the later and even larger ships, but clearly they were at the lower end, with ships being launched in an upstream direction.
The lady has an interest in the Albyn Black ships and has named her house after THISTLEDOWNE of 1953 so the key question is, would this ship have been launched from the ways that her house now stands on?
Cheers, George
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Re: North Sands yard plan

Postby fitter » Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:54 pm

George. the new single berth didn't come into use until 1960. the first ship was Moss Hutchinsons 37,000 dwt oil tanker "Busiris" yard no 698. Have an aeriel view of the yard but its too big a file for this site. could send it by e amil if wanted. Also have a perfect builders photo of Thstledowne on trials if the lady wants it. Given up trying to send photos to NEMT, they always get rejected because of file size.
Pictures of Busiris launch in this forum, J.L. Thompsons, North Sands where the old berths are also visible


Regards
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Re: North Sands yard plan

Postby Whickham » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:38 am

Another view of the North Sands yard taken in 1948 showing the building berths on the right of the photo.
Not sure how many berths there are, may be 3 or 4?

Sunderland 1948.jpg
Photo copyright of Tyne & Wear Archives
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Re: North Sands yard plan

Postby northeast » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:38 am

Thanks Tom, have sent you a PM with my e-mail.
Cheers, George
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Re: North Sands yard plan

Postby northeast » Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:40 am

Thanks David, all good stuff!
ST. ESSYLT or ST. THOMAS fitting out, plus SILVERBRIAR or SILVERPLANE, also good to see the Austin yard busy.

p.s. looking at this again, it seems there was a distinct separation between the slipways, which seem to extend right up to North Dock, and the fitting-out quay upstream.
Cheers, George
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Re: North Sands yard plan

Postby fitter » Thu Mar 23, 2017 9:46 pm

[quote="Whickham"]Another view of the North Sands yard taken in 1948 showing the building berths on the right of the photo.
Not sure how many berths there are, may be 3 or 4?

There were four Berths at Thompsons North Sands but Crowns had a berth as well as a slipway that I think ships could be winched up for repairs. Crowns was to the West of North Sands berths, left as viewed on the photo. When Thompsons took over Crowns in 1946 two of their four berths were dismantled, then Crowns yard was closed and demolished so Thompsons then had from Palmers Hill in the west to North Sands in the east as one yard. Housing was also demolished and several additions were made to the yard then. In the late 50s work began on the new large single berth parallel to Stand Quay (present day glass centre). before Crowns closed, it was still operating under Thompsons ownerships and this is the reason for frequent confusion about ships being classed as Crowns or Thompsons. Crowns yard numbers continued to be used,, but technically the builders were J.L.Thompson. The remaining two berths at Thompsons were only used for fabrication once the new single berth was in operation. The first launch from iot was the Busiris in 1960.
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