Wearside Online and Sunderland Forum - Your Local Community

Ships Made On The River Wear At Sunderland

The Sunderland Forum is all about local issues. The City of Sunderland obviously includes, Washington, Houghton and Hetton. However, we allow news, views and gossip from all areas surrounding Wearside.
User avatar
Paper Terry
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 370
Joined: 16 Jul 2013, 14:19
Location: Seaburn

Re: Ships Made On The River Wear At Sunderland

Post by Paper Terry »

It quite hard to explain to the younger generation about the size of those ships but these videos can help. The Sunderland shipyards are gone for good but the memories will remain. In future, people will be wondering just how those massive ships were built on the River Wear. You only have to look at the bend in the river at Southwick and think about how narrow the river actually is and then look at the size of the ships themselves. Even for me its hard to understand how it was done, yet it was, many times over.

It really was a testament to the people of Sunderland who worked at the shipyards.

Two SD14 cargo ships built on the River Wear and being fitted out at Austin & Pickersgill's yard at Southwick.
Image


In a bit :arrow:

User avatar
Jools
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 946
Joined: 16 Jul 2013, 14:25
Location: Silksworth

Re: Ships Made On The River Wear At Sunderland

Post by Jools »

Superflex Bravo - this was launched in 1987 on the River Wear, Sunderland by North East Shipbuilders at Southwick (I think this was the name change from Austin & Pickersgill - possibly after nationalisation):
Image

Ariadne is a SD14 ship being built and ready for launch at Austin & Pickersgill, Southwick, Sunderland in April 1969:
Image

Loads more information here: http://blog.twmuseums.org.uk/rememberin ... -launches/


I Love Sunderland
I Love SAFC
I Love Wearside

User avatar
monty
Local MP
Local MP
Posts: 895
Joined: 16 Jul 2013, 15:58
Location: SUNDERLAND

Re: Ships Made On The River Wear At Sunderland

Post by monty »

I always used to wonder how much of the ships were under water. Some of them ships were massive its amazing to think that loads were launched at Southwick on the other side of the Queen Alexandra Bridge. How deep was the River Wear from that point down? I know there were dredgers that took away the silt from the river bed but I can't get my head around the size and weight of the ships compared to the size of river. Things must have been tight and the Sunderland folk should be proud of themselves that the history of shipbuilding here is very rich indeed.

Talking about the dredger boats I remember watching them at work. They seem to have large buckets on a conveyor belt going round and round. Presumably these scooped up the silt. The silt would be put on another boat and took out to sea to be dumped. I think the dredgers were called Vedra .... and were they numbered 1-4?

Here is a picture I found of the Wear Hopper and a dredger. The Wear Hopper will be the one to take the silt out to sea. The dredger could be a Vedra but it looks a lot older than the ones I am trying to recall. There seems to be very few pictures around.

Image



User avatar
Timmy
Active Citizen
Active Citizen
Posts: 55
Joined: 13 Dec 2013, 10:02
Location: Sunderland

Re: Ships Made On The River Wear At Sunderland

Post by Timmy »

Bookmarked this thread for later.
Love all the old pictures and videos of Sunderland and the ships built on the River Wear.
I will be able to check this out before the Manchester United game this Saturday.
I might post something myself as well because I saw an excellent video not long back which I don't think has been added to this thread.


I might as well gan home, then!

User avatar
red ken
Local Councillor
Local Councillor
Posts: 272
Joined: 28 Jul 2013, 08:47
Location: Millfield

Re: Ships Made On The River Wear At Sunderland

Post by red ken »

As a boy standing on the banks of the River Wear watching the tug boats pulling these massive ships up and down the river I was amazed. They really were big and looked oversized for the river. Obviously they weren't so hats off to the engineers at the time and everyone else who was part of constructing these ships. It is a shame that Sunderland has no more shipyards left but we do have Nissan. Nissan is now a Sunderland motor car manufacturer that even exports cars to Japan and that is no mean fete. Its just a shame that these cars are exported from the Tyne when the port of Sunderland could manage these exports just as good.



User avatar
openbox
Sunderland Supporter
Sunderland Supporter
Posts: 16
Joined: 25 Nov 2013, 20:56
Location: Sunderland

Re: Ships Made On The River Wear At Sunderland

Post by openbox »

They do look like big ships.



User avatar
Frog
Sunderland Casuals
Sunderland Casuals
Posts: 230
Joined: 23 Jul 2013, 11:21
Location: Herrington

Re: Ships Made On The River Wear At Sunderland

Post by Frog »

I thought I would post an image of the Stadium of Light with the River Wear below. This shows a little bit of a certain amount of scale. For those who remember the ships that used to be built on the river in Sunderland they will be able to compare them with the SoL.

Image



User avatar
Arny
Active Citizen
Active Citizen
Posts: 48
Joined: 28 Dec 2013, 03:58
Location: County Durham

Re: Ships Made On The River Wear At Sunderland

Post by Arny »

Its amazing to think about the shipbuilding times on the good old River Wear. Watching the ships being launched was quite a sight. Sunderland should rightly be proud of the glorious past.



User avatar
Jackal
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 977
Joined: 17 Jul 2013, 10:44
Location: Washington

Re: Ships Made On The River Wear At Sunderland

Post by Jackal »

This one looks like it is from the Pallion undercover shipyard:
Image

Here is a big ship on the River Wear - you can see the three blocks of flats in Sunderland City Centre:
Image

Here is a picture of a ship called the Tekoa being fitted out at George Clark Ltd., in Southwick. The crane was a well known landmark in Sunderland and it was so sad to see it being dismantled. The picture is from 1966:
Image


..... and Sunderland, the underdogs, are in the lead!

User avatar
Bystander
Candidate
Candidate
Posts: 113
Joined: 19 Jul 2013, 10:09
Location: Ryhope

Re: Ships Made On The River Wear At Sunderland

Post by Bystander »

Strangely enough I was having similar conversations the other night down the pub about the size of the ships that were built in Sunderland. Most people over the age of 40 should remember the ships being launched and the sheer size of them. Also how they just managed to scrape under the bridges. The shipyard we would see the ships being launched from was the Southwick yard of Austin and Pickersgill. We would have a great view from the Pallion side of things. We would often get into bother for being in parts of the riverside we shouldn't be at :lol:

Yes it was an amazing time but as mentioned, Sunderland now has Nissan which is one of the most productive car plants in Europe if not the world.

One final observation that has not been mentioned was the noise from the shipyards on the River Wear that went on through the night. Also the way the sky would be lit up, sometimes like lightning, presumably this was from the welding. I would fall asleep to all that!



Post Reply