Wallsend Slipway & Engineering Company came into existence on th 18th November 1871, in order to provide a slipway for the repair of ships belonging to three firms: C. Mitchell & Co., Walker; Watts, Milburn & Co., Blyth and Newcastle; and Nelson, Donkin & Co., North Shields and Newcastle. The two slipways, each one thousand feet long, were laid by William Jackson, a Tynemouth contractor.
The first ship to be taken on was the "Earl Percy", berthed on 5th November 1873. At first the company acted solely as a slipway, but in May 1874 Mr William Boyd was appointed managing director, and he had a particular interest in engine building. It was under his management that the first steel boiler was built on the Tyne in 1878, in which the word "Engineering" was added to the Company's name. In 1882 he made a contract for the first triple expansion engines to be built on the Tyne.
A dry dock was opened in 1895, and in 1905 the company began manufacturing steam turbines, including those for the "Mauretania". By the time the photograph was taken the slipways had become an insignificant part of the firm's activities, and they were taken out of service in October 1909.
Production / content date: 1910
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