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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to let you all know how busy we were in 1963 at smiths docks tyneside,

ship arrived ships name ship sailed
24/7/63 port macquarie 26/10/63
25/8/63 british vision 18/10/63
8/9/63 duke of york 2/11/63 conversion to pass ferry
20/9/63 wave sovereign 17/10/63
27/9/63 texaco oslo 18/10/63
28/9/63 ellinis 21/12/63 full streamlining
7/10/63 capulet 3/12/63
7/10/63 vargas 15/11/63
7/10/63 esso gothenburg 10/11/63 full tank blasting
15/10/63 dorington court 5/11/63 refit
14/10/63 brasil star 3/11/63 refit
21/10/63 british bulldog 15/12/63 refit
31/10/63 british craftsman 20/11/63 refit
2/11/63 partula 5/12/63 refit
3/11/63 nordic heron 27/11/63 refit
6/11/63 mica 15/11/63 refit
7/11/63 redcar 9/11/63 running repairs
16/11/63 la selva 7/12/63 refit
2/12/63 border fusilier 14/12/63 refit
7/12/63 sylvafield 19/12/63 refit
10/12/63 polyviking 24/12/63 refit
15/12/63 inverewe 22/1/64 refit
20/12/63 lustrous 19/2/64 refit
21/12/63 british reliance 28/2/64 refit
23/12/63 dealmouth 11/1/64 refit
24/12/63 lord codrington 3/1/64 refit

this was only in a period of 4 month, to be continued if members wish it

cheers tom (*))
 

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Not a lot I can say. Just shows how much of our heritage and heavy industry has been destroyed by successive governments and of course price. I wonder how much a refit in UK would cost now days compared with say China/ SKorea. I would like to see more of your lists myself, lots of names to conjure up memories in that list.
Regards
Hawkey01
 

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Thanks Tom for that list.
When I look across the River now and see what once was Smiths I really feel sad as I spent many happy days there
Best wishes
Bert
 

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Hi to you all i joined the M.V.Border Lass 1961 at brighams when the river was at its big time,worked Vicker Armstrongs Naval Yard Walker which was a busy yard at the time whenthe P boats were built for blue flu the best boats of there type just came out at the wrong time because of container boats good times now gone.R.S.Gilroy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
your right rob good times gone but they cant take the memorys away, welcome to the site enjoy it we all do

cheers tom
 

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Smith's Docks 1961 - 1975

Re "How Busy we were in 1963"

My father worked at Smith's as an engine fitter from when he left school in the 40s until he was made redundant in 1975. I have a list of vessels he worked on and I'm trying to find information about them. This list is a gold mine as the vessels he worked on are listed.
I realise the list was posted ten years ago, Tom Nicholson, are you able to provide more?

My father was Tommy Hewitt, he died in 2010.
 

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I see they did some "streamlining" on the Greek cruise ship Ellinis, formerly Matson Line's Lurline, in that period. They must have tendered a better bid than the Italians.
 

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I see one of my ships on the list - the Partula. I joined it not long after that refit, and left when she went to drydock in Oct '64. Probably Smith's. I watched the TV series Sea Cities about Newcastle recently and thought then that 'things have changed somewhat' since then. I could actually see open green spaces.

David
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Smith's has been razed, the large dock filled in and the services are there for housing development. It's been like that for about five years and still no sign of building.
Across the river, in South Shields, Brigham's & Tyne Dock Engineering are occupied by housing and empty offices. There's little or no ship repair/building on the Tyne now. The only traffic consists of ugly vehicle carriers for Nissan, scrap metal in bulk, coal imports and some light coastal vessels. I think there are only 2 or 3 Svitzer tugs working very occasionally. Even the Tyne - Oslo/Bergen ferries have ceased to run although there is a daily service to Amsterdam.
In the 60s the North-South Shields ferries (steam reciprocating) were an adventure dodging ships of all shapes and sizes. Now it's a clinical 7 minutes over empty water.

Norm
 

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Check out Jimmy Nail singing "Big River" on You Tube.

I never visited the Tyne, but I understand his words, having seen my London River decline from its heyday too.

Roy.
 

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Interesting comments. I remember back to the late 40's (when my memory started to focus) a river filled with ships of all types, large and small filling the river. The old ferries between North and South Shields were a delight and provided an ever changing ship viewing platform. Trips by train from the coast to Newcastle were often better when we could catch one of the limited services on the Riverside Line passing the docks, shipbuilding and repair yardsthen in full swing. Skylines dominated by masts and funnels is what I fondly remember. All of this made a huge impact on me in my formative years and was the catalyst for me pursuing a seagoing career. When I last visited the area a couple of years ago during a trip back to the UK I could hardly believe the difference. Standing on the empty Fish Quay at North Shields and looking up the river at nothing but gentrified (comparatively) scenery. I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed the Tyne at its industrial best. On the other hand the water is now clean enough to allow fish to live. In my day the river was the local sewer containing all matter of filth, human, animal and industrial. I was always surprised at why we had a rising local birth rate as the large number of used condoms which floated downriver after the weekend would suggest otherwise. Memories of a Geordie lad.
 

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Thanks Dartskipper. Just tuned in to 'Big River' sung by Jimmy Nail and with Mark Knopfler on guitar. Very poignant. Took me back home.
 

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Thanks Dartskipper. Just tuned in to 'Big River' sung by Jimmy Nail and with Mark Knopfler on guitar. Very poignant. Took me back home.
You're welcome madbob.
It's one of my favourites (Thumb)
My Dad also enjoyed it, as he visited the Tyne a number of times in the War when he was in Eagle Oil. His ships then would have been San Cipriano, San Roberto, and Empire Traveller.

Regards,
Roy.
 
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