Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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John Crown and Sons

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John Crown and Sons of Sunderland were shipbuilders

1847 John Crown took over the yard at the Strand, Monkwearmouth, previously occupied by John Candlish. It became known as the Strand Slipway. John 'Jacky' Crown (1840-1902), presumably the founder's son, was the best-known member of the family, and became a famous Sunderland character, described as 'brusque yet good-natured', and never afraid to help his workmen in the yard.[1]

1901 The company started trading as John Crown and Sons.

John Crown died in 1902 but the yard continued to be run by his three daughters.

1903 It became a limited liability company in 1903 and launched its first ship in the same year; Porthcawl. The yard's output was mainly colliers and coasters.

WWI The yard built four colliers in World War I. The yard ran out of orders at the beginning of the depression.

1914 Directory: Listed as Iron Ship Builders of Strand Street, Sunderland

1934-38 The yard closed down from 1934-38 due to lack of orders. The yard then completed three more ships before the outbreak of World War II

WWII It produced four colliers, nine "Empire" tugs, seven "Flower" class corvettes, three "Isles" class trawlers one "River" class frigate and two "Castle" class frigates.

1946 The yard was taken over by Joseph L. Thompson and Sons but built under its own name until 1960.

1951 The yard manufactured a tanker, Rondefjell, which was built in two halves and was known locally as the "Half-Crown" ship.

1954 The yard built seven tramps from its newly extended facilities.

1954 Sunderland Shipbuilding, Dry Dock and Engineering Co was established made up of the Thompson, Laing and Crown yards and the repairer T. W. Greenwell and Co.

1960 The yard was merged into Joseph L. Thompson and Sons

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 'Where Ships are Born: Sunderland 1346-1946', by J W Smith and T S Holden, Thomas Reed & Co 1946
  • L.A. Ritchie, The Shipbuilding Industry: A Guide to Historical Records (1992)
  • British Shipbuilding Yards. 3 vols by Norman L. Middlemiss
  • Kelly's Directory of Durham, 1914 p714