Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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North Eastern Marine Engineering Co

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1871. Compound surface condensing engines.
Werkspoor engine 1922.
1932. Superheaters under construction.

North Eastern Marine Engineering Co of South Docks, Sunderland and Wallsend-on-Tyne

1865 Company established at Sunderland Engine Works

1867 The North-Eastern Engineering Company was incorporated by John Frederick Spencer

1870 Spencer moved to London

By 1871 the company was generally referred to as North Eastern Marine Engineering Co

1871 Twin screw engines built for the Steam Ship SS Magloria. [1]

William Allan persuaded the directors to trust him in the direction of the works; he successfully turned around the business and then transferred the works to Wallsend.

1875 A system of drilling boiler plates recently patented by Mr. Allan of North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. [2]

At some point J. Jamieson introduced a cost-book system which he had also used in other places[3], something which was a key feature in enabling William Allan to keep costs under control and make the works profitable.

1880 For a description of the works at Sunderland see The Engineer 1880/08/27 and The Engineer 1880/09/10

1882 The Northumberland Engine Works and Forge of this company were established at Wallsend.

1887 William Allan left the company

1889 Triple expansion engines for SS Benmore built by Dobson and Co. The company's works at Wallsend and Sunderland have supplied 100 vessels afloat with their triples fitted. [4]

1899 Fourth largest British manufacturer of engines for ships at 55,800ihp at Wallsend; the separate Sunderland yard produced 27575ihp[5]

1899 See 1899 Shipbuilding Statistics for details of production this year.

1911 Engines for SS San Mateo built by Wood, Skinner and Co. [6]

1912 Approached Werkspoor of the Netherlands for a licence for its design of diesel engine but the war delayed construction work[7]

1914 Marine Engineers and Boilermakers. Specialities: Marine Engines and Marine Boilers. Employees 3,000 to 4,000. [8]

1914 Directory: Listed as Boiler Makers. [9]

1920 Issued booklet 'The Application of Superheated Steam to Marine Engines'. Of Wallsend and Sunderland. Contains descriptions of their marine engines, turbines, marine oil engines, boilers, condensers, feed and ballast pumps, evaporators, feed-water cleaners and heaters, circulating pumps etc. [10]

1922 Products included reciprocating and turbine engines and boilers, "N.E." superheaters, "N.E. Werkspoor " marine oil engines, auxiliary machinery.

1924 Advert as designers, builders and repairers of reciprocating and turbine engines and boilers for all classes of vessels and a lot more. Of Wallsend-on-Tyne and Sunderland. [11]

1938 Private company formed as North Eastern Marine Engineering (1938) Ltd. which was amalgamated with Richardsons, Westgarth and Co[12]

1954 Name changed.

1961 Marine and general engineers, ironfounders, producing marine engines and boilers. 1,600 employees. [13]

Later became George Clark and N. E. M. Ltd, part of Richardsons Westgarth.

Visits Published In The Engineer

A series of tours of the Works were provided in 1880 and published in The Engineer. They can be read by following the links below;

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1871/10/27 page 284.
  2. The Engineer 1875/05/21
  3. The Engineer 1880/09/17
  4. The Engineer of 3rd May 1889 p370 & p388 (supplement)
  5. The Engineer 1900/02/16
  6. The Engineer of 1st September 1911 p244
  7. [1] The British Marine Industry and the Diesel Engine
  8. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  9. Kelly's Directory of Durham, 1914 p605
  10. The Engineer of 20th Feb 1920 p208
  11. 1924 Naval Annual Advert page xl
  12. The Times, Jan 29, 1938
  13. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE