Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Richardson, Duck and Co

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1955. Paddle Steamer "Lord Elgin".

of Thornaby-on-Tees and Whitby, shipbuilders

1852 South Stockton Iron Ship Building Co was set up to build the first iron steamer on the Tees[1], the Advance, on the former yard of engine builders Fossick of Stockton. This yard had a large output of tramps.

1855 The yard was taken over by Joseph Richardson and George Nixon Duck. They built fifty iron steamers, a paddle steamer, ten sailing ships and 29 barges in their first ten years.

They built six shallow draught steam vessels for the Indus Flotilla Co, established by the Scinde, Punjab and Delhi Railway. The engines were by Kitson and Hewitson[2]

Two vessels (launched in 1860) were sub-contracted to the former Rake Kimber yard at Middlesbrough.

1859 Took over Rake Kimber's yard at Middlesbrough. About 11 vessels were built at Middlesbrough.

1862 Backhouse and Dixon bought the old Rake Kimber yard from Richardson, Duck and Co.

1867 H.G. Spence joined as a partner

1899 See 1899 Shipbuilding Statistics for detail of the tonnage produced.

1900s The yard moved into steel and made a number of tramps, followed by a dozen ships and steamers.

By the end of the 1900s the yard had built five hundred tramps, cargo-liners, tankers, self-trimming colliers, steel lighters and also became licensees for the Isherwood system of longitudinal framing.

1912 The yard became a limited liability company and a further 12 ships were made.

WWI During the War, the yard made a further dozen tramps, eight standard WAR "A" tramps and a standard "AO" tanker.

1919 The yard became a public company.

1920 James C. Gould and Walter T. Gould acquired a controlling interest in the yard.

1922 Industrial action and lack of orders.

1925 The yard struggled on until May 1925 when the Gould Group collapsed.

1933 The yard was demolished.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. History of Thornaby, by Ottaway and Appleby
  2. 'The Making of India: The Untold Story of British Enterprise' by Kartar Lalvani, Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016
  • L. A. Ritchie, The Shipbuilding Industry: A Guide to Historical Records (1992)
  • British Shipbuilding Yards. 3 vols by Norman L. Middlemiss