Photos of Newcastle

Harrisons Slipway

While on a wander around the Bill Quay area I found this old and unused slipway which was part of R B Harrison and Sons one of the smaller shipyards/ship repair on the River Tyne. I believe it closed in the 1990's some time but that's just about all I know about it I'm afraid. If anyone has any information on the place please let me know.

EDIT: A reader called Elizabeth Fawcett sent me the following information about the yard.

I have been looking at the photo's of Robert Harrison's Shipyard. My nanna told me her Father, Philip Brown (b1852), was a friend of Bobby Harrison. She said Bobby had the money to buy the yard but not the knowledge so Philip Brown provided that. Bobby provided 2 Cottages for the Family called Riverside, or on different documents Whie Cottage and Rose Cottage.
I have been looking for photographs. Philip Brown was a Ships Carpenter. The came from St Anthonys to start with. He died in 1914 at the Cottages his wife Sarah died 3 weeks after him. Hope this helps. If you have any information on the Cottages I would be grateful.


If anyone can help us out with more information please get in touch.

March 2009

Harrisons Slipway

Harrisons Slipway

Harrisons Slipway

Harrisons Slipway

Harrisons Slipway

Harrisons Slipway

Harrisons Slipway

Harrisons Slipway


More information:





7 comments:

Ron French said...

Hello outstanding collator of info on Tyneside photos !!
Re R.B.Harrison (Bill Quay)slipway:
some info given in "Lost Shipyards of the Tyne" page 83 (Book available from Newcastle Libraries)
i have more detail on R.B.H. in my unpublished "Yard Biographies" here at home... email me at

Best regards. Ron French.

ILuvNUFC said...

Thanks. I'll check the book out.
You did'nt leave an email address though.

Lorna Armstrong said...

Hello, what fascinating site I found when looking up the Keelmens Hospital and seeing R.B.Harrisons Bill Quay also. I worked in the office of RBH in the early 60s, typing accounts etc. attending the switchboard and using an ancient Gestetner for copying job lists. RBH repaired tugs (incl. a paddle tug)and fishing vessels. There were four other men in the office apart from Mr. Stan Rooke the Manager. I used to use a loudhailer to call the workman up for telephone calls and one day I thought one of the men I could see from the office window in a brown overall was bending over and ignoring my call when Mr. Frank Knight, office manager, said "that's a brown ceramic pipe" - office hysteria prevailed. Regards - L. Armstrong.

ILuvNUFC said...

Hello and thanks for your kind words.

Thanks also for the information about the yard and the funny story. :)

Graham Fenwick lizgrahamfenwick@yahoo.com said...

Hello, very interesting as I served my apprenticeship at Harrisons from 1971 and continued to work there as a Shipwright until 1979. Stan Rooke was still the manager then and the total workforce was close to 50. We had stopped building boats by then but continued with the repair and restoration of all kinds of vessels. I left the employ of RBH in 79 but I have very fond memories of those years spent working there, and I often wonder what happened to all those fine tradesmen. I myself am still working as a Shipwright down in Cornwall on the restoration of classic sailing/motor boats and its all thanks to R.B.Harrison.

Robert Craggs said...

Hi, just stumbled across this blog which is of great interest to me. Harrison's was my first job after leaving school in 1974 working in the office as a shipping clerk. Stan Rooke was the general manager and often gave me a lift home, Eric Wilson was the office manager and other names that come to mind were: Vernon Carter (office) john Newby (fabrication) oh! And that darling little Louie (canteen).
There were many characters working there and I've some great memories of my first ever job, such a pity the place has been swallowed up by the weeds.

ILuvNUFC said...

Thanks for the memories as they add a personal touch to the page.