Swan & Hunter Ltd. was a small shipbuilding company, but under the direction of the very ambitious George Burton Hunter they were determined to break into the top flight of world shipbuilding. Hunter opened negotiations with Wigham Richardson & Co Ltd., whose Neptune Yard was upstream of Swan’s Wallsend Yard, about a possible merger. This was finally agreed to on 26th May 1903 and a new company, Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd., was formed.
RMS MAURETANIA was one of the most famous ships ever built on Tyneside and this set shows some fantastic photographs of the construction.
Photograph of the nearly completed vessel Mauretania in September 1906. The West shed used to build the “Mauretania” was 728 ft long x 95 ft wide x 130 ft high complete with a glass roof. It survived until 1959.
View of the engine room controls. The inner wheel you can see towards the middle of the photograph was used to control steam to the low pressure turbine for manoeuvring. The outer wheel was used for ocean steaming and controlled the main steam flow to the high pressure turbine.
The observation room was based on the promenade deck. Here passengers could view the vessel forging ahead, but had protection from the strong winds that were caused by the great speeds that Mauretania travelled.
This photograph shows the bookcase in the library of the Mauretania. Situated on the boat deck, along with a lounge, music room and smoking room, the library was one of many first-class facilities on board the ship.
Here is a man stood next to a bower anchor, which were usually attached one each side of the bow. This was one used on the Mauretania and the gentlemen helps demonstrate how large these anchors actually were.
Mauretania leaving the Tyne for sea trials. From a collection of quarter plate glass negatives of photographs taken by James William Coleby, of Willington Quay. Anonymous in comments added The Mauretania leaving for her preliminary trials on September 17th, 1907. She returned for finishing and painting and departed for her delivery trip and formal trials on October 22, 1907.
The area was once a bowling green(before my time) and the shed remained in a derelict state for many years.
By this time the shed was demolished and the council put some goals up. The pitch was unusable though due to all the holes in the ground.
2nd March 2011
Work began on clearing the site early in the new year.
28th March 2011
30th August 2011
What a difference! I think it's a shame they did'nt keep the football pitch though as there is not many places to have a kickabout when the park is full which it often gets on days with decent weather but you can't have it all I suppose.