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William Pickersgill & Sons Ltd, shipbuilders

This page summarises records created by this Business

The summary includes a brief description of the collection(s) (usually including the covering dates of the collection), the name of the archive where they are held, and reference information to help you find the collection.

Date: c1838 - 1989
History: This firm is believed to date back to 1838. It was originally located at North Dock under the name Pickersgill and Miller. In 1851 the firm moved to Southwick and soon afterwards Miller dissolved the partnership with William Pickersgill. William Pickersgill junior then joined his father to create a family business. In 1880 the firm built its last wooden vessel and also launched its first iron ship 'Camargo'. That same year also saw the tragic death of the firm's founder, William Pickersgill, killed during the construction of the 'Stuart'. In 1887 William John Pickersgill joined the family business - the start of a long involvement with the firm. In 1907 William Pickersgill & Sons Ltd was incorporated as a limited liability company. Like many other shipyards the firm struggled during the depression of the early 1930s and did not launch any vessels during the period 1932-1935. In 1943 Pickersgills expanded its premises when it took over the neighbouring yard of Sir John Priestman and Company, which had closed in 1933. The firm reconstructed the shipbuilding berths and the new premises became its West Yard. In 1954 the firm merged with S.P. Austin & Son Ltd to form Austin & Pickersgill Ltd. Austin and Pickersgill continued shipbuilding at the Southwick yard up to the end of the 1980s. However Austin & Pickersgill Ltd is actually the successor of S.P. Austin & Son Ltd (inheriting its company number) and so their records have been catalogued separately from those of William Pickersgill & Sons.
Places:
  • Sunderland, Tyne and Wear
Functions, occupations and activities: Engineering: Mechanical > Shipbuilding and marine engineering
Name authority reference: GB/NNAF/C233920
Collections
  Description Held by Reference Further information
1
1880 - 1963: minutes, financial and legal papers, reports, papers rel to staff, ship specifications, photographs and plans.
Tyne and Wear Archives

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