This series of plans dates from 1931 and the construction of the vessel Monarch of Bermuda. Prior to this the yard had been shut for almost three years between April 1928 (after Armstrongs merger with Vickers) and March 1930 when the yard was prepared for the construction of the Monarch of Bermuda. The Walker yard tended to be regarded in the new company as secondary to the yard at Barrow which was kept in work permanently if possible. Consequently Walker closed again from November 1931 until May 1934 when it was prepared for the laying of the keel of the HMS Newcastle. The Walker yard was suitable for the construction of large ships, up to 1100 feet in length and therefore it was this type of work which tended to be carried out there. By the end of the 1930s orders were picking up again with conflict in Europe looming and rearmament under way. Many great warships were built at the yard before and during the Second World War. Plans of these vessels are not held as part of this collection; all warship plans are transferred to the Greenwich Maritime Museum by the company.
In the post war period, Vickers embarked on a modernisation programme at their Newcastle yard in order to prepare for prospective work on passenger and cargo vessels. It is the plans of these post war ships built to new designs for customers all over the world that form the bulk of this collection.
The Walker yard formed part of the merger deal made by Vickers with Swan Hunter Shipbuilders in 1968 when a new company, Swan Hunter and Tyne Shipbuilders Ltd came into being. The 18 percent share holding that Vickers had in this group was sold at the end of 1969 and with it control of the Walker Yard passed to the Swan Hunter Group.