A list of the Sunderland built vessels referenced in these pages is at the top of page A list of the Sunderland shipbuilders referenced in these pages is a little lower on page Do you want to make a comment? A site guestbook is here. Austin , page bottom have had to disable it, a beautiful Lake Applet featuring a frog, since it makes access to the whole page impossible. Not sure why Internet Explorer cannot identify the applet as being harmless Corrections in any of the material which follows, however tiny, would be most welcome.
And additions, of course! Hover your mouse over each thumbnail to read the subject matter. Can you help with the history of this company? Another site page offers literature published by 'Austin', photographs etc. A part at least of that history would surely be contained in a small volume of oblong format, published by 'S. A copy of the volume was sold via eBay for GBP Alan Vickers has kindly provided scans of two pages from that issue, a two-page spread about the history of the collective 'Austin', derived from the manuscripts of James W.
The 'Corder' data is not yet included below. It would seem that the shipyard came into existence way back in ! At a date after , but at a date unstated, Peter Austin was joined in the business by his son, also named Peter Austin. I read that Peter Austin 1 's 'first registered launch was in , a brig. This was on ground called Nova Scotia, near Dame Dolly's rock. That is good information, but can anyone tell us exactly where 'Dame Dolly's rock' was located?
And what happened to it? And who Dame Dorothy Williamson was? It was a large rock on North Sands. Which apparently had a beacon atop of it. This site thanks so much, yet again, George H. Graham of Tulsa, Oklahoma! It is interesting to read there that Robert Thompson , , also served his apprenticeship at the Allison yard. In Peter Austin 1 retired and his son, Peter Austin 2 'crossed to the site now occupied by the Company, where he conducted the business on his own account'.
Whatever does that sentence mean? Was North Sands abandoned or sold? Was not an entirely new business started? And where is 'the site now occupied by the Company' - the word 'now' presumably meaning I presume, however, that they mean a site on the south bank of the River Wear, east of but close to the road bridge.
Which site was previously occupied by a bottle works which had gone bankrupt. If I sound critical, I apologise. I am most sympathetic with the difficult of assembling accurate data so far into the past. Samuel Austin, I read, 'laid down a patent repair slipway, also two building berths Where does he come from and how is he related? My source is quite silent on the matter. I am advised, however, that 'The Standard' of London, referred on Nov. If you can help me figure this all out, do please be in touch.
None of it makes sense to me. Samuel Peter Austin may be the son of Peter Austin 2 to be third generation but if that is so it should have been 'P. Austin and Son', shouldn't it? Austin and Son' does not seem to make sense - where perhaps 'S. Austin and Father' would be more logical. There was, it would seem, another partnership, named ' S. Austin and Mills '. The reference to 'Mills' is apparently to George and John Mills. The 'old slipway', which I presume means the one built in , 'together with rails, cogs, cods, and cradles was taken up and shipped to a buyer in Helsingfors'.
A foot graving dock, opened in , took its place. The word 'graving' was used, but perhaps is no longer used, to refer to the cleaning of a ship's bottom, the term being derived, perhaps from a French word which meant 'beach'.
I am advised that that graving dock is still there today - in Jun. In they built their last wooden ship, "The Choice", and the yard changed over to iron shipbuilding. I think that the vessel was 'Choice' rather than 'The Choice' however. And probably other yards also, until the yard ran right up to the 'Scotia Engine Works' facilities. I read that in they started a branch yard with G.
Hunter, who later went across to the Tyne to start Swan Hunter's yard. As you can read here. In they expanded into shipbuilding premises previously owned by John Hutchinson which included two small graving docks.
And in they expanded westwards to take over a bottling plant located, it would seem, immediately to the east of the Sunderland road bridge. The yard would seem to have been known as the 'Wear Dockyard'. This section is very much in progress! As in indeed, the whole site. Every time I read new data, many changes are required to the data which is already on site! It would be good to be able to provide on this page some images of the early members of the Austin family, from contemporary prints or from other sources.
The only image I have seen so far, related to the yard at all, is an image of Mr. Workman, Chairman of S. I suspect, however, that he was Chairman in relatively recent years by that I mean the s or s , though exactly when it was I do not presently know.
I have seen a few postcard images which show an S. Austin 'pontoon' which opened in but City of Sunderland says in Via eBay in Jul. A 'webmaster modified' version of the eBay image is next, available in a slightly larger size here.
But do, by all means, view the original eBay image as was offered by vendor 'claudiacaroline' - the card is long sold. It is a beauty! I read that 'Realistic Travels', run by H. Girdwood, was in business from approx. So we know roughly the dating of the image that follows. The name of the ship on the pontoon is, however, another matter!
An even larger version of the image is available by clicking the image. I cannot, alas, tell you the origin of the image which was provided to the webmaster by a site visitor.
The 'pontoon' is under Westburn , the vessel at right, built in All 'Austin' built ships, it would appear. Can anybody advise re the origin of what is a truly fine image.
I am advised, thanks John Rowson , that the pontoon was built by Swan Hunter. The images I have seen do not, however, date from - or for that matter. So when did it 'close'? What was the 'pontoon'? Kind of like a 'dry-dock', I guess. The first image on this 'pdf' page thanks City of Sunderland!
And here is the Herbert Simpson print: A 'Valentines' Series' postcard of the pontoon, , of British manufacture. Which postcard would seem to have been made available in colour also. An early postcard of the 'Austin' pontoon by Hills of Sunderland. Which postcard was sold for GBP 6. The vessel was not identified on the rear of the postally-unused card. A sight of great visual interest. There must be hundreds if not thousands of photos of the pontoon, 'out there' somewhere, taken by passers-by over 60 or more years.
It would be good to have one or two of those images on site, wouldn't it! Does anybody know what later happened to it?