Interesting personnel records uncovered by the Sunderland Shipbuilding Archives project

During the past month I’ve been cataloguing the administrative records of Austin & Pickersgill Ltd and its two predecessor companies, S.P. Austin & Son Ltd and William Pickersgill & Sons Ltd. These include an interesting set of personnel records, which may be of interest to family historians whose ancestors worked in the Sunderland shipbuilding industry.

The Archives holds records of many shipyards on the River Tyne and the River Wear but these generally include little in the way of personnel records. Those that survive are often wage books, which contain very few personal details and often just relate to the shipyard’s clerical staff, draughtsmen and foremen. The records of Austin Pickersgill and its predecessors are unusual, though, because they contain information about the shipyard workers whose personal details are rarely found in other collections. 

The archives of S.P. Austin & Son include a large quantity of personnel records. Of particular note are nine drawers of index cards (TWAM ref. DS.AP/2/9/1-9) containing brief details of men and women employed by the yard from the 1910s to the 1940s. A couple of examples are shown below. 

Index card for James Bulmer, 1927-1936 (TWAM ref. DS.AP/2/9/1)

 

Index card for Emily Bush, 1943 (TWAM ref. DS.AP/2/9/9)

The card for Mrs Emily Bush is part of a small but interesting series in the final index card drawer relating to women who worked in the shipyard during the Second World War. Although the information given on these is slim it is relatively rare for any of these details to survive for the catchers, fitters, heaters, holder ups, joiners, labourers, painters, platers, plumbers, rivetters, red leaders and other employees who worked in the shipyards. Helpfully, the cards are arranged in alphabetical order, which makes it easy to search for an ancestor’s name.

The Austin’s records also include six apprentices wage rate books (TWAM ref. DS.AP/2/10/1-6), covering the years 1924-1964. These are arranged by trade and the information given for each apprentice includes:

  • Name
  • Date started
  • Date of birth
  • Details of wages.

    Details of apprentice fitters at S.P. Austin & Son, 1924-1928 (TWAM ref. DS.AP/2/10/1)

 

There are fewer surviving personnel records for William Pickersgill & Sons Ltd but these do include some interesting items. For example, there are two registers of starters dating from 1930-1939 and 1948-1956 and these include useful personal details such as:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth
  • Date started
  • Last employer
  • Trade

The information about previous employers is likely to be of particular interest to family historians and also reflects how a significant number of workers moved from one firm to another.

In 1954 S.P. Austin & Son Ltd merged with William Pickersgill & Sons Ltd to create Austin & Pickersgill Ltd. The employee records for the amalgamated company survive pretty well and include details of starters and leavers from the 1950s to the 1980s, although there are some gaps. 

Entries from register of new starters at Southwick yard, showing details of previous employers, August 1956 (TWAM ref. DS.AP/2/16/1)

It’s interesting to note that one of the employees listed above was 67 when he started at the Southwick Yard. We’re approaching a time when many people will have to work longer before retirement but it’s clear that to some of our ancestors this would have been the norm.

There are also twenty yard employees registers (sometimes referred to as ‘hands on books’) for the Southwick Yard. In the yard employees registers the workers are grouped by trade (in order of board number). A separate register was kept each year and these include names and addresses and also give dates of leaving and reasons for leaving, where applicable. 

Details of shipwrights at Southwick yard, from a yard employees register for 1956-1957 (TWAM ref. DS.AP/2/23/2)

Access is restricted to these registers because some entries contain sensitive personal information about dismissals. An example of such an entry is given below. 

Note regarding the dismissal of a shipwright, from a yard employees register for 1956-1957 (TWAM ref. DS.AP/2/23/2)

 

Even though direct access is not available to leavers registers and yard employees registers it is possibly to request searches of them by the Archives staff. These searches are carried out through our paid research service and details of this can be found on our webpages.

Colin and have both recently started working on the records of William Doxford & Sons Ltd and I look forward to reporting more exciting discoveries next month.

59 Responses to Interesting personnel records uncovered by the Sunderland Shipbuilding Archives project

  1. Karen Gunnell says:

    Can you advise – info on the Alcock Shipyard, Sunderland?

    Many thanks

    K.Gunnell

  2. Alan Hayward says:

    Thanks for your message. I’m afraid that we don’t hold any records of the Alcock shipyard, which is a shame because the Alcock family appear to have been influential in a number of fields. Their shipyard at Low Street was relatively shortlived in comparison with other yards such as Laings and Doxfords.

    There should be references, though, to ships built at the yard in the Customs & Excise registers for Sunderland held by the Archives (TWAM ref. EX.SU). There may also be references to members of the Alcock family in the minutes of the Wear Shipbuilders’ Association, which we also hold (TWAM ref. EM.WS). You can see lists of these records by searching our online catalogue http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/archives/catalogue/. You are very welcome to visit us to look at any documents of interest and you can find details of our location and opening times on our website http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/archives/makingavisit/.

    I hope this helps.

    • Karen Gunnell says:

      Many thanks for your information about the Alcock Shipyard. Apologies for the delay in replying but missed your message in May

      Karen Gunnell

  3. Ton Spamer says:

    My fathers aunt Henriette MONCEAU, born Amsterdam/Holland, Mar 15, 1827 married Dec. 7, 1859 or Jan. 7, 1860 Michael SOFTLEY, bom Sunderland Nov. 8, 1819. She followed her husband to Sunderland.
    Her stepbrother Johannes Jacobus SPAMER emigrated also to Sunderland and became the ancestor of the Sunderland Spamer-families.
    Michael Softley got acquainted with Henriette Monceau in Amsterdam, as has been shown by her letters to the family.

    I would like to know what kind of connections could have existed between Sunderland and Holland about 1855-1860. Is it possible that it had something to do with shipbuilding?
    My grandfather, who visited his brother and stepsister in Sunderland many times, was confidential clerk and secretary of Anthony van Hoboken, a big shipowner in those years in Rotterdam.

    It is very unlikely that Michael Softley visited Amsterdam only accidentally. There were 2 regular shipping connections between Rotterdam and Newcastle: the Tyne Steam Shipping Company and the Goole Steam Shipping Company, but (as far as I know) not between Sunderland and Amsterdam.
    If Softley did not come via Rotterdam, what could have been a reasonable motive for an inhabitant of Sunderland, not being capable of writing, to travel to Amsterdam? What could have been a reasonable motive for Johan Jacob Spamer to emigrate with wife and little daughter to Sunderland?

    The Hoboken Company in Rotterdam had 2 ships built in 1874 in Glasgow by Robert Napier & Sons, the Scholten and the P. Caland, the first two ships of the Nederlandsch-Amerikaanse Stoomvaart Maatschappij, later transformed into Holland America Line. In my possession is a painting of the P. Caland, inherited from my grandfather. Hoboken & Sons was already an important shipping company long before 1865. Were there connections between Hoboken and Sunderland about 1860? That could explain a lot.

    I hope it will be possible for you to give some clarifying answers. I would be very grateful.

    Sincerely yours,

    Anton Spamer MA
    Zaan 34
    5751 XH DEURNE / Netherlands
    a.spamer@spamer-dewit.nl

  4. Alan Hayward says:

    Dear Mr Spamer,

    Thank you very much for your e-mail about your family history research. I have forwarded your message to our enquiry service (archives@twmuseums.org.uk) and I’m sure that they will reply to you in the very near future. I hope that we can offer you some useful advice.

    Best wishes,

    Alan

  5. Andrew Nutter says:

    Do you have records and photographs for Austin & Pickersgill apprentice intake for 1984?

  6. Alan Hayward says:

    Thanks for your question. You can see a full list of the Austin & Pickersgill personnel records we have by searching our online catalogue http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/tyne-and-wear-archives/catalogue-amp-user-guides/catalogue.html, entering DS.AP/2 in the RefNo field.

    We do have a register of starters, leavers and transfers for the years 1984-1985 and a file of ‘movement of labour lists’ covering the period 1980-1987. I’m afraid that direct access to these documents isn’t possible because they contain some sensitive personal information about people who are still alive. If you’re looking for details of a particular person then we can search the records for you through our paid research service http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/tyne-and-wear-archives/services/research-service.html. If you’re interested in using this service but have questions please feel free to give us a ring on 0191 2772248 or e-mail us (archives@twmuseums.org.uk).

    • Ian Walton says:

      I completed an apprenticeship at A&P in 1983 as a Plater/Shipwright. Are there any Apprenticeship lines in the Tyne & Wear Archives & if so would it be possible to obtain a copy as mine were lost. My apprenticeship Works No. was 09174 & my time served number was 18033.
      Regards,
      Ian Walton

      • Alan Hayward says:

        Hi Ian,

        Thanks for getting in touch.

        I’m afraid that we don’t have any Austin & Pickersgill apprenticeship registers for the years you were there. We do have registers of starters, leavers and transfers covering the 1970s and 1980s (TWAM ref. DS.AP/2/16-22), which may include entries relating to your time there.

        Access to these records is restricted because they include sensitive personal information about some employees. However, we could search through these on your behalf through our paid research service and further information about that service is available on our website https://twmuseums.org.uk/collections/research. I estimate that one hour’s research time would probably be enough, especially if you can give us a rough start date. If you have any questions please do e-mail our seachroom team (e-mail: archives@twmuseums.org.uk).

        I hope this helps. Best wishes,

        Alan

  7. Peter Marshall says:

    Hi, are there any photos of Samuel Peter Austin and William Pickersgill I can view. Any help would be very greatful

    Kind Regards

  8. Alan Hayward says:

    Hi,

    I’m afraid that our collections don’t seem to include any images of Samuel Peter Austin or William Pickersgill. If you haven’t already done so then it might be worth contacting Sunderland Local Studies Library in case they can help you. Contact details can be found on their webpages http://www.sunderland.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1092.

    Best of luck with your search.

    Alan

  9. denise smith says:

    I had an uncle Joseph Lawson. I know worked in the shipyards in Sunderland I would say Late 1940’s onward, is there any record of him?

  10. Alan Hayward says:

    Hi Denise,

    Thanks for your question. We might have some records of your uncle – it depend on which shipyards he worked in and what his job was. Do you happen to have those details so that I can advise you better?

    Best wishes,

    Alan

  11. darren fielding says:

    Hi

    I was hopng you would have some record of my grandad william edward fielding would worked at various shipyards on the wear as a riviter from 1910 to 1946

    hope you can assist

    Kind Regards

    Darren Fielding
    d32field@hotmail.com

  12. Alan Hayward says:

    Hi Darren,

    Thanks very much for getting in touch. It’s possible that we might have some records of your grandad’s time in the shipyards – it just depends on which shipyards he worked for. If you know the names of any of the firms and can pass me the details then I see what sort of personnel records survive.

    Best wishes,

    Alan

  13. newton wills says:

    HELLO
    I’M LOOING FOR FAMILY INFORMATION ON MY RELATIONS, THE SHIP BUILDING FIRM ‘AUSTINS’
    THERE IS GREAT INFORMATION ON THE SHIPS THEY BUILD, BUT I’M TRYING TO COLLECT STORIES ABOUR THE FAMILY. I HAVE THE USUAL BIRTH CERTIFICATES ETC., BUT WOULD LOVE TO HEAR OF ANY STORIES ABOUT THE FAMILY. MAINLY ABOUT ISABELLA AUSTIN AND HER HUSBAND MATTHEW HIRST.
    THANKS

  14. newton wills says:

    hELLO
    IM TRYING TO FIND FAMILY INFORMATION ON MY FAMILY, THE SHIP BUILDERS AUSTIN
    THERE ARE WONDERFUL SITES LISTING THEIR SHIP BUILDING, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO FIND MORE PERSONEL INFORMATION IN THE FAMILY, PARTICULARLY
    ISABELLA AUSTIN AND HER HUSBAND MATTHEW HIRST
    THANKS

  15. Alan Hayward says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for getting in touch. The Archives does hold records for SP Austin & Son but these relate largely to the management of the shipyard and the vessels that the firm built. I’m not aware of any personal records of the Austin family. If I come across any relevant information I’ll be sure to get in touch.

    Best wishes,

    Alan

  16. My father in law, Jim Matthewson was a manager at A&P from the late 50s to 1985. A part of his leaving present was an album of the ships that were built during his time there.
    As a tribute to his life and work I compiled a website (jimsships.webs.com) onto which I’ve uploaded these photos as well several of his work colleagues.
    Hope this might be of interest to you.

  17. Alan Hayward says:

    Hi Tony,

    Thanks for the link to your website, which I found really interesting. Your father was involved in the construction of many fine ships, incuding of course the famous SD14s. It’s great that you’ve shared his album with the wider world. If you haven’t already seen our flickr sets then please do take a look. There are several relating to shipbuilding in Sunderland including a recent one dedicated to the shipyard workers http://www.flickr.com/photos/twm_news/sets/72157638310941665/.

    Best wishes,

    Alan

  18. NEWTON WILLS says:

    good morning
    Since looking into my famly tree, and finding that my great great great great grandfather was Peter Austin, founder of Austins Shop Builders, there has come to light other interesting facts.
    Peter Austin started working in the pottery industry on Wearside, before starting ship building. One of his grand children was involved in Glass ware, holding the first licence to manufacture COD BOTTLES.
    One of your earlier messages ask for any photographe of Samual Austin jnr. Ther is one v old photograph of Samual austin snr at family wedding at Hollin Hall Youkshire.
    I’m coming back to UK to do more looking around this year. If anyone can point me in the right direction, I would be most greatful. also any information on MATTHEW HIRst, who married Isabella Austin
    Regards

  19. Alan Hayward says:

    Hi Newton,

    Many thanks for getting in touch. Unfortunately, we don’t appear to have any personal records of the Austin family. We do have church records for the Tyne & Wear area and you’re very welcome to visit us to search those to see if you can find details of baptisms, marriages and burials for family members.

    If you’re interested in the history of glassmaking in Sunderland then it would also be a good idea to contact Sunderland Museum for advice. Please see their website for details http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/sunderland.html. It might also be worth contacting the National Glass Centre to see whether they hold any information about Peter Austin. Contact details can be found on their website http://www.nationalglasscentre.com/.

    Good luck with your research.

    Alan

  20. mr alan noon says:

    I am chair of port of Liverpool sea angling federation[polsaf] in association with peel ports we have agreements with them to fish into the river Mersey which includes paid permits to enter the dock estate via peelports gates
    we where wondering if you had the same agreement by A&P owners
    for the local community to fish from dock areas into the sea for leisure an pleasure. we have been traveling around the country to fish different venues
    we would like to fish the sunderland area because it is known for its big cod catches ; if you could give any information we would be much obliged

    regards alan noon [polsafchair]

  21. Alan Hayward says:

    Dear Mr Noon,

    Thank you very much for getting in touch about fishing in Sunderland. I’m afraid that I can’t help you but if you get in touch with the Port of Sunderland they may be able to offer some advice. Contact details can be found on their website http://www.portofsunderland.org.uk/contacts.php. I hope this helps.

    Best wishes,

    Alan

  22. Maureen Rutherford says:

    My Dad John Allen Herron worked as a Shipwright in the Sunderland Shipyards from a young age. He worked at Austins Shipyard in the early 1950’s. Might you have any information on him. I know that at one time he was responsible for knocking the last “choc” (I think he called it) out from under the ship as it was launched.

    Maureen Rutherford (Herron)
    ps I live in North Wales now and don’t get much chance to visit the North East

    • Ted Weddle says:

      I worked at Austins during the time you mentioned. I was an apprentice shipwright at the time. I feel sure your dad known as Jack Heron worked there at the same time he was a head framer of the ships getting built at the time. I also remember a gentleman called Sam Heron who was a lorry driver at the same yard and I believe they were brothers

  23. Alan Hayward says:

    Hi Maureen,

    Thanks for getting in touch.

    It’s quite possible that your Dad might be mentioned in the personnel records we have for Austins shipyard. If he served his apprenticeship at the Wear Yard then there are apprentices wage rate books covering the years 1924-1964 (TWAM ref. DS.AP/2/10). He might well also be in one of the two register of leavers for the years 1942-1964 (TWAM ref. DS.AP/2/12).

    I’m afraid that we couldn’t search these for you free of charge but we do have a paid research service that you can use. Further information can be found at http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/tyne-and-wear-archives/services/research-service.html. Two hours research time should be enough to check those items. If you need any more advice please do get in touch by e-mailing info@twarchives.org.uk.

    Incidentally I recently added an image to our Flickr set of Sunderland ship launches which shows men knocking the chocks out at the shipyard of John Crown & Sons https://www.flickr.com/photos/twm_news/14142716513/in/set-72157644063652967.

    Best wishes,

    Alan

  24. Ian patterson says:

    My mother having recently looked through my grandfathers effects, discovered a 3 page indenture documenting what we think is the purchase of a shipyard. The 1st date documented is 1st December 1809 and has several additions going through to the 20th July 1843. It is signed and sealed by George Mills, John Mills Samuel Peter Austin, Thomas Brunton, Anthony Moore, Bernard Ogden, Thomas Pratt and Margaret Collins. The document also mentions others such as the Rt Hon Elizabeth Countess Dowager Grey. The comprehensive document is in excellent condition and we intend to go through it word for word once we have the time. My grandfather worked at numerous shipyards in the north-east and was from Wallsend. Would you have any further guidance on the likely nature of this indenture?

    • Pamela Tate says:

      I hope you are able to get the info re the new plans for the centre of town Keel Row, and walk in the tunnel leading into the lighthouse

    • Pamela Tate says:

      Hi from Pam Tate at Southwick. I started a group looking into Southwick material (people and its history ) when I came back to my ‘roots’ and started a history group in 2002.
      I would love to see the Southwick papers you have. Would you consider arranging a copy for me to pay for – or come to Sunderland and i will show you the actual places that are mentioned. Tel 0191 567243 I have a BnB
      Pam

  25. Alan Hayward says:

    Hi Ian,

    Many thanks for getting in touch.

    It sounds like an interesting deed. It’s quite hard for me to comment on it without seeing it in person. My guess would be that it might relate to Austin’s shipyard, which in 1843 would have been on the north side of the River Wear. If you’d like to bring it along to the Archives searchroom sometime then I’d be delighted to take a closer look. Details of our location and opening times can be found on our website http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/tyne-and-wear-archives/visiting-us.html.

    Best wishes,

    Alan

  26. Derek Lambert says:

    I am researching the Potts family, originally at Hylton Ferry. Later, around 1850’s a Robert H Potts, and brother Lipton H Potts are listed as shipbuilders at Wear St. North Quay.
    I have been unable to find any reference to the Potts yard in books such as Where Ships Were Born etc., and wondered if you had any information.

  27. Alan Hayward says:

    Hi Derek,

    Thanks for your comment. I’m afraid that we don’t have any original records of the shipyard of R.H. Potts and his brother. However, we do have a record of River Wear Shipyards Output covering the period 1787-1981 and this should contain the names and tonnages of vessels built by the Potts family.

    You’re very welcome to pay us a visit to look through this and details of our location and opening times can be found on our website http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/tyne-and-wear-archives/visiting-us.html.

    Best wishes,

    Alan

  28. michelle says:

    Hi, my dad has found an old book from 1950 all about the Sunderland docks. It has information on imports/exports, prices by ton, business info with telephone and telegram details, lots of photos of cargo ships, tide times, dredging info etc. Also has maps/plans attached to pages. Just wondered if it’s of any interest/importance?

  29. Alan Hayward says:

    Hi Michelle,

    Many thanks for getting in touch.

    Your Dad’s book sounds like an old Port of Sunderland year book – they are full of interesting information! We’ve already got one for 1950 but it might be worth contacting Sunderland Local Studies Library to see whether they might be interested. You can find contact details on their webpages http://www.sunderland.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=1092.

    Thanks for thinking of us. Best wishes,

    Alan

  30. vicky says:

    I have a diary off 1900 what I inherited off my grandad. It has tide times and working conditions etc were can I get this valued

  31. Alan Hayward says:

    Hi Vicky,

    Thanks for getting in touch.

    The Archives might be interested in the diary and a member of staff will contact you separately in the near future.

    Best wishes,

    Alan

  32. Joanna Hammond says:

    I am researching my Potts family (William the Elder) is my 3x great grandfather who owned a shipyard by the ferry at Hylton Ferry in approximately 1770. 1770. He seems to have ‘appeared out of the blue’ as I have been unable to find almost nothing on him prior to his marriage to Ann Sheraton (nee Stoddart) on 28 September 1770. I have been unable to locate his parents, birth village or any other information. Are there any other site which might help me ‘fill in the gaps’?

  33. Alan Hayward says:

    Hi Joanna,

    Thanks for getting in touch.

    I’m not aware of any documents relating to William Potts in our collections. However, I’ve forwarded your enquiry to our Archives searchroom and I’m sure that a member of staff will get in touch with advice on possible avenues to explore. Best of luck with your research.

    Alan

  34. Alexander Phillips says:

    My great, great uncle John Phillips was Captain of the Caledonia which along with 59 other vessels sunk in a hurricane in the Black Sea on 18/19 December 1855. The Caledonia was owned by R H Potts of Sunderland. Have you any records of R H Potts?

    Kind regards

    Sandy Phillips

    • Joanna Hammond (nee Hutton Potts) says:

      The R. H. Potts to whom you refer is Robert Hutton Potts, my 2x great uncle. Our correct surname is “Hutton Potts” spelled without a hyphen. He, along with his brothers (Lipton Hutton Potts – my great grandfather, Charles Hutton Potts and Hutton Potts, who died young) inherited the yard at #4 Low Street yard from their father (my 2x great grandfather) William Potts (who married Elizabeth Jane Hutton – thus the combined surname).

  35. Stephen Tate says:

    Hi. Hope all is well. My father served his apprenticeship with S.P. Austin & Son Ltd in the early 1950’s. His name is Raymond Tate, D.O.B – 30/05/15, Trade – Welder. Also my grandad Billy (William) Tate, Trade – Riviter may have also worked at S.P. Austin & Son Ltd. Would you be able to let me know if my father and grandad are included in your records. If so would it be possible for me to obtain some copies as we are putting together a photo board for my dad’s upcoming birthday? Thank you for your time, much appreciated.

  36. Alan Hayward says:

    Hi Stephen,

    Thanks for getting in touch about your father’s apprenticeship at Austin’s shipyard.

    We do hold some personnel records for S.P. Austin & Sons that might be useful to you. We have boxes of employee records cards covering the 1910s to the 1940s, arranged alphabetically by surname (TWAM ref. DS.AP/2/9/1-9). The information given on the cards is quite limited but includes names and trades of employees, and sometimes dates of birth.

    The collection also contains six apprentices wage rate books covering the period 1924-1964 (TWAM ref. DS.AP/2/10/1-6). These registers are arranged by trade and the information given includes name, date started, date of birth and details of wages. You’re welcome to visit the Archives to search through these and details of our location and opening times can be found on our website http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/tyne-and-wear-archives/visiting-us.html.

    If you’re unable to visit us then we do have a paid research service, which you can use. You can see further information about that service on our website http://www.twmuseums.org.uk/tyne-and-wear-archives/services/research-service.html.

    I hope this helps. Best wishes,

    Alan

  37. Vicky says:

    Hi I have a diary off the Sunderland shipyards from 1900 would you have any idea were I may get it valued please x

  38. Alan Hayward says:

    Hi Vicky,

    Thanks for contacting us about the diary. I’ll get back to you about it in a separate e-mail.

    Best wishes,

    Alan

  39. Michael Wooton says:

    Hi Alan. I used to work at Austin Pickergill as a young man and have recently been informed that the company took pension contributions from us. Unfortunately I have been unable to confirm if this information is accurate. Due to changing circumstances I am not in receipt of any paperwork or even dates of employment. Would you have any information regarding any pension schemes the company had and who it was with. And any employee information.Or could you give me some contacts to research this further. Thank you Michael.

  40. Michael Wooton says:

    Hi Alan. I worked at Austin Pickergill as a young man. Due to changing personal circumstances I have no paper work relating this time in my life but was recently told the company took pension contributions from its employees. I have been unable to confirm this and was wondering if you had any information relating to this and if it is accurate which pension company were the contributions held with? If you are unable to help could you give me any contacts that may have this information. Thank you for your time Michael

  41. Alan Hayward says:

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for getting in touch.

    I checked an A&P annual director’s report from 1984 and it mentioned that “British Shipbuilders has a defined pension scheme open to all its employees”. As regards British Shipbuilders you might find some useful material here https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/31368/12-574-abolition-british-shipbuilders-corporation-consultation.pdf. Page 5 of the report includes contact details relating to pension liabilities.

    If that doesn’t help, have you tried using the Pension Tracing Service to see whether they could help you? Contact details are available here https://www.gov.uk/find-lost-pension.

    Best of luck,

    Alan

  42. Maureen Hurst says:

    My father George Henry Conway and his father Thomas Conway both worked for Pickersgills then A& P.
    My father who was born in 1900 did his apprenticeship there and worked there all his life until he retired in 1970. He was a Player.

    Thomas Conway was born in thec1870s

  43. Alan Hayward says:

    Hi Maureen,

    Thanks for your comment.

    If you get the chance please do pop along to the Archives to have a look through the Pickersgills and A&P employee records. Some of them will be restricted but there should still be quite a few for you to look through. Details of our location and opening times can be found on our website https://twarchives.org.uk/visit-us.

    Best wishes,

    Alan

  44. Marilyn Sharpe says:

    I am currently researching my family history and wondered if you might be able to point me in the right direction to finding out any details recording the death of my great grandfather Frederick Mallett who died whilst working at North Sands shipyard in September 1919. From his death certificate I can see that there was an inquest so supposedly there is a record of that or maybe even a newspaper report. What intrigues me about his “accidental” death, a fractured skull sustained when a plank of wood fell from an upright and hit him on the head (no hard hats in those days) but that in the name column on the certificate it says “Frederick Mallett otherwise George White”. Was it common practice for labourers working at the shipyards to assume other names, and if so, for what reason?

  45. Alan Hayward says:

    Hi Marilyn,

    Thanks for your intriguing message.

    I’m not aware that it was common for shipyard workers to have aliases – that’s usually more associated with people trying to avoid detection by the police. If you haven’t already done so then it would be a good idea to look through local newspapers covering the period of the death / inquest. Newspaper reports might give you further details of the accident and possibly also shed light on his other name. Sunderland Local Studies Centre would be a good place to start and further information can be found here http://www.sunderland.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=5573.

    Best of luck with your research.

    Alan

  46. Marilyn Sharpe says:

    Thank you for your speedy reply Alan,it is intriguing isn’t it, particularly when his wife and children were living in Sheffield, as I do. I can’t find any trace of any of his relatives having any connection with Sunderland and he was buried in Sheffield.
    I will follow up the link which you have kindly provided and if that fails I have considered writing to the coroners office, although, as you may appreciate it’s not always easy when you don’t live in the area.

    • Marilyn Sharpe says:

      Hi Alan
      Just to update you on my request for information on my Great Grandfather Frederick Mallet, otherwise George White. The link which you supplied came up very speedily with extracts from the Sunderland Echo of his death at the Thompson shipyard of the inquest. It stated that he had worked at Thompson’s for some months in 1919 so maybe he may be in the staff records which you have found. It also mentions what he did in the war so now I will search the war records. Thanks.

  47. Ria Stoddart says:

    I have an ancestor, Robert Smith, who is named as a shipbuilder on the marriage certificate of his daughter, Margaret Smith in 1852.

    Is there perhaps any record of him in your discoveries?

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