The Vestfold, 1931

The Vestfold was built at Furness Shipbuilding Co Ltd in Haverton Hill. The keel was laid on 23 July 1930 and the ship was launched on 16 April 1931.

In 1943 when on route from New York for The Clyde carrying a cargo of 17,386 tons of fuel oil and 3 landing craft as deck cargo she was torpedoed by U-268 and sunk. 19 members of the ship’s complement lost their lives. There were 56 survivors.

“Tyne Bridge” passing beneath Middlesbrough Transporter

These two photographs were taken on Friday 24th March 1972. “Tyne Bridge” was a 167,000 tons ore-bulk-oil (OBO) carrier, built at Swan Hunter’s Haverton Hill Shipyard (formerly Furness Shipbuilding). It was heading out for sea trials, guided by 6 tugs. The visible tugs are (left to right) Ayton Cross, Ormesby Cross, and Leven Cross. The top 12 feet of the ship’s mast was hinged to obtain clearance under the transporter. I took the photographs from British Rail’s wagon repair depot, in the one-time Port Clarence goods station.

Photographs and details courtesy of Brian Johnson.

Thorpe Thewles Viaduct Demolition 1979

Four photos of the demolition of the viaduct. They are taken from the public viewing area and give an impression of what an event it was.

Photos and details courtesy of Sue Wright.

Update: And in response to a comment about never having seen a photograph of trains on the viaduct we’re very grateful to Garth McLean for sending us these two photos from 1966.

MV Vanja

Photo one shows three men posing on MV Vanja, built on Haverton Hills shipyard. I suspect one of the three men to be my father’s very good friend, Frank McGee who lived at High Clarence. He is on the left in the darker coloured overalls, if indeed it is him?

The second photo shows my father Jack Cushin quite possibly on the same ship with my older brother Malcolm Cushin – An open day perhaps prior to launching?

Photos and detail courtesy of Neil Cushin.

Old Coatham Bridge c2020

I took these photographs on Saturday 4 July 2020 of the old Coatham Bridge on Durham Lane near Elton.

Photograph and details courtesy of Tony Cooney.

ST Cervia and John H Amos – River Tees, Stockton

ST Cervia was built in 1946 as a seagoing tug for use as a fleet auxiliary by Alexandra Hall & Company Ltd, Aberdeen, Scotland. She is the last seagoing steam tug to survive in UK waters, and she was also the last to work commercially. Today we believe she is a floating Museum undergoing restoration in Ramsgate, Kent. Alonside it is the steam paddle tug John H Amos built in 1931. Taken c1970s.

Photographs by Len Toulson, courtesy of Neal Toulson.

The Bishop Auckland to Stockton Canal, 1770

The survey to build a canal from Bishop Auckland to Darlington by canal, travelling onward to Stockton using the River Tees was commissioned by the leading coal merchants of Darlington and district, who wished to transport coal by barge from the Bishop Auckland coalfields to Stockton. The intended canal when built linked with the nearest navigable section of the River Tees, allowing the barges to complete the journey by river. Brindley and Whitworth were the surveyors commissioned to prepare the initial feasibility study, they submitted their report and outline plans in 1770. The scheme collapsed due to the low density of population in this area and, therefore, of a sufficiently large market for the coal transported. After a few unsuccessful attempts at reviving Brindley and Whitworth’s plans in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century, they became the basis for the famous Stockton and Darlington Railway in the 1820s. The canal was never built. It was designed by James Brindley, the engineer responsible for the Bridgewater Canal, with Robert Whitworth’s assistance.

Map reproduced with the kind permission and consent of the copyright owners, the British Library, London. Details courtesy of Bob Wilson.