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Bill Quay

Bill Quay, Wood Skinner Yard


54.960062, -1.541241

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Wood, Skinner & Co Ltd. (1885 - 1925)

Types built here:

Screw Steamer, Floating Isolation Hospital, Ferry, Trawler, Keel, Horse boat, Dredger, Gunboat

Customers (Not Exhaustive):

International Line Steamship Co Ltd, River Tyne Port Sanitary Authority, Russian Company for Sea, River & Land Insurance & Conveyance of Goods, County Steamship Co Ltd, Prince Pierre N Troubetzkoi, Skinningrove Iron Co Ltd, Cairn Line of Steamships Ltd, Tyne Improvement Commissioners, Crest Shipping Co, London & Paris Steamship Co Ltd, Burnett Steamship Co Ltd, Scott Steam Shipping Co Ltd, British Admiralty, Great Central Railway, Goole & West Riding Steam Shipping Co Ltd, Gas, Light & Coke Co, British Royal Navy, Redlands Shipping Co Ltd, The Shipping Controller, Blyth Harbour Commissioners, Robert Stanley Shipping Co Ltd

Estimated Output:


Construction Materials:

Iron, Steel



Last Updated:



Wood, Skinner & Co. constructed this shipyard from scratch from an old Bottle Works which was situated here. It stood alongside the Bottle House Chapel and the disused Union Chemical Works which were both pulled down. A newspaper piece from the Sunderland Echo of 5th July 1884 states they took it from "an irregular patch of ground covered with tumbledown buildings and intersected by an ancient road-way they have produced a spacious, well arranged, and beautifully levelled shipyard that will compare with any of the most modern establishments".

Four building berths were constructed which had room for the largest vesslels. A smiths shop with twenty fires, a boiler, engine house and frame bending shed were incorporated. A plate bending furnace, joiners shop, drafting loft, offices and stores are also noted. The original partners of the works were William Wood of Jesmond and James Skinner of South Shields. Skinner worked at the Low Walker Coutts Yard as well as Leslie's at Hebburn. Wood worked at the Shlesinger Yard (later Swans) at Wallsend.

In its infacy the yard built coasters and trading ships in iron or steel, and Scandinavian companies made up the majority of contracts. The Burnett Steamship Co. of Newcastle, the Tyne Improvement Commissioners and other locals ordered from here. The famous Blyth High Ferry was constructed at this yard too. The yard continued until 1925 when it hit financial difficulties. 230 ships were built here.

The yard was acquired by National Shipbuilders but was sold at auction in April of the same year.

'Sketches of The Coal Mines in Northumberland and Durham' T.H.Hair, published in 1844

Ordnance Survey, 1916. Surveyed in 1912

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Historic Environment Records

Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past

Tyne and Wear: Sitelines

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