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Dobson Shipyard


54.972523, -1.536676

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William Dobson & Co Ltd. (1882 - 1928)

Types built here:

Screw Steamer, Barge, Ketch, Tanker, Schooner, Paddle Steamer, Destroyer Depot Ship, Landing Craft

Customers (Not Exhaustive):

Goole Steam Shipping Co Ltd, Aire & Calder Navigation, Russian Company for Sea, River & Land Insurance & Conveyance of Goods, Grampian Steam Ship Co Ltd, Government of Portugal, Anglo-Australasian Steam Navigation Co Ltd, Cia de Navegatao de Pernambuco, Great Western Steam Ship Co Ltd, Bombay & Persia Steam Navigation Co Ltd, Archangel-Mourman Steam Navigation Co, Cairnglen Steam Ship Co Ltd, Armenian Steam Shipping Co, Government of Russia, Archangel Mourman Steam Navigation Co, Union Steamship Company of New Zealand Ltd, Russian Steam Navigation & Trading Co, Adam Steam Ship Co Ltd, London & Tilbury Lighterage Contracting & Dredging Co Ltd, Cape Antibes Steamship Co Ltd, Hungarian-Levant Steamship Co Ltd, Indo-China Steam Navigation Co Ltd, Cie Royale Belgo-Argentine Soc Anon, Co-operative Wholesale Society Ltd, Wandsworth & Putney Gas, Light & Coke Co, Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Co, Commercial Gas Co, Sharp Steamship Co Ltd, Mackill Steamship Co Ltd, The Admiralty, Wirral Transport Co Ltd, Tyneside Line Ltd, Stag Line Ltd, The Shipping Controller, Brantingham Steamship Co Ltd, RB Chellew Steam Navigation Co Ltd

Estimated Output:


Construction Materials:

Iron, Steel



Last Updated:



The Dobson shipyard in Walker was leased in the latter months of 1882 from Newcastle Town Council. It totalled 4 acres of land for 75 years at £100 per acre for a shipbuilding yard.

Dobson was previously the manager of the adjacent Mitchell shipyard when the amalgation between those and Armstrong took place in 1882. Dobson then sought his own yard next door. The yard at first predominantly constructed vessels for Goole and East Yorkshire, with a raft of orders from the Goole Steam Shipping Co and Hoppers for the Aire & Calder Navigation Co. Most other contracts came from Eastern Europe and the Middle East, constructing and steamers for various Russian, Persian and Armenian companies.

The yard is shown on the 1890s Ordnance Survey maps featuring a large yard area with no slips between the Lloyd's Proving House and the River Police Station. A number of cranes can also be seen as well as 3 chimneys on the primary building indicating an engine house or works.

The yard was bought by Armstrong Whitworth in 1928 to cope with their increased business, and was amalgamated into the Mitchell shipyard which was located directly north. Armstrong inherited three berths, meaning nine were available thereon.

More info can be seen on the Armstrong record for the Mitchell yard (WLK004)

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

Ordnance Survey, 1899

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Historic Environment Records

Durham/Northumberland: Keys to the Past

Tyne and Wear: Sitelines

HER information as described above is reproduced under the basis the resource is free of charge for education use. It is not altered unless there are grammatical errors. 


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