Swan Hunters under threat

Lucy Burkhill

Member
Mar 31, 2006
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Hi all,

Here is some depressing news I found in the Financial section of the Sunday Express Sept 10-

The headline runs-

"Last Tyne shipyard could be bulldozed"

"Swan Hunter, the last shipbuilding yard on Tyneside, could be bulldozed to make way for housing and leisure developments...

The Swan Hunter yard was effectively mothballed last month after it lost the opportunity to complete a landing ship contract for the Ministry of Defence that had run hundreds of millions of pounds over budget.
With little other shipbuilding work on the horizon, North Tyneside and Newcastle City Councils have been locked in talks with Swan Hunter's owner Jaap Kroese and regional development agency One NorthEast to determine the long-term future of the site.
A spokesman for North Tyneside Council said a full study of the options would not be ready until early next year...
However, sources say the council is considering proposals to create a mixed-use development including affordable homes, shops and industrial units.
Part of the site, which lies next to a Roman fort marking the eastern end of Hadrian's Wall, could be redeveloped as a tourist attraction with hotels and a visitors' centre, sources say.
But Tom Brennan, northern regional secretary of the GMB union, claims unions have been denied access to the talks and says he is "diametrically opposed" to such plans.
"It would be an absolute travesty if that site were used for anything other than shipbuilding and heavy industrial purposes...It would herald the loss of a great facility and a fabulous skill base that still exists on Tyneside".
Brennan said there was a healthy flow of possible future shipbuilding work from the Ministry of Defence, which wants to build two new aircraft carriers in a few years' time.
Kroese, who bought the yard when it was in receivership in 1995, told the Express he was "still looking for work for the yard but it's not easy".
He declined to comment on the site's future but could earn millions from a redevelopment scheme. The value of the site's land has soared over the past decade, although it remains heavily contaminated...
In its heyday Swan Hunter employed as many as 15,000 people but by 2004 this had dwindled to 1,500. Last month just 160 workers were left on site".

Sad news indeed in the year that marks the centenary of the launch of the Mauretania, and of course, Swan Hunters is significant not just to Mauretania fans, being the yard that also built the Carpathia.
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Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
From the Shipping Times:

Swan Hunter's shipbuilding equipment heads east
quote:

Indian shipyard buys English yard's cranes and plant says online newspaper
India's Business Standard reports that Swan Hunter's has been sold to an Indian shipbuilder who will dismantle the Tyne shipyard's machinery and ship it over to India.

The Indian shipbuilder is reported to be Bharati Shipyard who, the Business Standard says, is developing a greenfield site in Bangalor as a new shipyard.
Story at http://www.shippingtimes.co.uk/item403_swans.htm
 

Eric Longo

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Aug 13, 2004
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"Sad news indeed in the year that marks the centenary of the launch of the Mauretania, and of course, Swan Hunters is significant not just to Mauretania fans, being the yard that also built the Carpathia.
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"

Lucy,
look at the date you posted this...

Eric
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Lucy Burkhill

Member
Mar 31, 2006
166
1
88
Hi Mike and Eric,

Yes, this is depressing news indeed
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When I read last year that Swan Hunter's was to be mothballed, I hoped against hope that there was a chance that a buyer might still come along and save it, as has happened in the past. Sadly, if this article is true, this ain't gonna happen! As someone whose great-grandfather helped to build component parts for the boilers of the Lusitania, Aquitania and the Queen Mary, it makes me very angry that the British Shipbuilding industry has been allowed to fall into terminal decline.

I recall in about summer 1990 on a visit to Newcastle, standing at the gates of Swan Hunter, and trying to picture Mauretania under construction.

Lucy
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,590
380
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Easley South Carolina
From The British National Party:

The Betrayal of British Manufacturing: The Last Tyneside Shipbuilding Yard Closes
quote:

The failure of the Labour Party government to support British industry - in stark contrast to the untold billions they pumped into their corrupt allies in the banking system - has led to the closure of the last great Tyneside ship building yard, Swan Hunter.
More at http://bnp.org.uk/2009/04/the-betrayal-of-british-manufacturing-the-last-tyneside-shipbuilding-yard-closes/
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,590
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Easley South Carolina
From Your Shipbuilding News:

Swan Hunter cranes leave the Tyne, ending 145 years of shipbuilding
quote:

One hundred and forty-five years of production at Swan Hunter, one of the world's most famous shipbuilders, has ended after its last cranes left the Tyne bound for India.

More than 1,600 vessels have been built at the firm's yard in Wallsend, North Tyneside, including the Blue Riband-winning RMS Mauretania and HMS Ark Royal.
More at http://www.yourshipbuildingnews.com/swan+hunter+cranes+leave+the+tyne%2C+ending+145+years+of+shipbuilding_28804.html

Comment: The RMS Carpathia was also built by this yard. There's a lot of history here.
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,590
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Easley South Carolina
From Your Shipbuilding News:

Bharati’s Dabhol Shipyard acquires floating dock from Swan Hunter
quote:

Bharati Shipyard Ltd, one of the largest private sector shipyards in India, has announced the arrival of the world-class 16,000 - ton lift capacity floating dock along with balance Machinery and equipments of the Swan Hunter Shipyard at its Dabhol Greenfield yard in Maharashtra.
More at http://www.yourshipbuildingnews.com/bharati%E2%80%99s+dabhol+shipyard+acquires+floating+dock+from+swan+hunter_33050.html
 

Eric Longo

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Aug 13, 2004
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Hi Mike,

Thanks. That is the last of the big stuff. I was just looking at some photographs of it. I have a candid taken from a ferry heading towards the Swan Yards that shows the Mauretania roughed out in steel with a massive floating dock in front of her. I also have a photocard of the Titan in operation. I just saw a photo of what looks like it being loaded aboard some cargo vesselbound for India.

An interesting link: Swan Blog

Best,
Eric
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,590
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Easley South Carolina
>>Thanks. <<

No problem. I just wish that this was one bit of news that wasn't happening. The U.K. used to be second to none in shipbuilding. Now the great yards have all but vanished and a lot of history with it.

That's quite an interesting website which you've offered.
 

Eric Longo

Member
Aug 13, 2004
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Hi Mike,

My pleasure. I was pleased to find it. Wonderful that this sad event is being documented like that. I found it while looking for photographs of some of the equipment, like the Titan crane etc.

Best,
Eric
 
Dec 2, 2000
58,590
380
283
Easley South Carolina
>>Wonderful that this sad event is being documented like that. <<

At least that drydock will find a good home and a lot of years of service. It could well have ended up as razor blades much as the rest of the yard has.