John Readhead & Sons Limited, South Shields
A book produced in 1948 to record the progress of the firm formed by John Redhead over 80 years earlier.

At this time nobody would have imagined the total death of shipbuilding on Tyneside (and most of the rest of Britain). The demise of the British merchant marine, the shrinkage of the Royal Navy and the virtual disappearance of our fishing fleets would astound the men recorded on these pages! (I can't spot many women.) Readhead's was just too small to compete once the size of new vessels outgrew the size of the yard, but other factors were at work too.

The pages record some of the vessels built and repaired, together with the workers, buildings and facilities to complete them. There's information about bomb damage, WW2 ship repairs, and a list of ships built for one firm over 70 years.

Today we're told there are no jobs for life, but look at the picture of all the men who had been working for over 40 years for Readheads, some for more than 50 years.

Loyalty of customers and workers helped hold the community together.

This book was a private publication, designed and printed by another firm that was well known on Tyneside at that time, Mawson, Swan & Morgan Ltd. In addition to printing and publishing, they may have provided pictures and prints to decorate the cabins of ships officers and passengers alike. The wealth from shipbuilding was spread all around.

For a lot more about Readheads yard there is an excellent website at; bagejohn.webspace.virginmedia.com/JohnReadheadShipyard%20...
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