I will tell you where l got my information from,l will start with my great grandparents they came from Bishopwearmouth in the 1800s grandad as a ships carpenter grandmother as a sailmaker,he moved to Leslie's round about 1870s in his trade and they were provided with accommodation next door to the yard in Ellison st.My grandad was born there,he followed his dad into the yard where he worked as a Felter,he in turn had 3 sons my father being the oldest,they all worked in the yard as Riviters,his 2 brothers, uncles Tom and Joe left for Southampton during the 1920s when there was a depression my father and stayed in Hebburn where they had 10 children living in Tyne st the heart of the old Quay,7 were boys,including my self,l and my 6 siblings all worked either in Palmers or Leslie's as calkers platers joiners drillers even my mother bless her cleaned Palmers offices and looking after a house full of kids.
My family is connected with ship building over generations from Sunderland to the Tyne,exsperiencing life tales handed down over many years,l my self served my time in Palmers,worked a short time in Leslie's,so had a little exsperience with the ship building and ship repair.all in all like you John it stood in good stead for me to go on in life and do other things,l agree whole heartedly with you,ship yard workers are a very special breed my family were a part of that,sadly no more,life goes on as does the tides on the Tyne just waiting for something to happen maybe one day not in my life time,during the good times there were mistakes by all parties,from top to bottom during my working life some 50 years l held a union card even been a shops steward even to this day l pay my dues. Cheers tb,
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