TYNE TUGS AND TUG BUILDERS
A history of Tyne Tugs, their builders and owners

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Above: Select the required shipyard by using the initial letter of the Surname eg: Eltringham, Hepple or Rennoldson.
KEY BELOW: D / H / P (D = basic dimensions are shown; H = a history is given; P = one or more photographs are available)

JT Eltringham Shipbuilders, South Shields and its successors

1864 - WH Eltringham
1864 - JT Eltringham
1890 - JT Eltringham & Co
1912 - JT Eltringham & Co Ltd
1919 - Eltringham's Ltd

The Eltringham yard was at Stone Quay, High Holborn in South Shields, an area between Mill Dam and Middle Docks. The name of the quay was so called because it was constructed and used for shipping the limestone from the quarries at Cleadon and Fulwell. It was in the centre of the western salt-pans in the early 18th Century but by 1773 it seems to have been an empty site.

Thomas Toward was an engineer and metal founder at St Peters. In a directory for 1847 he is described as a "Boiler and Iron Shipbuilder, St Peters, Newcastle and Middle Landing, South Shields." In the same volume Joseph Eltringham, who came from Prudhoe or Ovingham, appears as a "Boiler and Ship-tank Builder, Middle Landing, South Shields".

Joseph Eltringham married Miss Toward and some time later the two men joined in a business partnership and the Stone Quay works became Messrs Toward and Eltringham. The company were actually tenants of two premises at this time separated by a small dock, the Metcalf-Moralee Dock, which only allowed workmen to pass from one works to the other across the closed lock gates of the dock.

The Eltringham yard would have been on both sides of the Metcalfe's Dock near the Bottle Works on the following map.

The above map is dated 1855 & shows the junction of Commercial Road & Laygate next to Trinity Church


A son, Joseph Toward Eltringham was born in 1845 and joined the firm after serving an apprenticeship at the Palmers yard. He was still a young man when he succeeded his father and he raised the business to a prominent position on Tyneside. He reportedly built seven small craft totalling 217 tons in his first year and despite the occassional trade recession the company made steady progress.

There is also a mention of a WH Eltringham who is named as the builder of 3 tugs (YN 1, 4 & 5) in 1864-6. Nothing is known about "WH" and we can only assume that he was a relative/brother of "JT".

The tenancy of the Metcalf-Moralee Dock became available and was taken over by Messers JT Eltringham and in 1878 the company bought Stone Quay as part of the reconstruction of the yard. At about the same time Mr Eltringham took a partner, Mr Durham Walker Fitzgerald and the firm assumed the title of Messrs JT Eltringham and Co.

Many of the vessels built by Eltringham's up to around 1890 would appear to be sub-contract work from JP Rennoldson. Certainly most of the Clyde Shipping Company tugs were contracted as hull "and engines from Rennoldson". Eltringham also took on subcontract work from the other major tug builder Hepple.

Eltringham built nearly 160 tugs and a similar number of other vessels at the Stone Quay yard but the business was seriously cramped by the confines of the yard, so plans were made to move. In 1912 the firm was converted into a public company and land was purchased at Willington Quay.

A section from the Ordnance Survey map for 1897

The Eltringham yard at Willington Quay was to the right of "Tyne Iron Shipbuilding Works" on the above map. At the time the map was dated the yard was occupied by Palmers Shipbuilding & Iron Co Ltd but it closed in 1900. Eltringham took over the yard in 1914 and occupied the site until 1922 when the company closed. In 1929 Armstrong, Whitworth & Co Ltd used the yard to build a few tramp ships, before the yard was finally closed in 1933. The yard was sold to National Shipbuilders Security in 1935 and was dismantled in the same year.

The Stone Quay at South Shields and its surroundings were aquired by Middle Dock Engineering Company for the creation of their No 4 dry dock which at the time was the second largest dry dock on the North East coast above the Thames.


The following tugs were built by WH & JT Eltringham at South Shields

Yd No Year Ship Name D / H / P
1 1864 United States D / H
2 1864 Flying Mist D / H
1864 Bloodhound D / H
3 1864 Conqueror D / H
4 1865 Royal Alfred D / H / P
5 1865 Rock Light D / H
1868 Energy D / H
6 1869 Flying Sprite D / H
7 1869 Flying Sylph D / H
8 1870 Scotia D / H
10? 1870 Fiery Cross D / H
11 1870 Elene D / H
13 1871 Digby Grand D / H
14 1871 Flying Squall D / H
1871 Irvine D / H
17? 1871 Monarch D / H
18 1872 Alliance D / H / P
24 1872 Citie of the Tribes D / H / P
28 1873 Flying Tempest D / H
1873 Iron Duke D / H
32 1873 Rescue D / H / P
33 1874 Chevy Chase D / H
1874 Princess Royal D / H
34 1874 Flying Hurricane D / H
36 1874 Prince Consort D / H
1875 Admiral D / H
39 1875 Flying Arrow D / H
41 1875 Benachie D / H / P
42 1875 Universe D / H / P
44 1875 Clevedon D / H
45 1875 Weston D / H
50 1875 Flying Meteor D / H / P
51 1876 Jupiter D / H
1876 Victor D / H / P
52 1876 Francis Hixson D / H / P
53 1876 Commodore D / H
54 1876 Admiral D / H / P
55 1876 Nunthorpe D / H / P
56 1876 Renown D / H
57 1876 Champion D / H
58? 1876 Lord Derby D / H / P
1876 Racer D / H
1876 Rattler D / H
59? 1877 Livingstone D / H
60? 1877 J T Eltringham D / H
62 1877 Hercules D / H / P
63 1877 Linnet D / H
64 1877 Goole No 3 D / H
65 1877 Flying Eagle D / H
66 1877 Eddystone D / H
67? 1877 Icarius D / H
68 1877 Her Majesty D / H / P
1877 Lord Derby D / H
69 1878 Lord Bandon D / H / P
70 1878 Commodore D / H / P
71 1878 Flying Huntress D / H
72 1878 Rescue D / H
74 1878 Ayr D / H / P
75 1878 Bonito D / H
76 1879 Flying Scotchman D / H / P
77 1879 Florence D / H
78 1879 Tipper D / H
80 1879 Eptanisos D / H
81 1880 Athena
83 1880 Resolute D / H
84 1880 Iron King D / H
86 1880 Flying Dutchman D / H
87 1881 Cleveland D / H / P
88 1880 Conductor D / H / P
90 1881 Flying Huntsman D / H / P
91 1881 Royal Norman D / H / P
92 1881 N E R No 5 D / H
94 1881 Challenger D / H
95 1881 Dauntless D / H
96 1882 Flying Arrow D / H / P
97 1882 Godrevy D / H
98 1882 Porthill D / H
99 1882 Flying Javelin D / H
100 1882 Flying Fish D / H / P
101 1882 Flying Sportsman D / H
103 1883 Flying Spear D / H
104 1882 Flying Dart D / H
107 1883 Blanche D / H / P
108 1883 J P Rennoldson D / H
109 1883 Lass o'Gowrie D / H / P
110 1883 Sarah Smart D / H
111 1883 Flying Owl D / H
113 1884 Mare D / H
114 1884 Rosa D / H
115 1884 Bosphorus D / H
116 1884 Flying Bat D / H
117 1884 Deerhound D / H
118 1884 Ister D / H
119 1884 Grappler D / H
120 1884 Wanderer D / H
121 1886 Flying Irishman D / H
122 1884 Frank Buckland D / H / P
123 1884 Rebecca D / H
124 1884 Royal Saxon D / H
125 1885 South Esk D / H / P
126 1885 Flying Fox D / H
127 1885 Anglia D / H
128 1885 Devonia D / H
129 1886 Flying Fish D / H
130 1886 Flying Squirrel D / H
131 1886 Earl of Jersey D / H
132 1886 Earl of Bute D / H
133 1886 Flying Scotsman D / H
134 1887 Protector D / H
135 1887 Flying Swallow D / H
136 1887 William Gray D / H / P
138 1888 Wexford D / H / P
139 1888 Goole No 7 D / H
140 1888 Earl of Dunraven D / H / P
142 1888 Lady Helen D / H / P
143 1888 Newburgh D / H / P
146 1889 Flying Elf D / H
147 1889 Flying Sprite D / H / P
149 1889 Euxine D / H
150 1889 Salt D / H / P
151 1889 Steel D / H / P
152 1890 Iron D / H / P
154 1890 Tyne Dock No 1 D / H
155 1890 Eagle D / H / P
160 1891 Lionel D / H
166 1891 Grassholm D / H
170 1893 Triumph D / H / P
172 1896 Pomona D / H / P
173 1892 Alert D / H / P
175 1894 Alexandros D / H
176 1894 J H Mould D / H
181 1895 William Stephenson D / H / P
182 1895 Charles Galloway D / H / P
183 1895 Eva D / H / P
184 1895 Hilda D / H / P
187 1896 Condor D / H / P
188 1897 Conqueror D / H / P
189 1897 Rover D / H
192 1897 Diamond D / H
193 1897 Jubilee D / H
205 1899 Salvo D / H
212 1899 Chieftain D / H
220 1900 Stanley D / H
235 1902 Holland D / H / P
246 1903 Wallasey D / H / P
247 1903 Harrington D / H / P
249 1904 Wato D / H / P
250 1905 Bridgewater D / H / P
251 1905 Rixton D / H / P
252 1905 Eccles D / H / P
260 1907 Acton Grange D / H / P
261 1907 Herald D / H / P
263 1907 Old Trafford D / H / P
265 1908 Plumgarth D / H / P
266 1908 Edward Batters D / H
267 1908 The Collector D / H
269 1909 Great Emperor D / H / P
274 1910 Flying Kestrel D / H / P
275 1910 Central No 1 D / H / P
281 1911 Tandanya D / H / P
282 1911 Olympia D / H / P
285 1912 Huskisson D / H / P
286 1911 Cecilia D / H / P
287 1912 Central No 2 D / H / P
288 1912 Wyola D / H / P
291 1912 Pen Cw D / H / P
292 1913 Flying Kestrel D / H / P
296 1913 Margaret Ham D / H / P
297 1913 Flying Breeze D / H / P
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The following tugs were built by JT Eltringham & Co Ltd at Willington Quay

Yd No Year Ship Name D / H / P
300 1914 El Coloso D / H
309 1915 La France D / H / P
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