Readhead, Softley and Company
In 1865 John Softley, General Manager for Marshalls at Willington Quay and John Readhead, Engineering Manager for the same firm decided to start a small shipbuilding business of their own. With £2,860 of capital they set up in a yard vacated by their former employers at Pilot Street, South Shields. The yard was close to the river mouth and below the Lawe Top, between the entrance to Wapping Street and the present-day Groyne. They were quite successful for a time, building some 87 vessels in a period of seven years, but after a great trade depression in the early years of the 1870s, the partnership was dissolved in 1872.
The following is a list of tugs built by Readhead and Softley: