The origin of the yard goes back to Robert Stephenson & Co which had
built a graving dock at its Hebburn yard. This yard was acquired by
Palmer's Shipbuilding & Iron Co in 1912 and became a major
shipbuilding centre until its closure in 1931. The rest of the
Palmers' empire collapsed in 1933 and was sold to National
Shipbuilders Securities Ltd, who closed down the yards and destroyed
the shipbuilding facilities.
Vickers-Armstrong Ltd acquired the Hebburn Yard with its graving dock
in 1935 and created Palmers Hebburn Co Ltd, a shiprepairing &
structural steelwork company. The company prospered and continued to
trade as a repair and conversion yard throughout the wartime period
and also built parts of ships for other shipbuilders. It also built
3 Admiralty Floating Drydocks, 6 salvage vessels and the major parts
of 5 floating cranes on its own account.
A repair yard with a single dry dock was at a distinct commercial
disadvantage, so in 1960 an additional dock which was wider, deeper
and longer than the original was begun. When completed in 1962 the
dock was the largest on the North East coast and one of the largest
in the UK.
In 1973 Vickers-Armstrongs sold the facility to Swan Hunter
Shipbuilders, who developed it as the Hebburn Dock Shipbuilding
Yard. Tyne Tees Dockyard Ltd acquired the yard from the receivers of
Swan Hunter in 1994 and then sold it on to Cammell Laird in 1998.
Cammell Laird went into receivership in 2001 and the A & P Group
acquired the yard from the receivers. (info: tynebuiltships.co.uk)