COOK, WELTON AND GEMMELL, SHIPBUILDERS, BEVERLEY, RECORDS
East Riding of Yorkshire Archives and Local Studies (UK47)
Contains ship plans 1905-nd. [c.1976], reports 1925-1964, miscellaneous ship plans nd. [c.1883]-1982, Hull Museums print-outs and binders 1987-1992, Museum Documentation Association Technology index cards files for shipping plans 1987.
The shipbuilding company of Cook, Welton and Gemmell was established in 1883 by partners William James Cook, Charles Keen Welton and William M Gemmell, who had all been colleagues at Earle’s Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Limited in Hull.They began operations at South Bridge Road, Hull, on the bank of the river Humber, known at the time as ‘Sammy’s Point’. In 1901 the company re-located to new premises nine miles up the River Hull at Grovehill, Beverley, formerly occupied by Cochrane, Hamilton and Cooper Limited, shipbuilders. The shipyard was known for its sideways (‘broadside on’) launches, and from here they built and launched over 1300 vessels including sidewinder trawlers, naval ships, tugs, coasters, barges, lightships and pleasure cruisers. Many of these were floated down the River Hull to Prince’s Dock to be fitted out by Charles D Holmes and Company Limited, Hull, shipbuilders. By the mid-20th century they had become the largest trawler manufacturer in the world and supported the fishing industries of Hull, Grimsby, Aberdeen and Fleetwood, as well as exporting ships to other parts of the world including South Africa.During the late 1950s and early 1960s large-scale economic and technological change, particularly the introduction of stern trawlers, had a detrimental impact on the company and it was forced to close its operations in March 1963.Charles D Holmes and Company Limited, Hull, shipbuilders, took over the premises and continued to produce ships there, fulfilling any outstanding orders. By July 1973 C D Holmes had been taken over by the Drypool Group which then went into liquidation in 1975. The company Whitby Shipyard Limited took over operations and changed its name to Phoenix Shipbuilders in 1976, however it went into receivership in May 1977 with the loss of 180 jobs and the final closure of the Grovehill shipyard. Ownership reverted to Beverley Borough Council as landlords and the site was later re-developed as the Acorn Industrial Estate.Sources: www.trawlingthroughtime.org 'Cook, Welton and Gemmell, shipbuilders of Hull and Beverley 1883-1963' by Michael Thompson, with Dave Newton, Richard Robinson and Tony Lofthouse (Hutton Press, 1999), a copy of this is available at reference Y/623/8/BEV.
These records were originally held by Hull Museums.