Last Ship ‘North Islands’ Launched at Smith’s Dock (1986)

Six photos of the last ship ‘North Islands’ launched at Smith’s Dock 15th October 1986.

Smiths Dock Ships North Islands 1986

Photo courtesy of Evening Gazette

Smith's Dock Ships - North Islands - Last ship 1986

Left: Jed Metcalfe, Yard Convenor ( Shop Steward)

Right: Ronnie Brunskill, AVEW Convenor.

Photo Courtesy of Evening Gazette.

Smith's Dock Ships - North Islands - Last Ship Launched 1986

Photo Courtesy Evening Gazette.

Smith's Dock Ships -North Islands - Last Ship Launched 1986

Photo Courtesy of Evening Gazette

Smith's Dock Ships - North Islands - Last Ship Built - awaiting sea trials 1987 Paul Thompson

‘North Islands’ awaiting sea trails.

Photo Courtesy of Paul Thompson.

Smiths dock ships north islands welders

Two welders with the bow of ‘North Islands’ ship.

4 replies »

  1. I remember that day well. I was in 3L in St.Davids and our class went to wave off the ship. I’m honoured to have been there.

    • i remember it well, my husband Bob Harvey worked on it and I believe it was called a ‘banana boat, as it was built to carry them. But it was also built in case a quick adaption was needed to another type of ship. Interesting thank you.

  2. I was at the launch of the North Island. I was 15 years old and my step father was the night shift manager. I remember being stood at the dock side looking up at this huge ship as it slid down into the water. The noise of the chains was so loud.
    The mood on the day was one of sadness as ship building on the tees was coming to a close. But it was a priveledge to be a small part of the important history of the river.

  3. i watched as old men cried , welders , burners ship rights joiners as if watching a new born baby been born , knowing that this was probably the las ship coming of the stocks in smiths dock Southbank , Made redundant 1986 , only for my father Alan Simpson to pass away on his last day 23rd November 1987 after 38 yrs service .
    i miss the Dock , the people , the laughs , the pee take it made life go round one big family .
    i will never forgive Maggy Thatcher for the closure , Smiths Dock Southbank, forever in my heart

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