South Shields Local History Group

Under Construction

4 Wapping Street

Wapping Street up to Comical Corner

Wapping Street started after the old railway turntable.  There were 10 pubs advertised in Wapping Street in 1827.

Start of Wapping Street (STH0000308 South Tyneside Libraries) / Outside South Quay Apartments 2021

The Low Brewery was first opened in 1815 by Kirkley & Taylor and then from 1852 to 1895 by R S and D Crosthwaite, they owned a large number of South Shields pubs, including the Look Out, Pier Hotel and the Marsden Inn.

Next was the Tyneside Engineering Works this had previously been Wapping Street Iron Foundry. 

The Low Dock was the first dry dock in South Shields it was also known as Barkers Dock, Fairles Dock and eventually became part of Brigham & Cowan’s Dock.

Pan Ash Quay takes its name from when the salt industry was centred around Wapping Street as well as West Holborn.

Pan Ash Quay – 1900 (South Tyneside Libraries, STH0000043) / South Quay Apartments 2022

At Half Moon Quay James Jackson had a boat building yard where he built the lifeboat Tom Perry and Willie Wouldhave.

Wapping Street intersected with Comical Corner and this section was demolished in 1937.

Wapping Street – 1920? (Willits, South Tyneside Libraries, STH0000313) / Wapping Street 2023
Photo taken within a few minutes of the famous one above but note the car!
Left former Seven Stars pub right former Black Bull then a lodging house, awaiting demolition 1937 (South Tyneside Libraries STH0000314) / Wapping Street 2023

Wapping Street after Comical Corner

Wapping Street with Union Lane facing c1892 (South Tyneside Libraries STH0000319) / North East Maritime Trust 2023
Wapping Street and corner of Union Lane taken from Old Ferry Landing c1892 (South Tyneside Libraries STH0011042)
Wapping Street and Old Ferry landing c1890 (South Tyneside Libraries, STH0011158)

North East Maritime Trust

North East Maritime Trust (NEMT) started in 2005 in what had been a pattern makers workshop and boat builders.

From 1938 until at least the mid 1950s the building was in use by J. G. Mitchelson Boat Builder.

J. G. Mitchelson Boat Builders 1938 (Flagg, South Tyneside Libraries, STH0000317) / North East Maritime Trust 2023

They later acquired a former boat building shed next door which is on the site of the Old Ferry Boat Landing street.

Alec Renwick from NEMT said:

“However, a great deal of work was needed to make the building and our more recently acquired boatshed next door suitable for the work we do.”

“Everyone at NEMT is a volunteer and we couldn’t exist without their help and expertise in so many areas of what we do.  We don’t employ any staff.”

Henry Frederick Swan
In 2005:  “After some basic updating we moved the historically important 1917-18 Tynemouth lifeboat, ‘Henry Frederick Swan’ into the building.  Starting a long-term and somewhat complex restoration wasn’t easy, but after a very successful launching in April 2019, everyone was celebrating.”

Bedford was built in South Shields in 1886 and was stationed here at the Coble Landing for 50 years she saved 55 lives.  Restoration started in 2019 at NEMT and was completed in 2022. 

“With a number of successful restorations and conservation projects including fishing cobles and our recent restoration of the 1886 South Shields pulling lifeboat called Bedford which will soon go on public display, we are happy to shout from the decks.”

“It has always been NEMT’s intention to promote a working/live museum environment with historic vessels in the water and not being used as static display items.”

Stob Lane

Taken from Old Ferry Landing showing Wapping Street with Stob Lane in the background 1910 (Grimes, South Tyneside Libraries, STH0001405)

The Long Bank

The Long Bank was a very steep hill going from Wapping Street to the end of Mile End Road.

RNVR field gun exercise up the Long Bank (South Shields Research Through Imaging) / Two benches 2021

The Stirling Castle was a pub on the corner of the Long Bank which is where in 1897 Francis Daniels wrote his brilliant novel “The Angel of Comical Corner”.

After the Long Bank, Wapping Street becomes Shadwell Street.

Alec T Renwick (NEMT)
Borough of South Shields, George B Hodgson
British Newspaper Archives
Terry Ford

Alec T Renwick (NEMT)
South Tyneside Libraries
South Shields Research Through Imaging
Terry Ford

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