You are here: Home > Photo Essay Selection > Introduction
< Select Another Essay Introduction Next Screen >

Concrete ships: short-lived episode in English shipbuilding

Reproduced by permission of Historic EnglandExperiments in the use of ferro-concrete as a material for shipbuilding gained pace during the early years of the 20th century. During World War I, a shortage of steel plate and skilled labour encouraged the serious evaluation of concrete seacraft.

The Merseyside firm of Hughes & Stirling won an Admiralty contract to supply barges. In 1918 they leased land on the River Ribble in Preston, Lancashire, and constructed four slipways on which to build the vessels. Only one vessel, the 'Cretemanor' (the name is derived from 'concrete'), had been launched when the end of hostilities in 1918 led to the cancellation of the Admiralty contract. The yard continued in use until 1920 when a second vessel, the 'Cretemoor', was launched. By 1923 the venture had failed and the lease was abandoned.

The NMR holds a fascinating photographic collection which provides a detailed record of the construction and launching of the 'Cretemanor'. The same collection also includes photographs of the Concrete Seacraft Co yard at Fiddlers Ferry on the River Mersey.

Story author: English Heritage

Next Screen
< Select Another Essay   Next Screen >