Preparing to launch 'Nicola' at the Southwick shipyard

  • Description

    A young sponsor prepares to launch 'Nicola' at the Southwick shipyard of Austin & Pickersgill, 29 December 1967 (TWAM ref. DT.TUR/2/52036L). This set celebrates the ‘Nicola’, the first in a long line of standard ships designed by the Sunderland shipyard of Austin & Pickersgill Ltd. The images document her construction from October 1967 through to her completion in February 1968. The shipbuilders commissioned the Newcastle-based firm Turners (Photography) Ltd to take weekly progress shots of the ‘Nicola’ and these images have given us a unique view of her development. She was the first SD14 to be completed (the name stands for ‘Shelter Deck 14,000 tons deadweight’) and was designed as a replacement for the surviving ‘Liberty ships’, built by American yards during the Second World War. Those Liberty ships had played a vital role in the Allied victory but by the 1960s they were fast approaching the end of their working lives. The SD14 developed by Austin & Pickersgill met the demand for economic and reliable cargo ships. The simplicity of the design meant that it could be marketed by the shipbuilders at a very competitive price. It’s success is reflected by the fact that over the course of 20 years 211 ships were built to the SD14 design by Austin Pickersgill and its licensees. Sunderland can be very proud of its remarkable shipbuilding and engineering history and the SD14 is one the City’s finest achievements. (Copyright) We're happy for you to share these digital images within the spirit of The Commons. Please cite 'Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums' when reusing. Certain restrictions on high quality reproductions and commercial use of the original physical version apply though; if you're unsure please email
  • Owner

    Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
  • Source

    TWAM (Flickr)
  • License

    What does this mean? No known copyright restrictions
  • Further information

    Resource type: Image
    Last modified: 6 years, 8 months ago
    Viewed: 622 times
    Picture Taken: Unknown
  • Co-Curate tags


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  • James Bryce on Sept. 11, 2023, 10:02 a.m.

    The gentleman on the right is Mr Kenneth Douglas, who was the Managing Director at Austin and Pickersgill's Southwick Shipyard in the 1956 to 1967. He then left and became Managing Director of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders.

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