General Interest, History
L WILLIAM DOXFORD AND SONS LTD
Shipbuilders and Engineers of Sunderland
by Patricia Richardson
This book recounts the full story of these famous shipbuilders and mariner engineers on the River Wear. William Doxford built his first wooden ship in 1837 and moved to Pallion 20 years later. He bought his four sons into partnership and diversified into marine engineering. With the innovative ‘Turret Ship’, the business became a leading enterprise on the UK’s North East Coast.
The book chronicles the notorious takeover in 1919 and how the two surviving Doxford brothers stayed with the company and steered it successfully through two inter-war economic depressions. They introduced the opposed piston marine oil engine and the Doxford standard economy cargo ship that became an icon of WWII. The story follows the later management, workforce, ships and engines through post-war boom and bust until the nationalised company’s final closure in 1988. The author, who is married to a descendant of William Doxford is a member of the Sunderland Antiquarian Society, the World Ship Society and the Doxford Engine Friends association and has created a fine, wellresearched book that tells the fascinating story of this renowned British shipbuilding and marine engineering company.
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