MCNULTY’S yard in Shields going into administration has been a hammer blow this week.
Not least because, over and above the local jobs that it represented, it has been a last defiant reminder of the marine industrialisation that used to characterise the riverside here at Shields.
You could, if you tried, quantify what has been lost, but you’d be on forever and a day.
It was why I liked this when it came in recently from our good friend Kevin Blair.
This old receipt looks incredibly quaint to us now, but at the time, it reflected the sheer number of small shipping concerns that there were here, meeting the needs of probably an equal number of ship owners.
It dates from 1870 and it appears that a Mr Leighton, owner of the Perseverance, was being billed for two-by-six of treated timber at three shillings and sixpence per foot and also two barrels of oakum at eight shillings per barrel, also two barrels of pitch at four shillings and sixpence per barrel. A total of £1 1s 3d which, today, would be about £50.
Oakum, of course, was used for caulking, or packing the joints between timbers.