Memories of the Central Marine Engine Works

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My name is Neil Taylor, born 1939 in West Hartlepool.

I have lived in Perth Western Australia since 1962. First saw the place a couple of years earlier when in the merchant navy (Blue Funnel Line) and decided this was the place to be.

Recently my sister sent me some of your Memory Lane photos from the Mail and the Central Marine Engine Works (CMEW) and William Gray pics in particular tickled the old memory cells.

It occurred to me that some of your readers may be interested in the very few photos I possess of that period (1950s)

Some of the pictures were taken in the boiler shop of CMEW circa 57-58.

The handsome trio in the front row of the picture below are from left Colin Llewellyn, self and Billy Jemmet, the old memory fails me on the rest.

Billy Jemmet and myself joined the Blue Funnel Line together in 1960 but the last time I saw him was at the company hostel in Birkenhead.

I remember the docks in the mid-1950s were full of the mothballed vessels at that time.

While I was working in the drawing office at CMEW there was an almighty bang. A crane had ran over an acetylene bottle on the rails and the resulting explosion caused a chunk of metal to demolish the cab of a small steam crane nearby, killing the unfortunate driver.

My father and grandfather both worked at CMEW as coppersmith and outfitting foreman respectively and I departed as soon as my apprenticeship was complete, it was obvious by then that shipbuilding was doomed in the North East.

Neils Cricket Team.jpg

Neils Cricket Team.jpg

Although I would guess that most of the guys in the photos are no longer with us, some sons or daughters might see a familiar face if you decide to publish.

I nearly forgot the cricket team!

The West Hartlepool Technical School first eleven 1955, yours truly front row on right, opening bat extraordinaire!

Back row second from left, Bob Ogle good all rounder. His dad had the farm in Throston Grange Lane. (long gone)

Once again no names for the others. Picture taken at the Grayfields Oval.

Neil Taylor


Western Australia