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Sunderland's famous shipyards once built a quarter of world's vessels
THE North-East's industrial heritage has been remembered on the 25th anniversary of the last shipyard to close in a city.
Sunderland once made a quarter of all of the world's ships from its famous yards, which date back to 1346 on the River Wear.
However, in December 1988, it was revealed North-East Shipbuilders Ltd, and their three Wearside yards, including the North Sands yards, were to close.
The former North Sands yard, which was mothballed in 1988, completed its last order a few years before the closure and almost immediately demolition started.
The last yard to shut was Pallion on December 7, bringing an end to the thriving industry.
That site has since been transformed, with St Peter's campus of the University of Sunderland standing where North Sands once was and the national Glass Museum alongside.
Professor Bernie Callaghan, the university's dean of the faculty of Business and Law, said the shipyards were once the city's lifeblood.
He said: “I remember the ships lined up as they were built, and how, when the yards were closed, it became such an emotional time for the city.
“There were a lot of questions asked when deciding to build the university on the site of the shipyards, as effectively it signalled the end of shipbuilding.
“We tried to reflect the deep heritage of a place that was once the biggest shipbuilding town in the world.
“Shipbuilding is so deeply engrained in this city that we should always remember it.”
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