Richardsons Westgarth & Company

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Richardsons Westgarth & Company
Industry Marine engineering
Fate Acquired
Successor Klöckner
Founded 1832
Defunct 2000
Headquarters Hartlepool, UK

Richardsons Westgarth & Company was a leading British shipbuilding and marine engineering business. The Company was based in Hartlepool and was a major employer in the area.


The Company was established in 1832 by Thomas Richardson as a marine engineering concern based in Hartlepool under the name of T Richardson & Sons.[1] In 1900 it merged with Sir C. Furness Westgarth and Company of Middlesbrough and W. Allen and Company of Sunderland to form Richardsons Westgarth.[2] As part of the merger Furness Withy, a shipping business, took a controlling interest in the Company.[3]

From 1840 to 1857, products included steam locomotives.[4] The Company was at the forefront of the development of steam engines and diesel engines for large ships throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.[5] It built engines for many ships including SS Empire Amethyst. In 1927, the company began manufacturing Brown Boveri designed turbo-alternators under licence.[6] It acquired the firm of George Clark in Sunderland in 1938.[2] In 1962 its marine activities were merged with that of Weir Group[7] and it began focussing on engineering for power stations such as Trawsfynydd[8] and Dungeness B. It ceased operations in Hartlepool in 1982.[2]

The Company then diversified into steel processing and was acquired by Klöckner, one of the world's largest steel stockholders, in 2000.[9]


  1. ^ Port Cities: T. Richardson
  2. ^ a b c Port Cities: Richardsons Westgarth
  3. ^ Christopher Furness, Obituary The Times, 11 November 1912
  4. ^ "T. Richardson and Sons". Graces Guide. 2015-07-22. Retrieved 2017-09-23. 
  5. ^ British Marine Industry and the Diesel Engine
  6. ^ "Richardsons, Westgarth's Swiss Deal.". Dundee Courier. British Newspaper Archive. 22 July 1927. p. 2.  (subscription required)
  7. ^ VWS Westgarth: History
  8. ^ Nuclear Power Plants in the UK - Scotland and Wales
  9. ^ Klöckner & Co expands business in the UK

Further reading[edit]

  • A History of Thomas Richardson & Sons and Richardsons Westgarth 1832-1994, Printability Publishing, 1994, ISBN 978-0-9501306-6-8