Selby Shipbuilders

There were numerous shipbuilders in Selby, many of whom were listed in various directories such as “Whites Directory” and “Baines Directory”.


John Foster's old shipyard, c. 1855

John Foster’s old shipyard (c. 1855).


Some of the ships built at the John Fosters shipyard included the “Seaton”, launched in June 1807, and the “Jubilee”, launched in October 1808 to commemorate the Jubilee of George III. The shipyard passed on to Samuel Gutteridge, who married John Foster’s daughter Mary. While Gutteridge was owner of the shipyard, at least 60 vessels were constructed onsite. After Gutteridge died, Thomas Green took over the shipyard in 1854; he was followed by James Banks, who took control of the shipyard around 1866; then J. Burton was the owner from 1876-1887, when Selby Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd took over.

Bell from the shipyard which was rung daily to indicate the start and end of each work day.

The bell pictured is from the shipyard, and was rung daily to indicate the start and end of the work day. The Gutteridge Family repurchased the bell in May 1940.




The shipyard while under ownership of Selby Shipbuilding & Engineering/Connel's, c. 1904

The shipyard while it was under the ownership of Selby Shipbuilding & Engineering/Connels’ (c. 1904).


 Cochrane & Sons shipyard, c. 1908. Cochrane & Sons arrived in Selby in 1898, launching "Volta", their first ship, in 1899.


The Cochrane & Sons shipyard closed down in 1993, meaning that the shipyard was open for nearly a century. During this time, hundreds of various types of ships and vessels were constructed in the shipyard. During both World Wars, ocean-going rescue tugs, mine sweepers and other vessels used by armed forces were constructed at the site under the orders of the British Admiralty.
From the 1960s, Stamford Bros operated from the shipyard, and other builders listed in records of the shipyard included T. Tasker and T. Jackson Shipyard.


Empire Vera

Empire Vera, built in 1945 for the Ministry of War Transport.


S.S. Garthope, a cargo vessel, was lost off the coast of Nigeria in March 1910.

S.S. Garthope, a cargo vessel, built 1903. It was lost off the coast of Forcasdos, Nigeria in March 1910 when it caught fire while laden with kerosene.


James Ludford, lost off the Tyne in December 1939.

James Ludford, launched in June 1919, was lost off the Tyne in December 1939 as a result of a German mine laid by a German destroyer, resulting in the death of 17 of the 20 crew members onboard.


Photos from Selby: The Industrial Past – Roland Chilvers.

There is an excellent documentary about Cochranes – see Abbot’s Staith Museum.

1850, 1900, 1950
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Nine photographs
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