T. A. & C. H. Walker: Shipbuilders, Railway and Civil Engineering Contractors (Lightmoor)

Back Order

In December 1879, when civil engineering contractor Thomas A. Walker arrived in Monmouthshire to complete the construction of the Great Western Railway's troubled Severn Railway Tunnel, one of his first tasks was to build the new village of Sudbrook to house his workforce. Walker was already highly respected for his numerous railway projects in the UK and abroad and went on to strengthen his reputation by constructing dock basins at Swansea, Penarth, Barry and Preston, as well as winning the contract for the immense Manchester Ship Canal.

By the time the challenging Severn Tunnel was successfully completed in 1886, Walker had already won a lucrative contract to build new docks in Buenos Aires, Argentina and decided to open a shipyard at Sudbrook to construct the vessels he would need to service the new works. The yard opened in 1888 and over the next 34 years built over 250 steam hopper barges, coasters, tugs, sailing ships and other small vessels for the Walker Company and many other ship owners.

Following T.A. Walker's death in 1889 his extensive business interests passed via his executors to his nephew Charles Hay Walker. C.H. Walker & Co. Ltd was incorporated in 1898 and went on to build more railways, port facilities ranging from a dry dock in Egypt to a dockyard in Bermuda, and even the first railway tunnel through the Andes mountains.

In addition, there were several more South American dock contracts, in connection with which the village of Conchillas had been created in Uruguay to serve the company's stone quarries. It survives to this day as Sudbrook's distant 'twin'.

This carefully-researched and well-illustrated book tells the fascinating story of Sudbrook village, its forgotten shipyard and the many vessels built there, as well as providing the first detailed personal and professional biography of T.A. & C.H. Walker who, despite being two of Britain's foremost civil engineering contractors of their time, have never previously received the recognition they deserve.

T. A. & C. H. Walker: Shipbuilders, Railway and Civil Engineering Contractors provides a comprehensive history of the company and of the projects they were involved in. Well-illustrated throughout with black & white photographs, including many scenes of 19th century construction. Hardback. 248 pages.

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better.