The Port of Blyth c.1973

Old Photographs of Blyth

Photographs by Peter Loud

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Morgenster, Tall Ships event, Blyth, 2016
Click here to see more of the Tall Ships at Blyth, 2016.

Blyth Harbour, c.1965
Cormain, Lady Charrington, Queensland
In the 1950s & 1960s colliers would be moored three abreast in the harbour.


Hudson Light

Cambois Ferry, c.1975
An anti-climax after the flat, chain ferry.

Here are a couple of photographs from 1894 taken of people who worked on the River Blyth.
They were "Trimmers", the men who levelled the coal that had been "teamed" into holds of colliers.
My thanks & appreciation to the photographer and the guys who preserved the photos.

The Thomas Loud was my great-grandfather, and John Loud his brother.

That guy at the right end of the front row is Thomas Loud, my great-great-grandfather, b.1826.
Since he has a gun & dog instead of a shovel I assume that he was then retired.

I think this photo is from the 1930s. Does anyone have any names of the trimmers?

I guess the map is from 1937, but I'm not sure.

Current movements at the Port of Blyth

In August 2015 I revisted Blyth Harbour, as I wandered around I remembered some photos
of the sailing club moorings that I took about 50 years ago. Here they are.

The harbour had greatly changed by 2015, the main difference is that it wasn't full of colliers, most areas are locked off, perhaps because they are semi-derelict and dangerous, so there wasn't a good place from which to take a photo.
The sailing club still moored there. To show the detail I had to make this a very wide image, so pan right.
To read about my sailing adventure check out, Sailing from Bali to Mauritius.

The Port of Blyth Blockade, early-mid 1970s

Steam Locomotives, 43055, 43117, 43137, North Blyth Engine Shed, c.1965

Way back in around 1965 I had a student friend, an older guy doing a Ph.D., who was into Engine Sheds.
I'd never heard of an engine shed. He was very keen to visit North Blyth Engine shed, so off we went in my little minivan.
While in Cambois we saw the old steam locos being scrapped at Bolcows. Here are my photos.
He had a fancy Rollei TLR camera, and later had a book or two, published on engine sheds.

Steam Locomotives, 43123, 43050, 43063, North Blyth Engine Shed, c.1965

Steam Locomotives, 43100, North Blyth Engine Shed, c.1965

Steam Locomotives being scrapped at Bolcows, Cambois, c.1965

Bates Pit with Blyth Power Station behind it on the north side of the river.

A computer game about the development of Northumberland

Click on the image to download the game.

The History of Blyth

Norman Times to 1869

Click on the image to read or download a .pdf file of the book.

For anyone thinking of reading the book, which I think is fascinating, here is a map of Blyth c,1860 to give you a better picture of Blyth at the time.

The thing that I find interesting in this map is that it shows how the centre of Blyth developed over marshland with a stream, The Gut, running through it.
When I was a kid in Blyth, in the 1950s, floods were common at times of abnormal, but not unusual high tides. Is it still the same?

For more old maps of Blyth, click here.

Now all of my family from Blyth have either moved away in search of work, or have died, so I get few chances to go back and photograph the port. When I do the weather and the tides are never right for photos, or the ships and boats aren't there. However, I made a special trip up there for the Tall Ships event in 2016 and managed to get a few photos. I am disappointed to say that a friend up there has a much better photos than I was able to take. Check out Tom Phillip's photos further down this webpage.

In 2016, Blyth is a base for North Sea oil rig support vessels.

Coal has been replaced by the occasional small container ship, but it hardly ranks as a significant container port.

Normally I do not give links to other websites on my webpages, unless I think they are particularly worthwhile.
This is an exception, Photos of the Port of Blyth by Tom Phillips. Here is a small example.

About 9 months ago a guy contacted me with a query about a concertina. After after exchanging a couple of emails it became apparent, that we were both interested in photography and surprisingly, that he lived near Blyth, the area where I was brought up. Since then we have become great internet friends, although we had never met, (until at the Tall Ships event). Photography became our link. Before retiring he had been a graphics artist and done a bit photography so he had lots of basic artistic skills. I think his photographs are very good. Because I rarely get the chance to get up to Blyth nowadays I think of Tom as my proxy photographer ;-). I created this webpage of his photographs because I think they are so good.

School Photos from Blyth
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Images Copyright Peter Loud, 1964-2017