Wallsend Slipway Co and William Boyd

WILLIAM BOYD, a Yorkshireman by birth, first came to Wallsend in 1874, when he was invited to become managing director of the Wallsend Slipway Co.

Under his direction the small shipyard became a major marine engine building concern, erecting the first steel boilers on the Tyne in 1878, and the first triple expansion engines on the Tyne in 1882.

The company began building marine turbines in 1905.

Mr Boyd retired from management at the end of 1911.

He was involved in Wallsend local government from May 1878, when he became a member of the Local Board of Health.

In April of the following year he was elected chairman of the board, and served in that position until 1894, when it was replaced by the new district council, of which he became the first chairman.

In 1901 Wallsend was granted its Charter of Incorporation and became a borough.

Mr Boyd was elected an Alderman and first Mayor of the new council and continued to serve until October 2, 1906, at which time he tendered his resignation.

On Wednesday, June 19, 1907, William Boyd laid the foundation stone for Wallsend's new Town Hall when a Freedom Ceremony was opened for him. By this time he had moved to Cheltenham, where he died in 1919.

In 1903 the borough presented him with this portrait, painted by Ralph Hedley. Apprenticed as a wood carver in Newcastle, Ralph Hedley discovered a talent for painting, and from the 1870s onwards established himself as a popular artist.

He died at Newcastle in 1913.

If anyone has further information ask for Local Studies on (0191) 200 56424 or leave a message at any branch of North Tyneside Libraries.