Hawthorn Villas, Wallsend

Hawthorn Villas, Wallsend Green, home of R D Lambie 1940.
Hawthorn Villas, Wallsend Green, home of R D Lambie 1940.

According to a 1958 Wallsend News, Lambie’s was founded in 1870 in Scotland and the brothers from Greenock set up in Wallsend in 1892.

They grew from a three-man operation to one of the largest boat-building yards in the north east.

The 1940 Trade Directory lists Robert D Lambie, boat-builder from Wallsend Quay, residing in Hawthorn Villas on Wallsend Green (pictured).

His son, Morison, joined the firm in 1927 aged 18 and took over its running after his father’s death in 1946.

In 1958 they were granted a licence to build glass-fibre boats and exhibited at the National Boat Show in Olympia.

Their first Yacht, the 30ft four-berth Wanderer class Airedale, based in Scarborough, was to race to the USA in 1969.

Lambie’s was bought out in May 1972 by Ryton Marine Group, shortly afterwards defunct, they were then taken over by Strucprosers of Newcastle and uprooted after 80 years near Willington Gut on the Tyne to Preston Village.

In 1981 a new lifeboat built in conjunction with a Dutch firm was another first for Lambie’s as it was produced, at a cost of £200,000, to withstand extreme heat in oil rig/tanker escapes.

Long serving members of the firm included Jack Thompson, from Park Avenue, who started in 1911, Geordie Booth, of Woodbine Avenue, who worked for more than 52 years from age 14, and Thomas Moody, from High Street East, who joined as a 13-year-old boy and stayed for more than 54 years.

Discover North Tyneside has no photographs of the Lambie’s place of work.

If anyone has further information please ask for Discover North Tyneside at North Shields Customer First Centre on (0191) 6435270 or email discover@northtyneside.gov.uk