Lloyd’s Hailing Station, at North Shields, closed on Tuesday, September 30, 1969, after recording the movements of Tyne shipping for 68 years.
A gradual reduction in the number of subscribers to Lloyd’s and increasing costs, forced the organisation to close the station.
The station had to be written off in March 1960 after being badly damaged when the 11,000 gross ton Norwegian oil tanker Hoegh Spear crashed into it.
Reconstruction work was carried out by J.G. Thompson & Sons, South Shields who had to rebuild two dolphins – one for the station itself, the other for the navigation lights – a jetty, and a sewer, all of which were damaged in the crash.
During reconstruction, the staff operated from temporary accommodation, first at the Harbour Master’s office and then at North Shields fish quay.
The five men who operated the station were: Charles Wilson, Signalmaster, of Wallsend Road, Sydney Lyons of South Shields, Ken Olsen of Solway Avenue, William Davison of West Avenue and Harry Woolston of Park Avenue.
The hailing station was the last of its kind to be operated by Lloyd’s and Mr Wilson was the last signal-master in the employ of the Corporation, and on October 9, 1969, he was awarded Lloyd’s Silver Medal for services to the Corporation.
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