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Ship firm’s archives to be made public

A NORTH Yorkshire town’s illustrious shipbuilding past, which dates back to the 15th century and led to it becoming a supplier to the military during the First and Second World Wars, is to be celebrated with a trawl through the archives.

North Yorkshire County Council’s record office has been awarded a grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to open up the archive of Cochrane & Sons, shipbuilders of Selby as part of the project called Trawling through Time which will be fully under way next year.

Cochranes played a vital part in Selby’s industrial history from 1898, before the closure of the boatyard in 1992 with the loss of 500 jobs ended the century-old tradition of shipbuilding in the town.

It was one of the most significant employers in the region and an important supplier of vessels to the Admiralty as well as building trawlers and coasters, tugs, oil rig supply vessels, coastal tankers and ferries.

The new £50,000 project will allow full access to the archive for the first time as well as celebrating Selby’s shipbuilding past through a series of outreach and educational events involving schools, colleges, former employees and residents.

Councillor Chris Metcalfe, executive member for the county record office, said: “Shipbuilding was a crucial part of Selby life for generations.

“This generous grant will enable us to celebrate this proud tradition and to capture direct memories of the industry before it is too late.”

Fiona Spiers, head of HLF, Yorkshire and the Humber said: “Saving our historic archives is important as they provide a valuable resource for anyone who wants to explore their past.”

 

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