1800 – Sunderland shipwrights ‘make’ ships

This year, a Sunderland shipwright is recorded as making a small ship in his own time on the village green at Bishopwearmouth before towing it to Southwick a mile away. According to the historian, William Fordyce, writing in 1857, it was about this time that Sunderland shipbuilders could either build or make ships), make of course, would be ‘mack’ in the local dialect). Fordyce, who gives more than one example of such an enterprise, notes that the making of ships in this age of wooden sailing ships came to be a derisory comment in reference to Sunderland shipbuilding.

1800 – Gateshead Fell a home to muggers

Gateshead Fell is described as a wild uninhabited heath studded with “miserable huts” and cottages occupied by muggers, cloggers and tinkers. The danger of crime and pickpocketing on this important but barren upland part of a north south route of the London turnpike road was accentuated by the presence of a gang of criminals called the Gateshead Fell Bishop Auckland gang of which prominent members seem to have been a family called Clark.

North East England History and Culture