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Brigham and Cowan of Hedon Road, ship repairers

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Reference DBBC
Covering dates 1874-1961
Held by Hull History Centre (Hull City Archives)
Extent 9 Series
Conditions of access Open
Creators Brigham and Cowan, Hull, ship repairers; Amos and Smith, Hull, engineers; Hull Central Dry Dock and Engineering Co Ltd, Hull, ship repairers

Administrative history:
Brigham and Cowan
Thomas Brigham and Malcolm Cowan initially founded a ship builders in South Shields in 1876, before starting another site in Hull [Port of Hull Journal 1971 p19]. The first works to be listed in Hull were based at North Bridge Road in 1913. They were ship repairers and marine engineers [Kelly's Directory of Hull 1913 p229 & p622]. A year later they were listed as Brigham & Cowan (Hull) Limited of Dock Office Row, North Bridge Road, with a telephone number of 3034 and a telegraphic address of "Repairs" [Kelly's Directory of Hull 1914 p244]. In 1921 they were using Beaumont Street as well [Kelly's Directory of Hull 1921 p248]. The following year saw them listed as ship repairers, with site on Hedon Road, North Bridge (Dock Office Row) and Beaumont Street, although by 1925 the latter site had been released [Kelly's Directory of Hull 1922 p253 and 1925 p265].
By 1950 they had only the Hedon Road base [Kingston upon Hull Telephone Directory 1950 p9]. In 1953, Brigham & Cowan (Hull) bought Amos & Smith (which had previously taken over Hull Central Dry Dock - see Ref. HAE). These became subsidiaries of Brigham & Cowan Ltd, South Shields, and the parent company [Port of Hull Journal 1971 p19]. 1959 saw the Brigham & Cowan Group merge with the Middle Docks & Engineering Company Ltd of Tyneside to form North East Coast Ship Repairers Ltd [Ibid p22]. 1970 this larger group was taken over by the Court Line [Ibid p22 and Hull Daily Mail 5/1/1970 p-]. There were several more changes of ownership before they became part of the British Shipbuilding Company, in 1975/6. In the 1980s, the BSC was closed down. A new company, called, Brighams, arose from the remnants of the old company, still based at Hedon Road. It took the name Brighams in reference to its heritage.
In 2000 the old Brigham & Cowan (Hull) Company was involved in a court case, where an employee of the company between 1942 and 1954 made a claim as a result of the asbestosis he was suffering [All England Law Reports 19/7/2000].
Mr Brigham lived in the area, possibly buying Welton Hall
Hull Central Dry Dock Company
1889 saw The Hull Central Dry Dock & Engineering Works Limited, listed in the directory as a shipbuilders at Humber Street, Hull. The managing director was Thomas Richardson Humphrey, with William S. Rowson as secretary [Kelly's Directory of Yorkshire (North & East Riding edition) p271]. An entry for 1897 saw a new secretary in place, Charles Hall, [Cooks Directory (Hull) 1897 p338] although confusingly, an entry in 1900 saw Rowson listed as secretary again [Kelly's Directory of Hull 1900 p724]. The following year saw them listed as shipwrights of 1 Humber Street, although the wider version of Kelly listed them as engineers, shipwrights and boilermakers [Kelly's Directory of Hull 1901 p530 and Kelly's Directory of North and East Yorkshire 1901 p356]. 1906 saw the addition of a national and corporation telephone number of 434 with a telegraphic address of "central" [Kelly's Directory of Hull 1906 p289]. By 1919, apart from the addition of additional telephone numbers; there had been no changes.
1925 saw the acquisition of a site at the Alexandra Dock [Kelly's Directory of Hull 1925 p349]. The entry for 1936 saw them still at North Bridge Road, but the proprietors were Amos and Smith Limited [Kingston upon Hull telephone Directory 1936 p483]. The purchasing of Amos & Smith Ltd by Brigham & Cowan (Hull) Ltd in 1953 sees Hull Central coming under their umbrella [Port of Hull Journal 1971 p19] (See documents HAE for further reference.)

DBBC/1 Amos and Smith, engineers: record and reference books
DBBC/2 Amos and Smith, engineers: engineering drainage
DBBC/3 Brigham and Cowan: Lists of fittings for individual engines
DBBC/5 Brigham and Cowan: Smith shop records
DBBC/6 Brigham and Cowan: inventories etc
DBBC/8 Brigham and Cowan: industrial relations
DBBC/13 Brigham and Cowan: numbered series of drawings
DBBC/14 Brigham and Cowan: 'M' series of drawings
DBBC/15 Hull Central Dry Dock and Engineering Co Ltd of Humber Street, ship repairs: photographs

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