A Lincolnshire Shipyard - Burton Upon Stather, by Rodney Clapson
Published privately by the author in 2007, 76 pages. Large A4 size softback (N6119)
From the foreword: This book tells the story of Burton upon Stather shipyard - its growth from a small provincial yard to one known nationally for the quality of the ships built there. it records the story of the Wray family, whose foresight and determination in the planning of their new yard at Burton upon Stather brought them orders from the new shipping companies that had grown up to trade with the rapidly expanding British Empire.
The shipwrights and other craftsmen employed by the Wrays were renowned for their skilIs. In most cases their names only survive in Census records, but several of them moved on and eventually bought their own yards. My great-great-grandfather, Richard Bell Clapson, was a keel-owner, originating in Barton, then moving to Burton upon Stather to a house on the bank of the River Trent at the end of the lane behind the Shipyard Row, where he moored his keel Elizabeth when he was at home. His mother was from the Bell family, another keel and steamship owning family from Gainsborough. The surname Bell was used as a middle name by several generations of the Clapson family. His future daughter-in-law came from the Parkin family, well known keel-owners on the Trent; with these shipping connections there was no shortage of sailing stories in my childhood.
KeeIs were sailed by a crew of two, the skipper and the mate. Richard's eldest son George Clapson was mate. This meant that there was no job on board for the younger son, Robert Bell Clapson; however there was always a demand for apprentice shipwrights at the surviving shipyard at the Stather. At that time Wrays were building their largest seagoing ships. So Robert Bell Clapson became an apprentice at Burton upon Stather shipyard, starting my family's long connection with shipbuilding...
The book is illustrated throughout with several small black and white photographs, maps and tables, and chapters include: Wrays Shipyard The Early Years, The Move to Burton Upon Stather, The Prosperous Years, William Wray 1861-1871, George Morfin Yard Manager, A New Owner Joseph Garside, and The Final Years.
The condition of the book is generally very good. The covers are clean and bright, the spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. There is a very light amount of spine roll along the left hand edge, and an old price printed & small price sticker, both on the rear side cover.