Tyne & Wear Museums homepage

Contact us

Brian Taylor

Brian was born in November 1938 in Cullercoats. His father was a local fisherman and his mother was a cleaner. Brian went to Cullercoats School then aged eleven he went to Linskill High School in North Shields. At the end of 1953, he left school and went to work at Smith Docks.

Brian started working at Swan Hunter after he was made redundant in 1969. He worked at Swan Hunter between March 1970 and December 1994 as a plater and progressed to being a foreman.

Brian talks about his experiences of working at Swan Hunter and also his experience of working abroad in Japan for eight months.

Brian was interviewed by Alex Magin on 19 February 2007. The interview took place at Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum and lasted for 45 minutes.


Brian Taylor's Memories

In order to view this file you need to use the flash player.


Was it dangerous doing the job you were doing?

Yes, Oh yes quite dangerous – there were a lot of people killed! I don’t know if you remember HMS Glasgow? HMS Glasgow blew up alongside during our fittings because an oxygen cylinder hadn’t been disconnected and it had been seeping into the control room and no one really noticed except one guy when he lit a cigarette and it just disappeared! But by then when they realised what it was. Somebody else either struck a light or something and the whole thing went up! It was terrible I think there was about 8 guys killed that day.

What would happen if someone was seriously injured or killed?

First Aid was very good – I must give credit – first aid was very good there. A great set of guys – always training – they used to have a Monday night I think was training night and a lot of ordinary guys used to go get their badges for first aid, so they could help in an emergency y’know. It was very good yeah. Always had good…what we call ambulance room  always well stocked and yeah, very good!