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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

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Oh Swan Hunters Progress? Yes it did! After nationalisation and we came back into private ownership, I think it went from leaps and bounds under Roger Vaughan and the other guys that took over Peter Vaughan.  I think there was Chapman. The yard had just…they were very good. The training was second to none, although at the time ‘urghh what have I got and go and do this for?! And what have I got to learn this for?!’ But you don’t realise it at the time! And then when we weren’t there by god it all came back to you and stood you in good stead outside the yard and I was quite proud to be trained by Swan Hunters. They came on leaps and bounds after they went back into private ownership.

At the time what did Swan Hunter mean to you?
Well it was my living – you owed them 100% loyalty, in fact 101% loyalty and that’s what you always did – you did you best! You tried to keep the place going. We fought long and hard when we thought it was going down! But how do you fight politics?

And now, what does Swan Hunter mean to you now when you think about it?
Still very proud of the old Swan Hunter – pre ’94 – very, very proud!

Why pre ’94?
Well we don’t believe that after ’94 - after the new owners took over – ’94,’95 or ’96 – they weren’t ship builders! Well it’s proved it!