The Eltringham yard was at Stone Quay, High Holborn in South Shields, an area between Mill Dam and Middle Docks.
The name of the quay was so called because it was constructed and used for shipping the limestone from the quarries at Cleadon and Fulwell.
It was in the centre of the western salt-pans in the early 18th Century but by 1773 it seems to have been an empty site.
See map of 1889.
Thomas Toward was an engineer and metal founder at St Peters.
In a directory for 1847 he is described as a "Boiler and Iron Shipbuilder, St Peters, Newcastle and Middle Landing, South Shields."
In the same volume Joseph Eltringham, who came from Prudhoe or Ovingham, appears as a "Boiler and Ship-tank Builder, Middle Landing, South Shields".
Joseph Eltringham married Miss Toward and some time later the two men joined in a business partnership and the Stone Quay works became Messrs Toward and Eltringham.
The company were actually tenants of two premises at this time separated by a small dock, the Metcalf-Moralee Dock, which only allowed workmen to pass from one works to the other across the closed lock gates of the dock.
A son, Joseph Toward Eltringham was born in 1845 and joined the firm after serving an apprenticeship at the Palmers yard.
He was still a young man when he succeeded his father and he raised the business to a prominent position on Tyneside.
He reportedly built seven small craft totalling 217 tons in his first year and despite the occassional trade recession the company made steady progress.
There is also a mention of a WH Eltringham who is named as the builder of 3 tugs (YN 1, 4 & 5) in 1864-6.
Nothing is known about "WH" and we can only assume that he was a relative/brother of "JT".
The tenancy of the Metcalf-Moralee Dock became available and was taken over by Messers JT Eltringham and in 1878 the company bought Stone Quay as part of the reconstruction of the yard.
At about the same time Mr Eltringham took a partner, Mr Durham Walker Fitzgerald and the firm assumed the title of Messrs JT Eltringham and Co.
Many of the vessels built by Eltringham's up to around 1890 would appear to be sub-contract work from JP Rennoldson.
Certainly most of the Clyde Shipping Company tugs were contracted as hull "and engines from Rennoldson".
Eltringham also took on subcontract work from the other major tug builder Hepple.
Eltringham built nearly 160 tugs and a similar number of other vessels at the Stone Quay yard but the business was seriously cramped by the confines of the yard, so plans were made to move.
In 1912 the firm was converted into a public company and land was purchased at Willington Quay.
The new premises were formally opened in February of 1914.
Wartime work included fast patrol boats and a minesweeper for the Admiralty and some small tramp ships.
The company was reconstructed financially in 1919 but the yard closed during the severe recession of 1922.
The Stone Quay and its surroundings were aquired by Middle Dock Engineering Company for the creation of their No 4 dry dock which at the time was the second largest dry dock on the North East coast above the Thames.