While CTruk’s hometown of Brightlingsea has operated a dry dock since the 1560s, it was the burgeoning fish and oyster markets of London that really kickstarted the local shipbuilding industry.
In the mid 19th century, the town’s fishing fleet expanded to around 200 vessels and the Aldous shipyard became the town’s largest builder. It continued to expand during the Second World War, when more than 650 workers were involved in the construction of landing craft, motor torpedo boats, harbour launches and airborne lifeboats for the RAF. Sadly, in 1962, after 129 years in business, the yard was forced to close - but the town’s enterprising maritime spirit was reawakened in 2010 when it became the home of CTruk’s chief production facility.
In our first five years of operation, we have produced 30 multi-purpose offshore workboats from the site of the historic Aldous shipyard - and we have also now opened a second plant at nearby Colchester, with direct access to the water, higher capacity craning and greater room for expansion. The result is a company in touch with tradition but driven by modernity – building larger composite workboats for complex offshore duties; educating the next generation of boat builders; and diversifying into multiple marine sectors.
Images courtesy of Brightlingsea Museum.