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Peter Keay & Son


[mid 20th century]

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Administrative /‚Äč Biographical history

Peter Keay began boatbuilding at Daw End Dock which he bought in 1919, this dock was used until the 1930s by when a second dock at Pratts bridge, Walsall was established. He also had a dock at Brookfield Road on the Soho Loop. Peters son Ken became an apprentice at Pratts Bridge in 1929 at the age of 14, initially working as the yard painter progressing to boat builder. The company built and repaired wooden day boats and tugs for private carriers as well as larger concerns such as the Shropshire, Worcestershire & Staffordshire Electric Power Company, later the British Electric Authority. They also converted horse drawn boats into motor tugs and docked iron and steel boats for repair. In 1962 the Keay yard moved from Pratts Bridge to the old Worsey dock a few hundred yards along the canal at Carl Street, Leamore. The yard was still working until the late 1970s.