9A The History of the Howden

Howdens building on Scotland Street was built to accommodate James Howden and Co. Engineers. Nisbet Sinclaire was the engineer on the build alongside Bryden and Dykes and Robertson as architects. Originally the building consisted of a single storey, two storey attic, mansard roofed with steel frame appeared later. After 1918 the site expanded further. Howdens is one of the last remaining examples of Victorian engineering work in Scotland. The machine that was used to dig out the Channel Tunnel was born here – in the “red-brick” complex.

The company began in 1856 when James Howden set up his own business as a consulting engineer and a registered patent for machine tools where he began experimenting with axial flow fans to force air into the marine engines. Marine parts such as fans, blowers, compressors, turbines and many more was built here. From the early part of 1940, The Howden Factories were used to build Sunderland flying boat hulls. When the war broke out, Scotland Street employed more than 1700 workers. Unfortunately, the complex survived to 1988 and ever since then it had become a mysterious place filled with many unanswered questions as to what the next step would be.

In the present day, the site had been sold and owed by Tiger Developments with an estimate price of £10million. What is going to happen to it …… ?

September 18th 2:05 pm