The sound of silence...
It was the news Teesside ship yard workers hoped wouldn't come.
With dwindling order books and mounting financial troubles Cammell Laird could hold off the inevitable no longer.
And receivers were called into try and salvage some kind of future for the stricken ship builder.
A year on the South Bank yard has a new owner - but the gates are still closed.
Southampton-based ship builder A&P snapped up Cammell's facilities at Birkenhead, Merseyside, and Hebburn, Tyneside, along with the assets of the South Bank yard, plus an option on its lease after Cammell went bust.
The South Bank site is on land owned by Tees and Hartlepool Port Authority.
The deal scuppered plans by former Cammell boss Eric Welsh to take over at the helm once more and create 150 jobs.
He ran the yard successfully in the 1990s, turning the once derelict site into an operation with a £14m turnover and 500 staff.
There had been fears A&P had no intention of opening the Middlesbrough yard, after it was allegedly stripped of equipment.
But A&P has always insisted it would open the Middlesbrough site.
David Skentelbery, A&P's managing director for ship care and projects, believes the company is still on course to get the yard up and running before the year is out.
"We're making very positive progress," he says.
"It has always been our intention to open the Middlesbrough yard.
"We're having more detailed discussions with the port authority about taking over the lease and with ship owners about bringing work to the area."
Plans are for the yard to re-open by late summer/early autumn.
Initially the yard will open for floating repairs, with a small team of staff based at the yard carrying out repair work for ships at sea. But A&P also want to open the yard's docks and bring ships back into the yard itself.
He adds: "The yard wasn't making money when it closed so clearly we've got to turn things around and see it make money.
"Numbers employed may be small initially but there's a skilled workforce available on Teesside and we'd be looking to grow."
But former workers at the yard believe the site is a long way from seeing a reversal of fortunes.
Stuart Boddy, of Roseworth, a marine fitter for 12 years at Cammell Laird, said he has still not found work since losing his job at the yard.
"Something like 80pc of the workforce has not been employed since the yard closed," said the 58-year-old.
"We were all skilled workers but the average age of staff at the site was 53-55.
"That's a difficult age for anyone to find a new job, but in this industry it's been impossible."
Mr Boddy was one of 900 former Cammell Laird workers who successfully won a £2.5m pay-out from an employment tribunal.
The tribunal ruled the workers - including 107 on Teesside - were not properly consulted when they were made redundant after Cammell Laird went into receivership last April.
The hearing was told some workers received just a few minutes' notice
When Cammell Laird went under last year Middlesbrough's Eric Welsh was the first interested party to put his cards on the table with a firm offer for the Teesside operation.
Mr Welsh's intention has always been to bring ships back into the yard, unlike A&P which will initially use the site as a base for staff to work on ships out at sea.
He has since rejected any possibility of working alongside A&P at the site.
The South Bank-born 67-year-old admits he is still interested in taking over the site himself.
"I've always said we could have the yard up and running in a fortnight. I want to open the dry docks and get ships in there - that's not what A&P want to do," he said.
Mr Welsh still has his own team on stand-by to step in and run the yard.
"So far A&P has not taken on the lease for the yard. So long as the major equipment is left at the site I'd still be interested in taking it on.
"I've got a very experienced team behind me - who are also a lot younger than me!
"I know I could get the place running again."
Mr Welsh initially opened the yard with 27 staff in 1988.
Just two months after opening its doors Mr Welsh - a former Smith's Dock apprentice - was already employing more than 100 workers.
In its first 12 months of operation, Tees Dockyard, handled 42 ships.
Despite a serious car accident in 1988, which restricted the number of hours he could work, Mr Welsh continued to drive the business forward.
By July 1991 the company had temporarily taken over a third dock because of its busy schedule. And with a dozen ships due to come for repair within five weeks, extra space was vital.
Bosses said they were "turning ships round like confetti".
The operation ran successfully, employing hundreds of workers, before being taken over by the Wear Dockyard group in 1997 and finally by Cammell Laird in 1998.
Mr Boddy adds: "When I was working for Eric the yard was like a bus station, ships were often queuing to get in we were so busy.
"Tees Dock had a reputation for getting the job done well and on time."
Shipbuilding and repair has been a feature of the Teesside industrial scene since 1783 when there were three shipyards at Stockton.
A golden age of shipbuilding on the Tees was in the 1860s and 1870s when income from this sector soared from £2,491 to £32,387 a year.
Yards such as Raylton Dixon, Topners, Craig Taylors and Richardson Duck became household names as sons followed fathers into the industry.
In 1907 Smiths Dock and Co, the oldest firm of Tyneside shipbuilders, set up a Teesside operation at South Bank.
In 1912 the Furness Shipbuilding Co set up at Haverton Hill.
By 1930, recession had struck and these were the only two yards still going.
But orders petered out and in 1979 the last 900 workers at the Furness yard were axed.
The end of an era came on October 15, 1986 when the last ship was launched from Smith's Dock.
Some traditions were revived when the former Smith's Dock was reborn as Tees Offshore Base in 1988 and became home to a range of offshore service industry companies including Tees Dockyard, bought out by Cammell Laird in 1998.