Central Electricity Generating Board

Central Electricity Generating Board Shipping

Formed in 1948 by the nationalisation and amalgamation of the fleets of London Power Co, Fulham Borough Council and Brighton Corporation to supply coal from the coalfields to U.K. power stations. The fleet was operated under the management of Stephenson Clarke Ltd. The company began life as the British Electricity Authority, but in 1954 became the Central Electricity Authority and in 1958 was again renamed as the Central Electricity Generating Board. The fleet declined in size during the 1970s due to the change to oil powered generating stations and in 1983 management of the CEGB fleet was taken over by Salvesen of Leith. By 1999 only two ships remained in the fleet to supply coal from Holland to Kingsnorth Power Station.


R.Chapman & Son, Newcastle.

R.Chapman & Son, Newcastle

The company was formed as Chapman & Miller in 1878 by the Newcastle sailing ship owners Ralph Chapman and Thomas Miller. In 1896 the partnership was dissolved and the company name was changed to R. Chapman & Son.


Common Bros / Hindustan Steam Shipping Co / Newcastle

Common Bros, Hindustan Steam Shipping Co, Newcastle

Formed in Sunderland in 1893 by Captain Squance and Francis Common. Capt. Squance retired in 1903 and Francis Common died leaving the management of the company to his son Francis Walford Common. In 1906 the company moved to Newcastle and in 1907 the firm of Common Bros was set up by Francis, Brian and Laurence Common. A large part of their business was the grain trade from the Black Sea, but with the closure of the Dardanelles in WWI, the company turned to Canada for cargoes. In 1921 Common’s obtained their first tanker, but continued in the tramping business. The subsidiary Northumbrian Shipping Co was set up in 1924. In 1939 the company owned 13 ships but lost 10 of them due to enemy action.


Constantine Shipping Co, Middlesbrough

Constantine Shipping Co

Formed in 1885 with the purchase of the Norwegian Barque Homewood which continued to sail under Norwegian registry together with the Norwood. In 1891 the company purchased their first steamship Toftwood and also registered her under the Norwegian flag. After 1897 with the purchase of Riftswood, all ships were registered in Middlesbrough.


Counties Ship Management, London

Counties Ship Management, London

Founded in 1934 in London by Rethymnis and Kulukundis as single ship companies named after English counties, they were combined in 1937 to form Counties Ship Management Co. At the outbreak of war in 1939 the company owned six tramp steamers and had more ships built in the war years.
However, eleven ships were lost to enemy action and in 1945 only four ships were handed back by the MOWT. Compensation money allowed fourteen wartime built ships to be purchased and by 1950 the company owned eighteen deep sea tramps.

In the 1960s the number of ships owned was gradually reduced and the last few were scrapped in 1968 and the company wound up when the London & Overseas Freighters Ltd had been formed to operate modern cargo and bulk carriers.


Court Line / Haldin & Philipps, London

Court Line / Haldin & Philipps

Court Line was formed in London in 1905 by Philip Haldinstein with the purchase of one tramp steamer. By 1908 with the improvement in freight rates, more ships were ordered. During the Great War, Philip changed his name to Haldin, due to the public backlash against German sounding names. In the 1920s the fleet expanded quickly and by 1926 owned 26 ships. Laurence Philipps joined the company in 1929 to form Haldin & Philipps until 1948 when he retired and the company reverted to Haldin & Co.

Most of the fleet was laid up in the depression of the 1930s. At the outbreak of WWII, 24 ships were owned, but 13 of these were lost to enemy action. After the war, a rebuilding programme was instituted, but by 1957 with a severe drop in freight rates, the building programme stopped and several of the older ships were sold. The company then entered the bulk carrier and tanker trade, but by then Court Line had diversified away from shipping, notably into airlines, shipbuilding and ship repairing. These activities brought large cash flow problems and in 1974 the company went into liquidation and the remaining ships were sold.


Bolton Steam Shipping Co Ltd (F. Bolton & Co), London

Bolton Steam Shipping Co Ltd

Frederic Bolton formed a partnership with Louis T. Bartholomew in 1884 and they ordered a tramp steamer. More ships swiftly followed and in 1887 they formed the Bolton Steam Shipping Co Ltd. The company traded mostly to the Middle and Far East. In 1917 Sir Frederic Bolton retired and the company went into voluntary liquidation but in 1921 the company was restarted with two second hand tramps by Louis Bolton and family.

Trade then expanded world wide and in 1941 acquired the capital of Glover Bros. In 1956, the first of four ore carriers was delivered and in 1965 the company entered the bulk carrier trade. However, due to mounting debts, Bolton Steam Shipping Co was sold to the American Nosira Shipping in 1982.


Eagle Oil Co London.

Eagle Oil Company

The company was formed in 1912 to transport oil, mostly from Mexico to the U.K. and to South America. In 1913 the San Fraterno when launched was the largest tanker in the world. During the Great War, the company lost five ships, but placed orders for twenty new ships immediately after the end of hostilities.


George Pyman, West Hartlepool

George Pyman, West Hartlepool

George Pyman was a ship chandler and in about 1854 went into partnership with Thomas Scurr in West Hartlepool. He was also in partnership with his brother-in-law Francis English and they owned several collier brigs. Thomas Scurr died in 1861 and George Pyman continued to run the company. In 1865 Pyman’s launched their first steamship and gradually disposed of their sailing brigs.


Kaye, Son & Co

Kaye, Son Shipowning Company

Frederick Kaye entered shipowning in London in 1912 when he formed the Chasehill Steamship Co and purchased the Chasehill and later the Chase Manor. The majority of his trade was to the River Plate, although general tramping was maintained. By the outbreak of the Great War, the company owned only one ship but this was captured by a German cruiser, her coal cargo removed and being heavily damaged, she was released and made her way to Pernambuco. She was then sold and the company wound up.

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