Formed in 1874 when Charles Hunting purchased the sailing ship Sylvia. In 1891 the company became Hunting and Son and was one of the first to carry bulk oil. The first oil tanker was built in 1893, but also operated cargo vessels until 1925 after which they only owned tankers.
William Souter formed the Sheaf Steam Shipping Co in 1906 in Newcastle. The company initially traded to the Baltic, Mediterranean and Biscay and later to Spain and Morocco. They were also involved in the North Sea collier trade and expanded to world wide tramping between the wars. In 1953 the company branched into tankers and at the end of the 1950s it moved out of deep sea tramping and into the iron ore trade, acquiring bulk carriers from the 1960s. Its subsidiary Bamburgh Shipping Co. Ltd was sold to Ben Line in 1976. The remaining ship management side of the business was taken over by Danish shipbuilders Burmeister & Wain and traded as Souter Hamlet.
The company was formed in 1948 by the amalgamation of the South Metropolitan Gas Co and the Wandsworth and District Gas Co. The fleet supplied coal to the Wandsworth, Vauxhall and East Greenwich Gas Works. Most of the ships were fitted with hinged masts and funnels to enable them to pass under the Thames bridges. However, in 1966 following the discovery of North Sea gas, it was decided to convert the UK to natural gas and by 1971 the entire fleet had been sold.
In 1817 Captain James Robinson purchased the Brig Blessing and thus founded the Stag Line in North Shields. James Robinson died in 1833 and management passed to his widow Grace, who in turn passed it to her son Joseph when she died in 1844.
Although originating in Whitby, Reginald Turnbull and Robert Scott entered ship owning in London in 1882. The company were mostly concerned in tramping work, but also had a steady grain trade from the River Plate. Two owned ships and one managed ship were lost to enemy action in the 1914-18 war.
Robert Dalgliesh commenced business in 1906 when the Dalgliesh Steam Shipping Co was formed in Newcastle. By the start of World War I the company owned three tramp steamers, but all were lost due to enemy action. However several second hand ships were purchased in 1917 and two new ships built the same year. At the end of the war, the company owned five deep sea tramps and two coastal colliers.
In 1885 Walter Runciman purchased the laid up steamer Dudley and formed the South Shields Shipping Co. He operated her until 1891 when she was seized by the Russians as compensation after a collision. In the meantime, he had purchased other second hand ships and in 1889 ordered a new ship. Further new ships followed and in 1897 the company changed its name to Moor Line Ltd.
Britain Steamship Co was formed in London in 1884 by Watts, Ward & Co. In 1896 Mr Ward died and the management was renamed Watts, Watts & Co. The company expanded quickly and by 1914 was operating 20 vessels in worldwide tramping. Fourteen vessels were lost to enemy action during the Great War but by 1920 the fleet was back to the pre war level of 20 ships. The company lost ten ships during the second world war and by 1945 owned only six ships. Edmund Watts died in 1962 and the ships were gradually sold off, the last two in 1967. In 1968 the Britain SS Co was sold to Bibby Line.
Wm France, Fenwick & Co was formed in 1901 by the amalgamation of the fleets of Fenwick, Stobart & Co,
H. C. Pelly & Co and William France & Co. The company’s initial trade was coal from the Wear and Goole to London but this later expanded to Baltic ports, returning with timber.
Many of their ships were requisitioned by the Admiralty during the Great War for use as fleet colliers and six ships were lost to enemy action. During World War II, a further twelve ships were sunk.
In 1946 Coastwise Colliers was formed by W. Cory & Son, Stephenson Clarke and France, Fenwick to charter colliers to the London Electricity Company and several ships were transferred from each partner. This company was managed by France, Fenwick. However, with the nationalisation of the electricity industry in 1948 these ships were returned to their respective owners.
Occasional sailings were also made to Canada to take part in the St. Lawrence coal trade. France, Fenwick also branched into the bulk sugar trade from the West Indies and esparto grass from North Africa as well as general tramping. By 1972 with falling freight rates, the company gradually withdrew from ship owning and the fleet was managed by Houlder Bros until it was sold in 1974 to Jessel Securities finance group.
Hugh Roberts & Son was established in Newcastle in 1874 as the owner of small wooden sailing ships. In 1875 the North Shipping Company was formed when the North Wales was delivered. In 1877 the company took delivery of its first steamship and the sailing fleet was later sold off. By 1888 eight steam tramps were owned but by the end of the Great War in 1918 only one ship survived. The fleet was rebuilt but the Second World War again caused the loss of most of their ships. In 1964 the company and its one remaining ship was sold to Common Brothers of Newcastle.
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