Thameshaven / Shellhaven

Bill Forster
22nd September 2008, 19:53
My father joined the Eagle Oil tanker, SS SAN FRATERNO, as 6th Engineer at Tilbury in August 1921. He had just completed a four year apprenticeship as a fitter and this was his first ship. He was on the SAN FRATERNO for three years and with Eagle Oil for nine.

By 1921 the Eagle Oil fleet was being managed by Shell. Would I be right in assuming that the Eagle Oil tankers would have discharged their cargo of refined oil at Thameshaven?

From the entry in Wikipaedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shell_Haven

it would seem that Thameshaven and Shellhaven were effectively the same place and had storeage for Shell tankers discharging oil.

Can anybody confirm this?

And provide basic details about Thameshaven in the 1920s?

Or direct me to source of information?

Is its early history covered by histories of Shell?

Bill Forster

Bill Forster
24th September 2008, 15:35
I have had one very helpful private message which has led to an unexpected source of information from the 1970s - Hansard!

SEE: http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/commons/1970/nov/24/canvey-island-fire-safety

But I am still hoping that one of you can confirm that Eagle Oil tankers berthed at THAMESHAVEN in he 1920s to discharge their cargo of oil from Mexico and provide a bit more information about the London end of this trade.

Also, perhaps somebody can tell me where tankers discharged their oil when Thameshaven closed?

Bill

stevecz
29th September 2008, 20:31
Weetman Pearson, (later Viscount Cowdray), founded Cia Mexicana de Petroleo El Aguila SA, (the Mexican Eagle Oil Company) in 1901.
In 1912, Eagle Oil Transport Co. Ltd., London was set up by Weetman Pearson to export "El Aguila" Oil through Anglo Mexican Petroleum Company Ltd.
Shell purchased a controlling interest in the Mexican Eagle Petroleum Company on 02/04/1919. (18/03/1938 Mexican Eagle Petroleum Company (El Aguila), nationalized. Mexican President Lazaro Cardenas nationalized the seventeen foreign-owned oil companies and created Petróleos Mexicanos).
Shell Haven refinery was built in 1920 (a Trumble process plant), the site was adjacent to the Thameshaven plant, however the whole lot was later renamed Shell Haven.

Bill Forster
2nd October 2008, 19:10
This private message from WILCO seems to clarify the relationship between the Shellhaven terminal and oil refinery and Thameshaven - somewhat:

"I think that the correct name for Thameshaven was London & Thameshaven Oil Wharves, commonly known locally as "LATHOL". I am not sure what the position was in the 20's but when I knew the area I think I am correct on saying that Thameshaven purely provided oil storage for various companies whereas the Shellhaven site also encompassed a major refinery. Both ceased to function in the early2000's & are currently being redeveloped as a major container/ bulk handling facility with adjacent industrial park."

I was always in doubt about the exact relationship between EAGLE OIL and SHELL since the Eagle Oil tankers retained their separate identity for many years after Shell assumed responsibility for the fleet.

Bill

wully farquhar
2nd October 2008, 21:14
Joined my first Shell tanker Hemiplecta at Thameshaven Nov.62,think the nearest town was Stanford-le-Hope a few miles up the road

KenLin39
2nd October 2008, 23:05
I loaded petrol on road tankers out of LATHOL in early 70s and Canvey Island comes to mind. Ken.

Michael Parkes
5th October 2008, 13:08
Back in the 1950,s and 60,s I always thought that Thameshaven and Shellhaven were two separate places. I understood that Thameshaven was for storage and Shellhaven was a refinery.

Although I joined ships at these places, my very first tanker was Fred Everards Authenticity, a small coastal tanker carrying refined products and we were next door at Coryton of which I believe is also or was a refinery.

Could somebody enlighten me please.

Ron Stringer
5th October 2008, 17:21
As far as I remember, that was just as you recall it. Coryton was operated for Mobil, not Shell.

Michael Parkes
5th October 2008, 17:38
Cheers Ron

I did know that Coryton was not shell. Is this refinery still operating do you know?

Michael

Michael Parkes
5th October 2008, 19:56
Hi Ron again

BP at the Isle of Grain was across the way. Do you know what the site does now. I thought BP shutdown the refinerey sometime ago

Michael

Ron Stringer
5th October 2008, 21:24
Sorry but my info on the Thames riverside terminals is very out of date. Used to go to Shellhaven when sailing with Shell on the 'San Florentino' in the early 1960s and again whilst working for MIMCo at Chelmsford, visiting ships through to the end of the century. In the 1980s I used to visit the 'Matco Thames' and 'Matco Avon', fitting and monitoring new electronic products that we were evaluating aboard those ships (Clark Marrs was always keen to try anything new as long as we picked up the tab - smart fellow.) They ran out of Coryton to the North Sea offshore loading point. At that time the tanks in Coryton carried the Mobil flying horse symbol.

Always managed to avoid Isle of Grain, both when at sea and ashore. Moderation in all things after all. Shellhaven was far enough from civilisation for me, without going to ridiculous extremes like Grain.

Michael Parkes
6th October 2008, 09:55
Cheers Ron

I was with BP for four years or so and I lived then just outside Rochester but since spending nearly 20 years in the Middle East and finally with United Utilities in the North West, I have lost touch with that part of England I used to call home.

Michael

KenLin39
6th October 2008, 14:40
Hi. Three links below gives an insight on today and yesterday regarding Coryton/Shell Haven and Thames Haven. I also believe that the old Bp area at Grain is also a container port of some size. Have heard of a liquid gas terminal for Bp is also nearby. Ken.

http://www.ukpia.com/industry_information/refining_uk_refineries/refineries/petroplus_coryton_refinery.aspx

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coryton_Refinery

http://www.pla.co.uk/portline.cfm/story/81

Michael Parkes
6th October 2008, 17:19
Thanks for your links.

I know that BP's refinery at Isle of Grain closed sometime ago, so I assume that the former jetties there are noe used for container traffic.

The rail terminal on the line from Hoo Junction is I believe named Thamesport.

Michael

stan mayes
7th October 2008, 12:09
Photos of Isle of Grain site are in today's Gallery.
Stan

Bill Forster
11th October 2008, 19:41
This article in THE TIMES on the 24 November 1927 appears significant.

It is about an MOT enquiry "into the proposal to allow tank vessels laden with petrol to proceed higher up the River Thames than Thameshaven".

Those supporting the proposal included BP and the Anglo-American Petroleum Company.

Those opposing it included mot of the district councils along the river, Cunard, White Star and other passenger liners AND Eagle Oil.

I assume the proposal was rejected hence the large number of oil installations around Thameshaven including Canvey Island, Coryton, Grain, etc.

Does anybody know more?

Bill

KenLin39
11th October 2008, 21:03
This article in THE TIMES on the 24 November 1927 appears significant.

It is about an MOT enquiry "into the proposal to allow tank vessels laden with petrol to proceed higher up the River Thames than Thameshaven".

Those supporting the proposal included BP and the Anglo-American Petroleum Company.

Those opposing it included mot of the district councils along the river, Cunard, White Star and other passenger liners AND Eagle Oil.

I assume the proposal was rejected hence the large number of oil installations around Thameshaven including Canvey Island, Coryton, Grain, etc.

Does anybody know more?

Bill

Hi Bill. There are jetty's upriver from Grays for delivery of petroleum products into storage for road tanker distribution.
Wouldham jetty for GATX.
Matex (Van Omeran)
Purfleet jetty for Esso.
Purfleet jetty for Cory storage.
These sites are used for multiple company's, namely Esso-Total mainline services and others delivering to service stations plus Sainsbury/Tesco/Asda superstores etc. A host of others for heating oils. In 27 years I loaded at all four depots for Total. Ken.

Bill Forster
12th October 2008, 18:40
It's all very confusing ...

Am I right to assume that the import of crude oil to Britain declined as North Sea oil expanded?

And, consequently, refineries were built where the pipelines from the offshore fields came ashore?

And from then onwards most refined oil was distributed by pipelines to sites around the UK (such as the one which led to the Buncefield disaster in Hemel Hempstead a year (or two) back?

And this process helped make Shellhaven redundant?

Bill

MaryK
27th February 2013, 13:16
Surfing the web I came across this site and the question you posted some years ago. I suspect you've already had your answer but just in case .....................................

I was born and bred in Stanford-le-Hope, the oil refineries were a few miles away and provided employment for the majority of locals, including my father.

'Thames Haven', 'Shell' and 'Coryton (Mobile Oil)' were all seperate refineries in thos days and therefore seperate employers. Mobile Oil was built later than the other two.

My father worked for Thames Haven (sometimes referred to locally as the Lathol - but I think that referred to their social club). Thames Haven was taken over by Shell (with all employees then becoming Shell employees), cannot remember when that was but probably during the 1970s

If you hadn't already heard all those, hope it helps
Mary

Hugh Ferguson
27th February 2013, 17:49
I seem to recall that when I started piloting in 1957 the tanker berths started at Canvey Is. then there was Coryton, next was Thameshaven which appeared to evolve into Shellhaven. That occurred about the time Nos. 9 & 10 berths came into operation.

MaryK
27th February 2013, 19:32
I seem to recall that when I started piloting in 1957 the tanker berths started at Canvey Is. then there was Coryton, next was Thameshaven which appeared to evolve into Shellhaven. That occurred about the time Nos. 9 & 10 berths came into operation.

Thames Haven, Shell Haven (Shell oil) and Coryton (Mobile Oil) were definately all separate companies in 1957 and remained so until Shell bought out Thames Haven (I think sometime in the 60s or maybe 70s) It's quite possible that the Thames Haven jetties ran into the Shell ones (without any visable divider) My father worked as a Jetty Man for Thames Haven at the time.

I've tried to remember which one came first, as you sailed up the river, it was quite possibly Coryton (Mobile Oil) because I think that was the last one built. Unless my memory is playing tricks as it seems to do sometimes nowadays, I seem to remember it being built.

I have great affection for Coryton, even though my family had no connection to that refinery. There was always a large flame burning on their site, which could be seen from miles away across the marshes. I moved away to Suffolk in the 60s and after my three children were born that was the signal that we were nearly at Grandma and Grandad's when we travelled down to see them. The journey took sooooo long in those days, no dual carriageways - it took hours. The children always looked out for 'Grandad's fire' as we came down the hill at Basildon, with great shouts of excitement when it was first spotted.

Happy days when children could get so much pleasure from such little things.

A.D.FROST
27th February 2013, 20:00
Just to refresh the memory(Thumb)
33531

MaryK
27th February 2013, 20:50
Just to refresh the memory(Thumb)
33531

Thank you for the map, very kind of you. Yes, it did refresh my memory and I was pleased to see that I wasn't wrong - Coryton did come first as you sailed up the river. Thank goodness for that!

Hugh Ferguson
27th February 2013, 20:58
See here for how they were c.1978. These handy charts were made for pilots to use and were created by Channel Pilot, Ferguson.
(Not me, I was the Inward pilot, he was the Outward one).