North Shipping Company (Hugh Roberts & Son) Newcastle

Caffj
14th February 2012, 18:02
During the 1950's did anyone sail on any ships belonging
to Hugh Roberts & Son? (North Shipping Co,Newcastle)
Would like to hear from you open uo this forum

eldersuk
15th February 2012, 00:58
I sailed on North Shipping's "North Cornwall" after she was sold to NNSL and renamed "Oduduwa". That was in 1958/59.

Derek

Caffj
15th February 2012, 13:30
Hi Derek,
Nice to hear from you. I finished my Apprenticeship on the North Cornwall.
What was she like,(condition wise) with NNSL. When I sailed on her she was
kept in immaculate condition.,people you to remark on it,not a scrap of rust
any where.

eldersuk
16th February 2012, 02:17
Sorry to say she was in pretty poor condition when we took over. Winches knackered and engine room very dirty and generally neglected.
We had a real work out but surprisingly she was one of the happiest ships I ever sailed on, did six West Africa voyages on her.

Deredk

maritiem
19th February 2012, 20:44
North Shipping Co. Ltd.
(Hugh Roberts & Son)
Newcastle
1874-1964

Hugh Roberts originated from North Wales and came to Newcastle in 1874 and established himself as an owner of small wooden sailing ships under the style of Hugh Roberts & Son.
The first new sailing ship built to his order was the wooden brig HUGH ROBERTS completed in October,1875 by Williams at Portmadoc in Hugh's home area of North Wales. Two months later the large fullrigger NORTH WALES was completed at Hull by Humphrey and established the nomenclature of the fleet under the new company North Shipping Co. Ltd.

NORTH BRITAIN (1) of November,1877 was his first steam tramp and her sister NORTH DURHAM came from the same Palmers yard in July, 1880. A third tramp was also delivered that month from the Sunderland yard of Robert Thompson and was the only one not to receive a NORTH name; having been launched for other owners as ORSINO and not renamed. Three more Palmer built tramps NORTH CAMBRIA (1), NORTH ANGLIA (1) and NORTH ERIN joined in 1881/83. However the market was glutted with new tonnage and the six tramps spent much time laid up in the Tyne between 1883/86.
The sailing fleet was sold off and as soon as trade began to move two new tramps were ordered from the Readhead yard at South Shields and completed with triple expansion engines as NORTH FLINT and NORTH GWALIA in late 1888.
The fleet had reached its largest numerical strength ever at eight.

Two were to become marine casualties: NORTH DURHAM was lost in the Bay of Biscay in late 1893 after her cargo of barley had shifted on a voyage from Fiume to Grimsby. ORSINO was wrecked at Grampilieri in Italy on a voyage from Stratoni to Philadelphia in March,1898. NORTH BRITAIN (1) was sold to Italy, NORTH ERIN to Austria and NORTH CAMBRIA (1) to French owners.
At the turn of the century the fleet was down to three tramps NORTH ANGLIA (1), NORTH FLINT and NORTH GWALIA.

The fleet was further reduced to two tramps in 1904 by the sale of NORTH ANGLIA (1) to Japan. Freight rates remained low but Hugh kept faith in tramp shipping and ordered a steamer of 5,000 dwt from Readhead. Delivered in August,1905 she was twice as big as any other tramp he had owned. NORTH GWALIA was sold to B.J. Sutherland but kept her NORTH name until lost by collision off Great Yarmouth in April,1909.
Now freight rates started to rise and profits could be made and a 5,000 dwt tramp was purchased from London owners in 1908 and renamed NORTH BRITAIN (2).
After the sale of the veteran NORTH FLINT to Greeks in 1910 the two large tramps NORTH WALES (1) and NORTH BRITAIN (2) made good profits up to start of World War 1.

Shortly after the outbreak, NORTH WALES (1) left Cardiff with a cargo of coal for Valparaiso and was steaming down the Brazilian coast while the Battle of Coronel was being fought off Chile with the result a victory for Admiral von Spee. Three of his cruisers then entered Valparaiso - the maximum allowed by International Law while the others anchored off the islands outside territorial limits. Cruiser DRESDEN sailed from Valparaiso on 15th November, 1914 and steamed straight into NORTH WALES the following day some 300 miles SW of Valparaiso. The tramp and her cargo of coal were sent to the bottom as the German fleet had plenty of colliers of their own. She was replaced by the last tramp ever owned by Newcastle owner Nelson,Donkin & Co and renamed NORTH CAMBRIA (2) and the Harris & Dixon tramp WAKEFIELD was purchased and renamed NORTH WALES (2). Both were lost:
26.10.1916 NORTH WALES: Torpedoed and sunk off Scilly Isles, 30 lives lost.
1.8.1918 NORTH CAMBRIA: Lost by collision 75 mile W of Ushant on a voyage from New York to La Pallice with railway lines.

NORTH BRITAN (2) was the only survivor but the fleet was brought up to strength by the purchase of BIDEFORD from Tatem in 1919 and became NORTH ANGLIA (2) in 1921. In 1923 orders for two large but not identical tramps were placed with Readhead. Both had well decks up forward and the larger NORTH CORNWALL (1) was completed first in March 1924 with NORTH DEVON (1) following in October using West Country names for the first time. The company traded the four tramps satisfactorily during the 1920s but the depression of the 1930s proved too much for NORTH BRITAIN (2) of 1907 and NORTH ANGLIA (2) of 1910 both spent considerable time laid-up on the Tyne and they were sold to Latvian and Greek owners respectively. The newer pair were kept going until freight rates rose.

An order for a new 7000 dwt tramp was placed with Readhead in 1939 but was still building when war started and was not ready as NORTH BRITAIN (3) until December,1940. Meanwhile NORTH CORNWALL (1) had sailed northwards on her last voyage to load iron ore at Narvik in
April,1940 when the Germans occupied the port and the ship was taken.

The new NORTH BRITAIN (3) was torpedoed and sunk on 5th May,1943 in the North Atlantic in convoy ONS5 outward bound with firebricks from Glasgow to Halifax. Weather conditions were appalling and the convoy became scattered over a wide area. As NORTH BRITAIN struggled to rejoin the convoy 6 miles ahead the brand new German submarine U.707 could not miss the opportunity of a kill, and the new tramp was almost split in two by the force of the explosion and only 11 of her crew of 42 survived. Only NORTH DEVON (1) survived the war, and she had been joined by the standard EMPIRE WYCLIF and EMPIRE ENVOY in 1942 with the former being purchased in 1946 and renamed NORTH ANGLIA (3).

FORT ALBANY and EMPIRE CYPRUS were managed between 1946/48 and then the latter was purchased and renamed NORTH BRITAIN (4). The veteran NORTH DEVON (1) of 1924 was sold to Greeks in 1950 but shortly after her sale she put into the Tyne with a heavy list due to a shift of her timber cargo from Archangel. Her deck cargo for London was soon righted and she was finally broken up in 1960 at Yawata in Japan. FORT BELL was purchased in 1950 while under the management of Maclay & McIntyre Ltd. and renamed NORTH CAMBRIA (3) she was sold to Japan a year later.
The two EMPIRE's were joined by the new 10,121 dwt shelterdecker NORTH CORNWALL (2) in 1954 from Bartrams. She had 5 holds with no. 3 being a deep tank suitable for cargo or water ballast forward of the engine room. She had telescopic topmasts for the Manchester Ship Canal and a total of 12 derricks on her two masts and sets of kingposts, the heaviest being a 30 tonner on the mainmast. She had a Doxford type oil engine giving a speed of 12.5 knots and could easily switch between fuel oil and diesel oil.

An order for a larger 11,450 dwt tramp was then given to the same yard and she was completed as NORTH DEVON (2) in May,1958. Her hull had been redesigned after extensive tank testing and with only a third more power than her earlier sister she achieved 15.65 knots on trials. However she had cost 40% more to build and with running costs of £350/day the big tramp could hardly pay for her depreciation in the bad freight rates.
NORTH CORNWALL (2) was sold to Nigerian Green Line in 1959 and replaced by SCOTTISH TRADER from Trader Navigation Co. Ltd in 1960 and renamed NORTH CAMBRIA (4). This
tramp gave the company no end of bother and was sold after only three years. The 'EMPIRE's were sold off in 1960 and 1962, and in 1964 when only NORTH DEVON (2) was owned an offer was accepted from Common Brothers to purchase the company.
The white N of NORTH DEVON was painted out for the last time and replaced with a white C.

Common Brothers placed the DAGHESTAN (1957) temporarily in 1964 in the North Shipping Co. Ltd. and in 1967 the DAGHESTAN (1960)
In 1968 the name of the North Shipping Co. Ltd. was changed in the Hindustan Steam Shipping Co.

FLEETLIST
Steam & Motor ships

NORTH BRITAIN (1) (1877-1896)
Iron single screw cargo steam ship
O.N. 77061 1,729gt 80.8 x 10.4 meters
C.2 Cyl. by
21.11.1877 launched, 1877 completed by Palmers Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Ltd., Jarrow on Tyne Yard No. 356 as NORTH BRITAIN for H. Roberts & Son, Newcastle. 1896 sold to C. Raggio renamed CHECCHINA. 1899 sold to Commerciale Italiana renamed DIANA. 1910 sold to A. Parodi renamed AVANTI. 22.12.1916 missing probably torpedoed and sunk north off Corunna.

NORTH DURHAM (1880-1893)
Iron single screw cargo steam ship
O.N. 82782 1,890gt 80.9 x 10.8 metres
C.2 Cyl. by
14.7.1880 launched, 8.1880 completed by Palmers Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Ltd., Jarrow on Tyne Yard No. 419 as NORTH DURHAM for H. Roberts & Son, Newcastle. 17.12.1893 passed Peniche and went missing.

ORSINO (1880-1898)
Iron single screw cargo steam ship
O.N. 82797 2,048gt 86.6 x 10.7 metres
C.2 Cyl. by
10.7.1880 launched, 10.1880 completed by R. Thompson & Sons, Southwick Yard No. 103 as ORSINO for H. Roberts & Son, Newcastle. 7.3.1898 wrecked at Grampilieri, Sicily.

NORTH CAMBRIA (1) (1882-1899)
Iron single screw cargo steam ship
O.N. 85100 1,969gt
C.2 Cyl. by
6.12.1881 launched, 1.1882 completed by Palmers Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Ltd., Jarrow on Tyne Yard No. 465 as NORTH CAMBRIA for H. Roberts & Son, Newcastle. 1899 sold to E. Hulin renamed SAINT WANDRILLE 1908 sold to Blas de Otero & Co. renamed GIPUZKOA. 25.1.1910 wrecked Algorta.

NORTH ANGLIA (1) (1883-1905)
Iron single screw cargo steam ship
O.N. 87148 2,081gt
C.2 Cyl. by
9.7.1883 launched, 8.1883 completed by Palmers Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Ltd., Jarrow on Tyne Yard No. 506 as NORTH ANGLIA for H. Roberts & Son, Newcastle. 1905 sold to ? renamed KINJIO MARU. 23.8.1905 sunk in collision off Himejima.

NORTH ERIN (1883-1897)
Iron single screw cargo steam ship
O.N. 89505 2,078gt
C.2 Cyl. by
3.11.1883 launched, 12.1883 completed by Palmers Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Ltd., Jarrow on Tyne Yard No. 520 as NORTH ERIN for H. Roberts & Son, Newcastle. 19.6.1897 damaged by fire 178nm from Tarento and scuttled 20.6.1897.

NORTH FLINT (1888-1910)
Steel single screw cargo steam ship
O.N. 95499 2,171gt, 3,408dwt 88.4x 11.9 metres
T.3 Cyl. by
22.10.1888 launched, 12.1888 completed by John Readhead and Sons, South Shields Yard No. 242 as NORTH FLINT for H. Roberts & Son, Newcastle. 1910 sold to T. Pangalos renamed THEODOROS. 1915 sold to N.K. Stroyberg renamed PAUL PAGH. 1916 sold to V. Egenfeldt Nielsen renamed DANEBROG. 1923 sold to C.E.G. Faber renamed DANIA. 2.1936 broken up at Copenhagen.

NORTH GWALIA (1888-1909)
Steel single screw cargo steam ship
O.N. 95516 2,233gt, 3,408dwt 88.4 x 11.9 metres
T.3 Cyl. by
20.10.1888 launched, 12.1888 completed by John Readhead and Sons, South Shields Yard No. 243 as NORTH GWALIA for H. Roberts & Son, Newcastle. 25.4.1909 sunk in collision off Great Yarmouth.

NORTH WALES (2) (1905-1914)
Steel single screw cargo steam ship
O.N. 122825 3,691gt, 6,268dwt 105.8 x 15.0 metres
T.3 Cyl. by
19.6.1905 launched, 8.1905 completed by John Readhead and Sons, South Shields Yard No. 386 as NORTH WALES for H. Roberts & Son, Newcastle. 16.11.1914 sunk by German cruiser Dresden 360nm SWx 0.25W from Valparaiso.

NORTH BRITAIN (2) (1909-1932)
Steel single screw cargo steam ship
O.N. 125631 3,676gt 105.6 x 15.5 metres
T.3 Cyl. by
24.9.1907 launched, 10.1907 completed by Bartram & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Yard No. 209 as BALTIC EXCHANGE for A. Low, Son & Carter, London. 1909 sold to H. Roberts & Son, Newcastle renamed NORTH BRITAIN. 1932 sold to Latvian Shipping Co. renamed ARIJA. 1941 seized by Germans renamed WARTHELAND. 12.12.1944 bombed and sunk at Daviken, Nordfjord.

NORTH CAMBRIA (2) (1915-1918)
Steel single screw cargo steam ship
O.N. 125636 3,577gt 348.5 x 49.5 feet (106.2 x 15.1 metres)
T.3 Cyl. by Richardson Westgarth & Company, Middleton, Hartlepool
28.8.1907 launched, 10.1907 completed by Furness, Withy & Co. Ltd., Middleton, West Hartlepool Yard No. 305 as CALCUTTA for s.s. Calcutta Co. Ltd. (Nelson, Donkin & Co.), London. 1915 sold to H. Roberts & Son, Newcastle renamed NORTH CAMBRIA. 1.8.1918 sunk in collision on passage New York for La Pallice with railway material.

NORTH WALES (3) (1915-1916)
Steel single screw cargo steam ship
O.N. 129056 4,072gt 96.2 x 15.5 metres
T.3 Cyl. by
27.10.1909 launched, 12.1909 completed by J.L. Thompson & Sons, Sunderland Yard No. 469 as WAKEFIELD for Harris & Dixon, London. 1915 sold to H. Roberts & Son, Newcastle renamed NORTH WALES. 26.10.1916 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine off Scilly Isles, 30 lives lost.

NORTH ANGLIA (2) (1922-1933)
Steel single screw cargo steam ship
O.N. 128512 3,562gt 362.3 x 51 feet (110.4 x 15.5 metres)
T.3 Cyl. by North East Marine Engineering, Sunderland
24.5.1910 launched, 7.1910 completed by Craig, Taylor & Co., Stockton on Tees Yard No. 135 as BIDEFORD for Tatem Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. (W. J. Tatem & Co.), Cardiff. 1918 transferred to Atlantic Shipping & Trading Co. Ltd. (W. J. Tatem & Co.), Cardiff. 1922 sold to North Shipping Co. Ltd. (H. Roberts & Son), Newcastle renamed NORTH ANGLIA. 1933 sold to M. A. Embiricos, Andros, Greece renamed CORINTHIAKOS. 20.11.1942 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.181 when 56 miles ESE of Inhace Light (25.42S 33.27E) on passage Lourenço Marques for Aden with coal.

NORTH CORNWALL (1) (1924-1940)
Steel single screw cargo steam ship
O.N. 148058 4,304gt, 7,710dwt 116.1 x 15.9 metres
T.3 Cyl. by John Readhead and Sons Ltd., South Shields
21.2.1924 launched, 3.1924 completed by John Readhead and Sons Ltd., South Shields Yard No. 474 as NORTH CORNWALL for North Shipping Co. Ltd. (H. Roberts & Son), Newcastle. 15.4.1940 scuttled at Narvik.

NORTH DEVON (1) (1924-1950)
Steel single screw cargo steam ship
O.N. 148096 3,658gt, 6,510dwt 109.7 x 15.2 metres
T.3 Cyl. by John Readhead and Sons Ltd., South Shields
1.9.1924 launched, 10.1924 completed by John Readhead and Sons Ltd., South Shields Yard No. 477 as NORTH DEVON for North Shipping Co. Ltd. (H. Roberts & Son), Newcastle. 1950 sold to G.D. Chalkias renamed AGHIOS SPYRIDON. 1952 sold to Apostolpaul renamed THEOFOROS. 1956 sold to Potamianos Bros renamed LENKO. 1958 sold to Sapap renamed AIS GIANNIS. 15.5.1960 broken up at Yawata.

NORTH BRITAIN (3) (1940-1943)
Steel single screw cargo steam ship
O.N. 165801 4,635gt 123.6 x 16.3 metres
T.3 Cyl. by North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. Ltd., Newcastle
16.9.1940 launched, 11.1940 completed by John Readhead and Sons Ltd., South Shields Yard No. 519 as NORTH BRITAIN for North Shipping Co. Ltd. (H. Roberts & Son), Newcastle. 5.5.1943 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.707 on voyage Glasgow to Halifax with firebricks and fireclay, 34 lives lost.

NORTH ANGLIA (3) (1946-1960)
Steel single screw cargo steam ship
O.N. 168923 6,966gt, 10,214dwt 134.1 x 17.4 metres
T.3 Cyl. by North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. Ltd., Newcastle
28.7.1941 launched, 9.1941 completed by Short Bros., Sunderland Yard No. 467 as EMPIRE WYCLIF for Ministry of War Transport, managed by Dene Shipping Co. 1942 managed by Hugh Roberts & Son. 1946 sold to North Shipping Co. Ltd. (H. Roberts & Son), Newcastle renamed NORTH ANGLIA. 1960 sold to Mariner Shipping Co., Hong Kong renamed HAPPY MARINER. 1962 sold to Ideal Shipping Co, Hong Kong. 1965 sold to Isis Shipping Co., Nassau. 1966 sold to Vanguard Shipping Co., Hong Kong. 1.2.1967 broken up at Hirohata.

NORTH BRITAIN (4) (1948-1962)
Steel single screw cargo steam ship
O.N. 169523 7,200gt, 10,000dwt 136.5 x 17.1 metres
T.3 Cyl. by Duncan Stewart & Co. Ltd., Glasgow
18.4.1945 launched, 18.6.1945 completed by Lithgows Ltd., Port Glasgow Yard No. 1005 as EMPIRE CYPRUS for Ministry of War Transport (managed by Charlton, McAllum & Co.). 1947 managed by Hugh Roberts & Son. 1948 sold to North Shipping Co. Ltd. (H. Roberts & Son), Newcastle renamed NORTH BRITAIN. 1962 sold to United China Shipping, Hong Kong renamed JESSELTON BAY. 2.4.196 broken up at Kaohsiung.

NORTH CAMBRIA (3) (1950-1951)
Steel single screw cargo steam ship
O.N. 169580 7,127gt, 10.330dwt 134.6 x 17.4 metres
T.3 Cyl. by John Inglis Co. Ltd., Toronto
8.6.1943 completed by Burrard Dry Dock Co. Ltd., North Vancouver, BC Yard No. 148 as FORT BELL for Canadian Government transferred to Ministry of War Transport manager Dene Shiping Co. Ltd., London. 1950 sold to North Shipping Co. Ltd. (H. Roberts & Son), Newcastle renamed NORTH CAMBRIA. 1951 sold to Nihonkai Kisen K.K., Tokyo renamed CANADA MARU. 1965 sold to T. Takebayashi, Tokyo renamed TENYO MARU. 1965 sold to Asahi Kaiun KK, Osaka renamed ASAHI MARU. 2.1969 broken up at Sakaide.

NORTH CORNWALL (2) (1954-1959)
Steel single screw cargo motor ship
O.N. 169264 5,571gt 138.5 x 17.9 metres
Oil engine by North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. Ltd., Newcastle
18.5.1954 launched, 9.1954 completed by Bartram & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Yard No. 344 as NORTH CORNWALL for North Shipping Co. Ltd. (H. Roberts & Son), Newcastle. 1959 sold to Nigerian National Line Ltd., Lagos renamed ODUDUWA. 1974 sold to Castrenza Cia Naviera SA renamed NANINA. 1977 sold to Stravon Cia Naviera SA renamed ANASTASIA V. 28.4.1979 broken up at Sevilla.

NORTH DEVON (2) (1958-1967)
Steel single screw cargo motor ship
O.N. 186875 IMO 5256862 7,905gt, 11,450dwt 140.2 x 18.3 metres
Oil engine by North Eastern Marine Engineering Co. Ltd., Newcastle
21.1.1958 launched, 13.5.1958 completed by Bartram & Sons Ltd., Sunderland Yard No. 367 as NORTH DEVON for North Shipping Co. Ltd. (H. Roberts & Son), Newcastle. 1964 company sold to Common Bros.1967 sold to Argo Cia Naviera SA, Monrovia, Liberia renamed ARMONIKOS. 1971 sold to Armonikos Shipping Co. Ltd., Famagusta, Cyprus. 1977 sold to Dashwood Shipping Co. SA, Piraeus, Greece renamed PANAGIS S. 11.10.1978 damaged by fire at Drapetzona. 19.6.1979 broken up at Split.

NORTH CAMBRIA (4) (1960-1963)
Steel single screw cargo motor ship
182924 7,328gt 10,300dwt 454 x 58.3 x 25.5 feet (138.6 x 17.8 metres)
4 Cyl. Doxford Oil 2SA by D. Rowan & Co. Ltd., Glasgow
21.10.1948 launched, 12.1948 completed by Lithgows Ltd., Port Glasgow Yard No. 1038 as SCOTTISH TRADER for Trader Navigation Company (Bunge & Co. ), London. 1960 sold to North Shipping Co. Ltd. (H. Roberts & Son), Newcastle renamed NORTH CAMBRIA. 1963 sold to A. Vergottis renamed BANNERCLIFF. 1970 sold to S.A. Daifas renamed SILVER COAST. 1973 sold to D. Kalkassinas renamed GRANIKOS. 13.10.1973 damaged by fire and explosion at Nuevitas, beached and scrapped at Santander.

Sources:
Miramar
Travel of the Tramps, twenty Tramp fleets Vol. II, N.L. Middlemiss, Shield Publication, 1991

Caffj
20th February 2012, 15:22
Hi Maritiem re North Shipping Co. Many thanks for you input.Very interesting.
Puts the final touches to what I found out on the mariners-list.com.
Strange isn't it. I was a slave,(sorry Indentured Apprentice ) for 4 hard years
and never knew anything about the history of the Company.
Regards Caffj