Sheaf Steam Shipping Company (Souters?) - Ships Nostalgia
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Sheaf Steam Shipping Company (Souters?)

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  #1  
Old 14th August 2006, 13:12
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Sheaf Steam Shipping Company (Souters?)

Anyone out there who sailed with this company and can remember what the house flag looked like. I am trying to identify a flag which is currently on display in the dining hall of Bearwood College (formerly the Royal Merchant Navy School, Bearwood). The NMM does have a photo of a very similar flag, but I need to be sure that there were variations on a theme! At the same time, as alumni correspondent of the Old Royals (ex pupils association) I would love to make contact with anyone who was educated at the school, or has news of someone. Most boys from the school in the 30s, 40s and 50s followed their fathers into the Merchant Navy and I am sure there must be some of them online who regularly browse your very good site, as I do.
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  #2  
Old 14th August 2006, 13:27
Peter4447 Peter4447 is offline  
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Blue with a yellow sheaf of wheat in the centre. (Sheaf SS Co). Still very much in existance but now under the name of OSG. American owned but UK Head Office still in Newcastle and one of the largest tanker operators although all sail FOC with Filipino crews.
Peter4447
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  #3  
Old 14th August 2006, 13:29
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Type Sheaf Steam Shipping in to your search engine. Google comes up with a number of sites showing house flags - different sites give variants of the Sheaf house flag.
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  #4  
Old 14th August 2006, 14:14
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See my photo of "Sheaf Field" on here, she shows the funnel sheaf and colours.Ignore the rubbish representation shown at the NMM site.The flag was simply the sheaf,in a yellow colour, on a plain light/mid-blue background.I sailed for 13 yrs with Souters/Sheaf steam-- if you care to email me a pic of the flag,i can tell you whether it is Sheaf steam or not.Regards.
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  #5  
Old 14th August 2006, 14:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearwood
Anyone out there who sailed with this company and can remember what the house flag looked like. I am trying to identify a flag which is currently on display in the dining hall of Bearwood College (formerly the Royal Merchant Navy School, Bearwood). The NMM does have a photo of a very similar flag, but I need to be sure that there were variations on a theme! At the same time, as alumni correspondent of the Old Royals (ex pupils association) I would love to make contact with anyone who was educated at the school, or has news of someone. Most boys from the school in the 30s, 40s and 50s followed their fathers into the Merchant Navy and I am sure there must be some of them online who regularly browse your very good site, as I do.
Bearwood

Please find Souters House Flag
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  #6  
Old 14th August 2006, 15:19
Peter4447 Peter4447 is offline  
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Hi John
Although now OSG I had to deal with the Company a couple of years ago when, sadly, one of their masters was tragically killed whilst the ship was off Brixham. Found them to be absolutely first-class, they even asked me to do a little service on the anniversary this year, so that they could send photos back to the families in the Philippines.
Regards
Peter4447
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  #7  
Old 14th August 2006, 22:39
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Sheaf Steam Shipping Company

Thanks everyone for your interest. John has been most helpful as has Peter but in a way the waters are now even muddier! However, domiciled in Cullercoats means I can take a trip to Newcastle - the Discovery Museum - and see what they have in the archives about Sheaf Steam Shipping.
Sylvia
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  #8  
Old 14th August 2006, 22:43
Peter4447 Peter4447 is offline  
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Hi Sylvia
When I mentioned that the Company is still in existance although operating under the name OSG, as you are local to the area it may well be worth you contacting them. The office staff are very helpful and may well be able to assist your quest further.
Regards
Peter4447
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  #9  
Old 14th August 2006, 22:48
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Sylvia
This may help

The company was founded by W. A. Souter in 1906 and named after the Sheaf River that ran through his home city of Sheffield, although the company was based in Newcastle. Starting out in the Baltic, Biscay and Mediterranean trades the company operated in both deep sea tramping and the North East coal trade between the wars. The company suffered heavy losses during the Second World War. 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."


Variant flags
An image from the website of the National Maritime Museum, shows an example of the house flag of Sheaf Steam Shipping Co. Ltd., Newcastle-on-Tyne. A rectangular pale blue flag with a coloured wheat sheaf in the centre. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. The sheaf is printed.

The colouring of the wheat sheaf [on the NMM flag] is unusual seeing that all the regular sources refer to the emblem as being yellow. Possibly the fact that the NMM note the emblem as being printed on may mean something.


Lloyds (1912) show a green flag with the yellow wheat sheaf under the name of W.A. Souter & Co, with Talbot-Booth (1936) giving the 1906 formation date for the one ship company Sheaf Steam Shipping Co. which in 1914 was merged with an associate company to form the Sheaf Steam Shipping Co. Ltd. Brown (Wedge 1926) onwards then show the field as blue with Talbot-Booth stating that the flag was square. According to Ben Line Steamers website history both Sheaf and its subsidiary Bamburgh Shipping were sold to them in 1976, the ship management side which became Souter Hamlet changed in 1981 to Souter Shipping Ltd. and since 2001 has been OSG Ship Management (UK) Ltd., a subsidiary of the American company Overseas Shipholding Group Inc. We knew this Company as MOC.
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Last edited by gdynia; 14th August 2006 at 22:54..
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  #10  
Old 15th August 2006, 10:56
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Sheaf Steamship Company flag

Thanks for your reply Gnydia. It might be (as one ex mariner has suggested) that the 'rogue' flag hanging up at RMNS may have been one the Master had made up in a foreign port because the existing flag was damaged and that he was an 'Old Royal' hence its presence in the dining hall. Unfortunately no one knows just who presented that particular flag to the School, or when. I shall persevere!
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  #11  
Old 22nd August 2006, 11:30
Kagoori Kagoori is offline  
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I left Bearwood in 1971, and joined W. A. Souter as a Cadet. I left Souters, now OSG, last year to take up employment ashore, if I can be of any help I am still in touch with a few friends left there. I live in Whitley Bay.
I remember the SHeaf Steam Shipping company flag as pale blue with a yellow sheaf with brown highlights, I often thought it looked more like a shaving brush, I also remember what was probably the largest flag hanging in the dining hall at Bearwood being the Sheaf Steam Shipping
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  #12  
Old 22nd August 2006, 13:22
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Kagoori-- welcome to SN, from a fellow former Souter's cadet, though not from "the dark side"-- a couple of contributors on here have at various times sailed with Souter, but as far as I know you are the only other person admitting to have spent their whole career with them ( and mine was only 13 yrs!). Good to have you around.
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  #13  
Old 22nd August 2006, 18:32
Kagoori Kagoori is offline  
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Hi John I am not sure if we ever sailed together, we were certainly on a lot olf the same ships. People used to change so often on the ore bashers, being in and out of the UK so often, and the memory may be blurred by Tennants Special Export 'for ships victualing only' I do remember you name though. I was the same year as engineers Robbie Walke, he's still there, Ian Murray and Jim Rolt.
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  #14  
Old 22nd August 2006, 19:22
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Colin, to my eternal shame, I recall few engineer officers' names, never mind fellow deck officers and cadets-- and I gave it up 21 years ago, so the lamps are dimming. But, in case you still have your old DisAs, here are my dates/ships:
July 72- 3 Jan 73 Scottish Wasa
5.2.73-12.6.73 Sheaf Field
12.7.73-12.9.73 Longstone
6.2.74-24.6.74 DBC
23.7.74-21.1.75 Irish Wasa
24.5.75-3.9.75 Bamburgh Castle
18.11.75-9.4.76 DBC
28.7.76-3.12.76 DBC
2.2.77-21.3.77 Essberger Pioneer
21.3.77-2.5.77 Solvent Venturer
18.6.77-17.9.77 S/Explorer
18.11.77-27.3.78 American Islander
8.8.78-17.11.78 S/Challenger
13.1.79-18.4.79 American Islander
2.7.79-13.9.79 S/Explorer
18.10.79-1.11.79 S/Explorer
9.12.79-11.4.80 Petrogas1
29.7.80-24.10.80 Petrogas1
7.1.81-23.4.81 S/Explorer
5.7.81-3.10.81 S/Explorer
15.12.81-24.4.82 Stolt Lion/ Mercator
19.7.82-27.9.82 S/Explorer
4.12.82-16.12.82 Equinox (recommissioning)
17.12.82-28.12.82 Esplanade ( " " ")
29.12.82-15.4.83 Equinox
30.6.83-27.10.83 Petrogas1 (Koh Sichang)
4.2.84-4.5.84 Esplanade
26.7.84-26.11.84 Petrogas1 (Koh Sichang)
5.3.85-12.7.85 Equinox.

The thing I note from typing all that is the repetition of some ships, also that I did few LONG trips, so I guess old Souters weren't that bad after all!-- and quite a few LONG leave periods.

As I say, I recall few names of old shipmates-- a few mates/masters-- Roly Cordon, Alan Clish, John Conn,Brian Longley, John Walker,James MacVean,Ralphy Charlton, Kenny Greest,poor old Phil Marshall-- and a couple of Chiefs-- John Toker and his syrup, Tony Rawlinson, Freddy Barnes the 2nd who only ever slept on his daybed-- I can see faces but not remember names. Ah well!

Hope you enjoy it on here.Regards

Last edited by john shaw; 22nd August 2006 at 22:01..
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  #15  
Old 23rd August 2006, 22:35
Kagoori Kagoori is offline  
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Hi John,

We may have met very briefly, I paid off the DBC as cadet the day after you joined in Amsterdam? 7-2-74, and then paid off the Petrogas as 2/E the same day you joined in Barcelona 9-12-79.

We sailed on a lot of the same ships at different times though but never sailed together, that's the way it was, you heard the names a lot but never met. Although a lot of people joined Souters and stayed for a long time, there was a good atmosphere there.

A good few of those names are no longer with us, Roly retired asnd is still going as far as I know. Kenny Greest moved to Spain and apparently bought a couple of 'RockWeasels' and started a security business.

This site gives a good impresion though, I don't think many outside the industry really understand it, and these days many inside it don't either.

Cheers Colin
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  #16  
Old 24th August 2006, 00:19
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Hi Colin, thanks for that. It was indeed Amsterdam in Feb 74, and Barca ,Dec 79. Funny how things occur,huh? The old "Souter Point" used to be perused closely to see where everyone was-- but then it WAS a pretty small company back then. Of the pics I put on here of Petrogas1, the one in Cartagena was taken around that time. I have, and still do,spent a good bit of my time in Hull, so half expect to bump into Ian Beetham one day--he lives just West of Hull and life seems to go like that, I've bumped into people from years before in the oddest places-- I think there is a thread or comment on that subject somewhere on this site-but then I never bumped into John Conn whenever in Whitby, and he was one of the nicest masters I ever sailed with. Hope you don't mind, I had been in touch via email with Sylvia( "Bearwood") over the flag story, and drew her attention to your joining and your details, so she will probably be in touch. All the best.
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  #17  
Old 5th October 2006, 22:13
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Sheaf Steam Shipping Company

Mystery solved! The flag I have been trying to identify was designed by Newcastle University Art School for Souters in the 1960s. The actual flag at Bearwood was presented to the school by David Souter, who was on the Board of Governors of the RMNS. I think it unlikely that the flag was ever flown on any of Souter's ships and certainly the rather elaborate emblem was never used on funnels. So the more mundane flag described by some of the very kind contributors of SN, is the one that everybody associates with Sheaf Steam and Souters, The Royal Merchant Navy School, Bearwood is the proud possessor of something special! Thanks again to all the people who contacted me with helpful suggestions. I think I've made some new friends, as well as finding one or two 'Old Royals' - those elusive ex pupils from Bearwood who joined the MN (straight from school, following in their fathers' footsteps) when it was in its heyday. By the way, on Rembrance Sunday in November this year, two Foundationers, the school Colour Partyand an Old Royal from North Shields, will be laying a wreath at the MN Memorial on Tower Hill. I know that the Merchant Navy is now represented at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, but I am sorry that the very special and moving service on Tower Hill is never given any TV coverage.
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  #18  
Old 8th December 2006, 23:41
neilmarineng neilmarineng is offline  
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hi colin isailed in souters as a fiver and fourth, were you ever on the jostelle if so would you be able to send me a picture, that was a great ship and I had some great laughs on there I was last on board Jan/ July 97 thanks
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  #19  
Old 20th January 2007, 23:58
stan mayes stan mayes is offline  
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May I add a little bit of interest to this...On 30th August 1945 I signed on EMPIRE SHEPHERD as AB in Tilbury Docks.. She was managed by Souter's..
Sailed for Antwerp and here we loaded Army stores and portable Army huts for Lubeck Germany.. Sailed and a few hours later we developed engine problems and were towed to the Tyne for repairs. At South Shields we were informed that Lubeck was outside Home Trade limits and the ship would sign a new Agreement..Most of the crew declined to sign and we paid off on 12th September 1945 EMPIRE SHEPHERD later became SHEAF ARROW Stan Mayes
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  #20  
Old 21st January 2007, 02:47
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here she is..................
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  #21  
Old 21st January 2007, 17:37
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wa002f0328 wa002f0328 is offline  
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Nice pic of Sheaf Arrow John, was on her in 1955, only served 1 month and 9 days trip was Tyne - Denmark-Poland- Middlesborough- South Shields, I ran off her she was disgusting, Hungary, Heavy, Horrible, was just glad to pay off. I also went to the R.M.N.School but left in 52, all the best bill
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  #22  
Old 26th February 2007, 11:05
Frank Ward Frank Ward is offline  
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Sheaf Crest

The Sheaf Crest was plying between Leningrad and Barcelona with timber. In 1937 she escaped with minor damage to a lifeboat during a Franco air-raid in Barcelona, sheltering near a battleship believed to be the Hood.
It is believed she was torpedoed in WWII.
Can anyone throw additional light on this ship/crew?

this amateur historian is interested in anything/anyone connected to the Spanish Civil War 1936-39.
Ta !
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  #23  
Old 26th February 2007, 17:41
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Frank:

Sheaf Crest was a Souter/Sheaf Steam ship. She was built 1924 and was 2730grt, O.N. 148097.

She was lost 30.11.39 when victim of a mine in the Thames Estuary whilst on passage Tyne/Thames.
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  #24  
Old 27th February 2007, 12:10
Frank Ward Frank Ward is offline  
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Thanks for that info John.
I was reading an 'eye witness' account from a crew member who said that the ship was attacked in Barcelona when 100 yards from a battleship, he thinks the Hood.
However, a Hood crewman [Fred White] states that the Spanish ports were never bombed when the Hood was present.

Can you - or anyone else out there - cast any light on this possible contradiction, or hazard a guess at the identity of the battleship?
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  #25  
Old 27th February 2007, 14:34
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Frank

you could try
www.tyneandweararchives.org.uk

-- they list a lot of Souter stuff from that period as being available, so there may be some reports in those documents in the archive
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