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"The Shipping Wizard of Kirkcaldy"

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  #1  
Old 28th December 2018, 00:27
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"The Shipping Wizard of Kirkcaldy"

My book is selling well and is immediately available from me for the provision of your mailing address. One of your ex-Bank Line brothers has made this observation:

"What a marvelous book it is. So much Weir information that I knew nothing about and what a life he lead. I now fully understand what you meant in one of your previous posts on SN about the lack of entrepreneurs in the shipping business today."

I shall refrain from mentioning the writer's name as he has not given me permission to use it but be assured he is one of you with 43 years experience as a mariner.

I thank him very much for the good review!

Alistair.
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  #2  
Old 29th December 2018, 15:43
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With the superb knowledge gained from Alistair's book I shall endeavour to attach a screenshot of Andrew Weir's first London house at 57 Holland Park. Probably no cars when he was there!
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File Type: jpg Screenshot 2018-12-29 14.06.22 (683 x 384).jpg (93.7 KB, 128 views)

Last edited by Waighty; 29th December 2018 at 15:45.. Reason: spelling error
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  #3  
Old 4th January 2019, 12:17
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Alistair

I have sent two private messages recently about your book, but with no reply, I must be doing something wrong.
Regards
Steve
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  #4  
Old 4th January 2019, 19:58
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You're not doing wrong, Steve. Same problem here. I'm hoping Alistair is on vacation.
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  #5  
Old 5th January 2019, 18:42
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"The Shipping Wizard of Kirkcaldy"

Anthony in Macau...
Please formalize your order for the book on my "Private Mail" section on this site as we are not permitted to engage in commercial activities in open forum. I shall be pleased to provide you with full details. I have a supply of the book on hand and will send it to you right away,

The story is fascinating in that you will learn all about the original Andrew Weir / Lord Inverforth and what he did as a private individual as well as for Bank Line. His was a career as a true entrepreneur not only in business and for the United Kingdom as well. He encouraged the development of cargo liner operations in the UK and the USA; he provided logistics for the infant oil industries; and his early support of diesel engines clearly set the standard for the world although the USA was (and is) still reluctant to follow.

The Bank Line was the last remaining traditional ocean shipping line in Britain to liquidate under the general and implacable onslaught of containerisation lasting for 108 years although Andrew Weir's as a shipping company was active for 130 years. Up until the registration of Bank Line in 1905, all ships were registered in single ship companies for insurance limitation purposes.

It is unlikely that many people are aware of Inverforth's participation in the inauguration of the BBC TV service using Marconi equipment which lasted until the 1960s. Also, Hong Kong's radio and TV services (and many Caribbean services) were initiated by Cable and Wireless which was another company of which Inverforth was Chairman, having brought Marconi and C&W together at the request of the British Government to avoid wasteful competition between wireless and wire transmissions.

On the ship side, there are full fleet lists separated by class type including standard tramp ships built in Britain and the USA for war replacement during WWI and WWII. Then there are the passenger services between East and South Africa and the Bay of Bengal as well as Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong. River shipping services were also initiated on the Tigris/Euphrates and the Danube. Who knew?

In short, there's plenty of interest for shiplovers, historians, and business interests. I look forward to hearing from you by private mail on SN.

Sincerely, Alistair.
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  #6  
Old 9th January 2019, 22:29
RayL RayL is offline  
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Alistair, please note that private messages can't be sent to you until you create some space. You have exceeded your quota.
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  #7  
Old 10th January 2019, 03:42
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"The Shipping Wizard of Kirkcaldy"!

Ray...
I thought I still had a couple of slots available on my private in-box. Anyway, I have now eliminated all the messages therein and am again open to receive all new communications.
Thank you for bringing this problem to my attention!

Kind regards,

Alistair.
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  #8  
Old 20th January 2019, 05:28
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Alastair I sent you a PM and didn't get a response, I'd like a copy of the book wiyh postage to Singapore please, can you advise the cost. PM me please about payment. Thanks Richard
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  #9  
Old 27th February 2019, 16:28
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Having read Alistair's excellent book I decided on a voyage of discovery - visiting a part of London I had never been to - namely the Golders Hill part of Hampstead Heath, which is where Inverforth House is. Much of the original gardens to the house are now owned and overseen by the local council and of course open to the public; weddings seem to be popular by an ornamental lake! From the gardens I wlked up to the Pergola (reputed to be one of the largest in the UK) and this leads to a wrought iron gate and fence system that protects the inner gardens which are owned by the house. The view of the rear of the house is impressive; it was a big residence by any standards. I then went to the road running past the front of the house to get a closer view on how big the place is. Pretty good going for a young boy from Kirkcaldy!

These days the house is divided up into luxury apartments within a gated community. Two blue Plaques outside the main gate commemorate the first two owners - Sir Ronald Aylmer Fisher, a famous geneticist and statistician and Lord Leverhulme (of the famous soap empire which is now Unilever). When he died Lord Inverforth bought the house and remained there until he died in 1955, whence the family sold the house and it became an old folks' home before becoming what it is today. Be a nice place to live! Hampstead Heath is a great walking area which I duly spent the rest of the day doing.

I had intended having lunch in the famous pub, Jack Straws Castle, a short walk from Inverforth House but it's no longer a pub, converted to flats and a gym! Lots of famous folk visited the pub - Thackeray and Dickens amongst them but I was to be denied the pleasure! The pub was named after Jack Straw, one of the leaders of the Poll Tax rebellion in 1381. He escaped after Wat Tyler (another leader) was killed by one of King Richard II's knights and took refuge near where the pub was but he was caught and executed.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Inverforth House Street View.jpg (305.0 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg Inverforth House from Pergola.jpg (268.3 KB, 43 views)
File Type: jpg Hill Garden (Inverforth).jpg (75.8 KB, 38 views)
File Type: jpg Part of Pergola (Inverforth).jpg (216.8 KB, 38 views)
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  #10  
Old 27th February 2019, 21:20
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"the shipping wizard of kirkcaldy"

Waighty...

Thank you very much for your photographs of Inverforth House and Gardens. That the property was bought from that great entrepreneur, Lord Leverhulme, who headed what was the largest British company at the time, indicates just how wealthy the Weir's were and just how industrious and entrepreneurial.

It's easy to decry these Victorian gentlemen as 'Robber Barons' but looking at what they achieved and just how many people to whom they gave jobs and careers, must be taken into any consideration about their human worth.

Lord Inverforth and his family successors should be worthy of a wall plaque on the street gatepost. Bank Line was the last of the independent private shipowners and his story is worth reading not just by Bankies but by whoever wants to know just how the British Merchant Navy evolved and then declined throughout the 20th century.

My book is available through many booksellers and through Amazon. On the other hand, I have several copies for sale also, at 50% off plus postage from the USA. If you would like to buy, please contact me by e-mail: [email protected]
with your full mailing address.

And I can't thank 'Waighty' enough for giving me good reviews!

Alistair.
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Last edited by Alistair Macnab; 27th February 2019 at 21:22..
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  #11  
Old 1st March 2019, 15:55
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Glad you liked the photos Alistair. I can't claim them as my own however, just some that are in the public domain. Your words regarding these highly industrious men were spot on; robber barons they were not, shrewd business men they were.

A few days ago I found that one of the flats in Inverforth House was for sale, so whilst entertaining a dream that I could afford one I did a bit of web searching and give the link below. At £2.5 million I think it's slightly out of my price range!

https://www.glentree.co.uk/new-homes...3-7eu_173.html

My next task then is to find out how one nominates a property for a Blue Plaque - I think English Heritage run the process.
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  #12  
Old 1st March 2019, 16:18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waighty View Post
Glad you liked the photos Alistair. I can't claim them as my own however, just some that are in the public domain. Your words regarding these highly industrious men were spot on; robber barons they were not, shrewd business men they were.

A few days ago I found that one of the flats in Inverforth House was for sale, so whilst entertaining a dream that I could afford one I did a bit of web searching and give the link below. At £2.5 million I think it's slightly out of my price range!

https://www.glentree.co.uk/new-homes...3-7eu_173.html

My next task then is to find out how one nominates a property for a Blue Plaque - I think English Heritage run the process.
Just had a look on the English Heritage Website, and whilst Lord Inverforth would meet the criteria it would appear that he would fall foul of the "Only two plaques per building" rule

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/...pose-a-plaque/

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/...rhulme&catBP=0

Which begs the question, is there another building that he was associated with? Baltic Exchange is sadly gone.
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Old 1st March 2019, 16:29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Duncan112 View Post
Just had a look on the English Heritage Website, and whilst Lord Inverforth would meet the criteria it would appear that he would fall foul of the "Only two plaques per building" rule

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/...pose-a-plaque/

https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/...rhulme&catBP=0

Which begs the question, is there another building that he was associated with? Baltic Exchange is sadly gone.

See Post #2 above which shows an attached photo of 57 Holland Park which was Andrew Weir's first London house.

Given that there are two entrances to the front of Inverforth House might the rules be loosely interpreted perhaps? One could argue that the two existing plaques recall when the house was called Hill House and that Weir changed its name after purchase. Food for thought?

Last edited by Waighty; 1st March 2019 at 16:33..
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Old 1st March 2019, 16:44
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Reading the guidance it would appear that you propose a person and then find the building so if Lord Inverforth is acceptable then the discussion starts about where.
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  #15  
Old 2nd March 2019, 12:53
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Reading the guidance it would appear that you propose a person and then find the building so if Lord Inverforth is acceptable then the discussion starts about where.
Thanks for that. I'll investigate further.
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Old 3rd March 2019, 20:04
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Thanks for that. I'll investigate further.
If you do propose him, let me know and I'll submit one also
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  #17  
Old 4th March 2019, 14:15
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If you do propose him, let me know and I'll submit one also
Hello Duncan, yes I will do that. There will be a wait while I attend to other things first but I will get onto it at some stage and let you know.
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Old 4th March 2019, 23:24
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mrs

I am pleased to hear your book is selling well Where can I buy it? hope you are well and enjoying life.
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Old 4th March 2019, 23:31
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have just scrolled down and found the answer i will e mail your private site. sorry for this - not great with technology!
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  #20  
Old 5th March 2019, 16:02
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Following some more research I've managed to find something about Inverforth's second London home - Arnos Grove House in Southgate. He bought the estate and house in 1918 from the last of the Taylor-Walkers, a well known brewing family. They had increased the estate to around 300 acres. Once Inverforth bought the place he sold off 44 acres to the south west of the estate to Southgate Urban District council and they created Arnos Park in 1928 from it.

The original Arnos Grove House faced out across the estate (now covered in houses) with the rear entrance facing Cannon Hill. These days the rear entrance is now the front entrance and the whole place is the Barchester-Beaumont Southgate Care Home with some luxury apartments also. At some point before it became the care home the building was enlarged and bought by Legal and General and renamed Southgate House.

I'm attaching a map of the estate taken from the 1918 sale particulars; the house is towards top right. A comparison with a modern map shows how much things have changed. Arnos Grove Tube Station is about five eights of a mile (1 km) SW of the house. Also a photo of the old rear entrance, now the front, together with the old front side.
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  #21  
Old 5th March 2019, 16:59
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"The Shipping Wizard of Kirkcaldy"

Waighty...

I've sent you an additional copy of my book which you might present as additional evidence in support of your Blue Plaque project in London. I am following up your good work with efforts to induce the Kirkcaldy Town Council to do something in memory of Andrew Weir, next to Adam Smith as one of their 'famous sons'.

Let's move!
(If you need more copies of the book, I can spare some).

Your photographs are terrific!

Kindest regards
Alistair.
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Old 8th March 2019, 12:41
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Originally Posted by Alistair Macnab View Post
Waighty...

I've sent you an additional copy of my book which you might present as additional evidence in support of your Blue Plaque project in London. I am following up your good work with efforts to induce the Kirkcaldy Town Council to do something in memory of Andrew Weir, next to Adam Smith as one of their 'famous sons'.

Let's move!
(If you need more copies of the book, I can spare some).

Your photographs are terrific!

Kindest regards
Alistair.
Hello Alistair,

Thanks for your post. I am currently waiting for a preliminary response from the Blue Plaque Team at English Heritage. If that inspires some hope that the plaque can be achieved I shall forward your book to them. I did in fact list the book title and your authorship in the application form, so by having an additional copy to provide them with, will hopefully assist the process. It is very kind of you to send an extra copy.

The Kirkcaldy idea is excellent and I shall write to them in the next few days and adopt my best pleading prose to persuade them to get the Lang Toun do something to honour one of their 'sons'.

As an aside, I found it quite interesting years ago (1980s) when I lived in Fife to discover that the name Kirkcaldy comes from a Brythonic branch of the old Celtic language (closer to Welsh and Breton than Gaelic) and means something like 'fort on a hill'. I may be wrong of course but Andrew Carnegie's library in Dunfermline had an old book giving the origins of the Scots names of towns and it threw up some fascinating origins, most of which I've long forgotten now!

Best regrds,

Mike
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  #23  
Old 10th March 2019, 15:33
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If you do propose him, let me know and I'll submit one also
Duncan just to let you know that I've submitted an application for a blue plaque for Lord Inverforth. I did in fact send you a PM a couple of days ago saying I'd done it. If you send one too then maybe we'll get something done by English Heritage.
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  #24  
Old 10th March 2019, 15:38
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In Alistair's post #21 he said he was going to get on to Kirkcaldy Town Council to induce them to do something to remember Lord Inverforth. Just to let folk know I've made a submission to Fife Council (Cultural & Events Dept) along the same lines. Try as I might I was unable to find a direct way of contacting Kirkcaldy; it seems Fife Council handle the town's business and activities.
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