B. Chellew Steam Navigation Company.

R.B. Chellew Steam Navigation Company

Formed in 1883 as the Cornwall Steam Ship Co with one ship City of Truro operating to the Mediterranean and Black Sea, the company expanded and by 1889 owned six ships. By 1912 trade had expanded to the Baltic, South America and India.


Jenkins Bros, Cardiff.

Jenkins Bros, Cardiff

James Jenkins and his brother-in-law David Jenkins, both Master Mariners from Aberporth who had been employed by Evan Thomas, Radcliffe of Cardiff, set up this company when W.J. Williams left their previous partnership in the Gathorne Steamship Co. In 1906 they bought the Glamorgan and in 1907 the Cardigan was added and by the beginning of the First World War the company had five ships. All but one was lost during the war and in 1919 David Jenkins died and the company was wound up.

A new managing company was formed in 1920 under the title of James Jenkins, Sons & Co Ltd. However, the trade depression caused the sale of several of their ships and the company invested in the construction of two new ships. These traded successfully but by 1927 James Jenkins was 66 years old, neither of his sons were experienced in the shipping business and he decided to retire from shipowning. Both ships were sold and the company wound up.


Morel Ltd, Cardiff.

Morel Steam Ship Co Cardiff

In 1876 Philip & Thomas Morel formed a partnership with their brother-in-law John Angel Gibbs and set up Morel Brothers & Co., at Cardiff. In 1876 they acquired their first steamship. In 1877 a new steamer the PORTUGALETTE (1) joined the fleet. By the end of 1883 the Morel Brothers owned 26 smaller tramp ships. Most of the ships were placed in single ship companies like Beignon S.S. Co., Longueil S.S. Co. and after the death of John Angel Gibbs aged 35 in 1884, the Forest S.S. Co. and Treherbert S.S. Co.

The Morels owned also a small Cardiff Shipyard the Bute Shipbuilding, Engineering & Drydock Co. Ltd. Sir Thomas Morel died in 1903 aged 56 and his elder brother Philip died in 1908. The fleet was heavily run down between 1904 and 1914 due to a lack of unity in the Morel Family and the fleet was down to two tramps during World War I, both of these were a World War I casualty.

In 1921 Morel Ltd acquired ships once more. Morel Ltd lost four ships during World War II only the CATRINE of 1940 survived. New ships were ordered after the war but already in 1956 when prices of second hand tramps were high due to the Suez crisis, all the ships were sold and the company was wound up at the end of 1956.


Tatem Steam Navigation Co Ltd
Atlantic Shipping & Trading Co

Tatem Steam Navigation Co

William Tatem purchased his first ship in Cardiff in 1897 and over the next eight years purchased a further fifteen ships, each nominally owned by a single ship company. The main trade was coal to the Mediterranean, returning with grain from Black Sea ports, the company later expanded into the River Plate trade. In 1910 the fifteen single ship companies were combined into the Tatem Steam Navigation Co Ltd.

At the start of the Great War Tatem owned sixteen ships, but nine were lost to enemy action. The Atlantic Shipping & Trading Co was formed in December 1916 and the entire fleet transferred to the new company. After the war, the company concentrated on tramping and was heavily involved in the lumber trade from Vancouver, as well as River Plate, Mediterranean and Baltic trades. The depression of the 1930s meant that by 1939 Tatem only owned eleven ships of which eight were lost during the war. In 1973 the decision was taken to withdraw from shipowning and the firm of W. J. Tatem Ltd became an investment company.


Evan Thomas, Radcliffe & Co

Evan Thomas, Radcliffe & Co

The company was founded in Cardiff in 1881 by Evan Thomas and Henry Radcliffe. Initially, although the partners had little money between them, they raised enough capital to purchase the steamer 'Gwenllian Thomas, after which the business succeeded beyond all expectations. In the next three years, they were able to purchase four more vessels. After the death of Evan Thomas in 1891, the company, run by Henry Radcliffe and his brother Daniel went from strength to strength, and built up a steady trade carrying coal to the Mediterranean and returning with grain from Black Sea ports.

By 1914, the Company was the largest shipping firm in Cardiff with 28 vessels. At one point, the company had as many as 31 single-ship companies registered in its name. After the First World War, the company, with compensation received for war losses, invested in new ships. However, the Second World War proved disastrous for the company, and 11 out of their 15 vessels were lost, leaving only 5 ships in 1946, a figure that remained constant until 1970. In 1981, with all ships disposed of, the company attempted to operate two small coasters, but failed, and sold both vessels in 1983.


Claymore Shipping Co, Cardiff.

Claymore Shipping Co, Cardiff

Claymore Shipping Company was founded in Cardiff in 1919, the company purchased their first Tramp Ships the following year. Their main trade was coal to the River Plate, returning with grain and coal to the Mediterranean returning with iron or manganese ore.

Two ships were lost to enemy action in World War II and their remaining two sold in 1945 leaving the company with no vessels. However a Liberty ship was purchased in 1947, followed by an Empire in 1949 to resume the River Plate grain trade. Another Liberty was bought in 1953 but by 1956 the last ship had been sold and the company closed.


Gibbs & Co, Cardiff / Welsh Ore Carriers Ltd

Gibbs & Company, Cardiff

Founded in 1906 as single ship tramp companies mainly trading to the River Plate with coal and returning with grain. However, all their ships were lost during the Great War and the Gibb Brothers stayed out of the shipping business until 1925 when they took delivery of two new ships. In WWII the company again lost all three of their ships. Two wartime built ships were then purchased. A partnership was formed with Counties Ship Management and London & Overseas Freighters to operate ore carriers under the ownership of Welsh Ore Carriers Ltd. In 1969 Gibbs became a subsidiary of London & Overseas Freighters and in 1982 Gibbs last ship was transferred to the parent company and Gibbs & Co disappeared.


Tempus Shipping Co / W. H. Seager & Co, Cardiff

William Seager, Tempus Shipping Company,

William Seager set up his shipping company in Cardiff as the Tempus Shipping Co in 1904. In 1909 he took over the control of the Starcross SS Co from J. Hoggarth, Cardiff together with their single ship and by 1914 the company owned four ships. Two ships were lost to enemy action, but new purchases meant that the fleet remained at four in 1918. Three ships were sold in 1919 leaving the company with only one. However, new ships were delivered between the wars and by 1939 five tramps were owned. Four of these were lost during WWII and the remaining ship was sold in 1946. This was replaced by the purchase of two wartime built vessels which were sold in 1955 and 1962 respectively. The company was wound up in 1964.


Cambrian Steam Navigation Co, John Mathias, Aberystwyth

Cambrian Steam Navigation Co, John Mathias, Aberystwyth

By 1876 John Mathias owned two coastal sailing ships and in 1883 he purchased a tramp steamer and traded with coal to the Mediterranean and Black Sea. By 1905 he had opened a second office in Cardiff and traded worldwide. By 1914 the company operated six ships, of which three were lost to enemy action. The company suffered severely in the post war slump and his fleet was sold and the company wound up in 1924.


Turnbull Brothers Ltd Cardiff

Turnbull Brothers Ltd Cardiff

In 1882 Philip and Lewis Turnbull, sons of Thomas Turnbull, Whitby set up the company in Cardiff to export coal to the Black Sea and return with grain. The fleet expanded rapidly and by 1900 numbered eight tramps. At the outbreak of war in 1914 the company owned seven ships, but lost six to enemy action. The owners retired in 1920 and the remaining ships were sold. In 1920 Cyril and Bertrand Turnbull, the sons of Lewis Turnbull set up the Turnbull Coal & Shipping Co and purchased three ships. One of these was lost in the River Hooghly and the other two were sold in the depression of the 1930s and the company withdrew from shipowning. The brothers remained in business as shipbrokers until 1943.

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