THE SUNDERLAND SITE - PAGE 162
SUNDERLAND BASED SHIPPING COMPANIES

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A page already is on site about James Westoll & the James Westoll Line. This page covers other Sunderland ship owners - initially Robert H. Gayner & now Thomas Rose also - both assembled from data kindly provided by Clive Ketley, of the 'The Ketley Collection'.

A small index to the present page content.

1

Thomas Rose - 'The Rose Line Limited' known as 'Tommy Rose', owning ships for over 65 years, from 1901 to 1968

2

Robert H. Gayner a fleet owner who would seem to have been in business for many decades - from 1854 to 1912 it would seem.

THOMAS ROSE (c.1874/1949)
THOMAS ROSE & CO. (1901/?)
THE ROSE LINE LIMITED (1913/?)
WEAR STEAM SHIPPING COMPANY LIMITED (1905/1917?)
WEAR STEAM SHIPPING COMPANY (1917) LIMITED (1917/1931)
DURHAM STEAMSHIP COMPANY LTD. (1913/?)
DEESIDE SHIPPING CO. LTD., of Aberdeen
WALFORD LINES

(OF WYLAM WHARF, SUNDERLAND)

First a few images. Hover your mouse over each thumbnail to read the subject matter.

In early 1968, a tiny 'Thomas Rose' vessel of just 315 tons, the Edenside, built by Richard Ironworks Ltd., of Lowestoft, was sold to 'North East by East Shipping Co. Ltd.' of Sunderland. The vessel soon became owned by 'N. Jadavji & S. G. Hirji' of Mombasa, Kenya. A tough little vessel most clearly - it lasted until Jan. 1995 when, after 54 years of service, it was broken up at Dar-es-Salaam.

A modest image of Thomas Rose (c.1874/1949).
Edenside the very last vessel in the 'Thomas Rose' fleet & its sale in 1968 ended the ship owning activities of Thomas Rose & successors which activities commenced way back in 1901. A period of over 65 years & two World Wars.
The ships that 'Thomas Rose' owned, directly & through a number of limited companies, were not giant ships by any imagination. They did not carry affluent passengers in floating palaces & in luxury to New York or Boston. The largest fleet vessel was indeed of just 1567 tons, & most of them were much smaller than that -  modest little coasters/colliers. In the words of 'Blue Peter' - 'There are tidal ports to visit; there are bars to cross at which long-legged ships are useless; there are little towns and villages relying upon the cargoes brought to them by the little ship. Somebody must carry the oats, the grain, the potatoes, the burnt ore; the ships must be neat and handy. It's a little fellow's trade.'

The 'Thomas Rose' ships surely did all of that - also they carried cement from Denmark & Belgium, they traded to the Baltic & into the Mediterranean - but mainly they carried coal & other cargoes up & down the U.K. east coast from Sunderland to ports in Scotland & in the Shetland & Orkney Islands.

Towards the end, however, such ships were unable to compete in the changing marketplace.

Thomas Rose, ship owner, ship broker, shipping agent, coal exporter & many other things besides, initially owned vessels in his own name, i.e. 'Thomas Rose' or 'Thomas Rose & Co.' But in 1913 he both founded 'The Rose Line Limited' (known as 'Tommy Rose'), & through that company purchased Wylam Wharf. a wharf & related dock & warehouses facility located on the S. bank of the River Wear immediately to the west of the Bodlewell Ferry landing. Wylam Wharf? A long established wharf, then over 100 years old, owned, certainly in the 1890s, by French & Co, as you can see next.

'Bank Line Magazine', the staff magazine of Bank Line Limited, published in Feb. 1980 a 3 page article about 'The Rose Line Limited' written by R. T. Lambert (pages 1, 2 & 3). The article refers to the fact that Rose Line owned all of the bonded warehouses in Sunderland for then nearly 70 years. The author commented that a staff member of Bank Line who had dinner in a London hotel may well have drunk wines and sprits that had passed through the Rose Line bonded warehouses. And, should such staff member have chosen to eat lobster, it too may have come from Wylam wharf, where one of the warehouses contained large tanks containing live lobsters prior to being dispatched to hotels in the U.K. and to the Continent. The two companies, Bank Line & Rose Line, had in 1980 been associated for 45 years, Rose Line being the long term Sunderland agents for Bank Line.

You might say there was an amazing continuity in the management of Rose Line! The initial partners were Thomas Rose himself, Norman R. Rose (Thomas Rose's son) & R. T. Lambert. Thomas was in the business until he died on May 12, 1949 as Chairman of the Board. (Some newspaper cuttings re his funeral.) Norman Rose, then with 56 years of service, took over as Chairman and Managing Director. R. T. Lambert, an original (1913) partner in the Rose Line shipping business, commenced employment with the company in 1925 & retired from it on Dec. 31, 1977 after over 50 years of service. D. J. Dorward, a Director and also Transport & Wharf Manager then had had 49 years of service. Ian A. Adamson was a relative newcomer when he joined the Board in 1979! Having had just 15 years of service. It was not only the management that had continuity. Many of the ship's captains clearly had lengthy service with the company. Captains George Russell & George Porter were two such captain who had many years of service.

The corporate history? The data available to the webmaster is really quite fragmentary. Can you add to the history, perhaps? Initially Thomas Rose ('Rose1') was in business in his own name. The business would seem have become 'Thomas Rose & Co.' likely a limited company, yet ships would seem to have been still owned over the years in the name of Rose1. 'Wear Steam Shipping Company Limited' ('Wear1') came along in 1905.  In 1913, Rose1 formed 'The Rose Line Ltd.' & it then owned Thomas Rose & Co. & Wylam Wharf. Durham Steamship Company Ltd. also came along in 1913. Wear1 likely went into bankruptcy or dissolution (can anybody confirm that?) in or prior to 1917 when 'Wear Steam Shipping Company (1917) Ltd. ('Wear2) was formed. Wear2 survived until 1931. In passing, 'British Coasters' of 1924 lists Rose1 & Wear2 as both being of 38 West Sunniside, Sunderland, which address was the company's registered office. Deeside Shipping Co., related in a way I do not know, would seem to have been a later company perhaps dating from 1946 thru 1959. There clearly were other companies less directly related to ship owning. 'Wearside Carrier Services Ltd.' as an example, had, I read, a fleet of 'platform lorries' & also 'two bulk powder tankers'.

Some interesting details about individual vessels in the Thomas Rose fleet:-

1) Re Sunniside, 447 tons, built in 1905 by Goole Shipbuilding Company Ltd. of Goole.

In Thomas Rose's own words, written about 1940. 'In 1905 I formed the Wear Steam Shipping Company Limited and built the s.s. Sunniside about 500 tons cargo. She was built by the Goole Shipbuilding Company, Ld., and for near ten years ran regularly between Goole and Lowestoft with coals for the British Gas Company. I have known her do three trips a week from Monday to Saturday and arrive back ready to load her fourth cargo on the Monday morning. She was sold to Messrs. Vandenberg during the first world war. She was torpedoed in Yarmouth Roads and there was loss of life.'

2) Re Arnside, 532 tons, built in 1912 by the Sunderland yard of John Crown & Sons Limited.

In Thomas Rose's own words, as above. 'In 1912 I built the Arnside about 520 cargo, a very nice ship which came to an untimely end. She was coming from Liverpool to King's Lynn with a cargo of fertilisers and, when off the Cornish coast, she ran into a severe gale and was lost with all hands. A small boat was washed ashore at Senan Cove but was swamped nearing the shore and three bodies were afterwards found. The boat washed up was found to have the name Arnside.'

Re the same matter, Miramar indicate a little differently - 'foundered off Aire Point, Land's End 10.2.14 (all 12*) [Birkenhead-Boston, bagged manure' i.e. foundered on Feb. 10, 1914 with the loss of 12 lives, while en route from Birkenhead to Boston, U.S.A. An Australian Arnside newspaper cutting is here.

3) Also, earlier re Arnside, on Apl. 12, 1913, the vessel saved the entire crew of Frost, in the North Sea, as you can read below.

4) Re Arkleside, 648 tons, built in 1914 by A. Hall & Co., of Aberdeen

 .... he (Captain George Russell) took over the Arkleside, new in 1914, and on the declaration of war was ordered up to Scapa Flow where his ship was taken over as a transport. During the next 22 months the Arkleside carried cargoes of high explosives to Havre, Dunkirk, & Calais, and after surviving 320 air attacks remained as one of the three survivors from a fleet of 13 ships engaged on this "suicide" run. Perhaps her "gun" was Arkleside's lucky mascot. It was a pit-prop mounted aft to deceive the enemy. On it was painted "Thou shalt not kill!" An Arkleside newspaper cutting is here.

5) Re Cairnside, 559 tons, built in 1921 by A. Hall & Co., of Aberdeen.

In Thomas Rose's own words:- 'I built the Cairnside No. 3. also at Aberdeen but she was also lost, coming from Granville to Hull. My Superintendent Engineer said he was not surprised at her loss as it was her 13th. voyage. She carried 13 men and it was a Friday.' The wreck took place off the island of Herm, W. of Sark, Channel Islands, on Jan. 14, 1922. The ship hit a rock. Captain C. Arundell was in command. All 13 of the crew survived - they could not, in the sea conditions, make Sark in their small boat. They landed at the Chouet on the north side of Guernsey. A Cairnside newspaper cutting is here.

6) Re Edenside, 366 tons, built in 1921 by J. & D. Morris, Pelaw Main Yard, Newcastle.

On Jan. 3, 1922, Edenside, a new ship just over six months old, left the Tyne under the command of Captain John Olsen, with a crew of 8 & with an unspecified cargo. Her normal speed was 8 or 8 1/2 knots. The ship encountered appalling weather, hurricane force winds & mountainous seas & she ended up taking 44 hours to make Bridlington Bay, a distance of just 75 miles - a journey that would normally have taken the ship 7 or 8 hours. A big-time ordeal for the Captain & crew! Some newspaper cuttings re the voyage are here. The Captain & crew were honoured by the Mayor of Sunderland at a formal ceremony, held in the Mayor's Parlour on Apl. 30, 1922.

On the same day that Edenside had left the Tyne, Elleray, 1201 tons, (ship not related to Thomas Rose in any way) had left Hartlepool for London with a cargo of coal. She was never heard from again - lost with her entire crew. I presume that she ran into the very same storm that hit Edenside.

Some 'Rose Line' related images:-

The following image is believed to be of the launch party at the launch of a 'Thomas Rose' ship. But which ship & when is not known to the webmaster. Can you help any? It seems that that is Thomas Rose himself, prominent in the middle of the image. The young girl in the image? Simon Flack advises, (thanks Simon!), after a family discussion, that the little girl is in fact Doris Rose, Thomas's daughter.

And next, a modest but interesting image of Thomas Rose. Can anybody tell us what the instrument is into which he is speaking - related to early wireless perhaps? John Liddle has come to the rescue! He tells us it is an 'Ediphone' - an early wax cylinder voice recorder - marketed by Thomas A. Edison Company in competition to 'Dictaphone', the product of Columbia Phonograph Company & others. Marketed from late 1917. John kindly provided an image of an 'Ediphone' but you can find many images of such machines here. And here is a composite image of a 1920s 'Ediphone' machine. John, we thank you!

A 'THOMAS ROSE' / 'THOMAS ROSE' & CO.' & successor companies fleet list

In date of build order.

1) VESSELS BUILT AT SUNDERLAND

#

Name

Built

Gross

Built by

Years in fleet

Disposition

1

T. G. Hutton 1

1891

703

Short Brothers Ltd.

1918/1919

Sold in 1919 to A. J. Ashwin of London

2

Braeside

1909

406

John Crown & Sons Ltd.

1905/1915

Sold in 1915 to Harris Bros. of Falmouth

3

Cairnside

1909

403

John Crown & Sons Ltd.

1905/1912

Sold in 1912 to Okhotsk-Kamchatka Fishing & Shipping Co. of Vladivostok, Russia

4

Arnside

1912

533

John Crown & Sons Ltd.

1909/1914

Vessel foundered off Aire Point, Lands End, on Feb. 10, 1914 on passage from Birkenhead to Boston, U.S.A.

5

Arkleside

1924

1567

Osbourne, Graham & Co.

1924/1927

Sold in Dec. 1927 to Waldos Shipping Co. Ltd. of London. Sunk in Sep. 1939

2) VESSELS NOT BUILT AT SUNDERLAND

#

Name

Built

Gross

Built by

Years in fleet

Disposition

1

Ravenscraig

1899

350

Dundee Shipbuilders of Dundee

1917/1926

Sold in 1926 to Derwent Steam Shipping Co. Ltd. (Anthony & Bainbridge, managers.)

2

Rosyth

1903

376

Dundee Shipbuilders of Dundee

1917/1919

Sold in 1919 to Dundee, Perth & London Shipping Co. Ltd. of Dundee

3

Earl of Durham
Ex Stock Force

1905

583

Williamson of Workington

1914/1915

Sold in 1915 to Care & Eidman Ltd. of Cardiff

4

Sunniside

1905

447

Goole Shipbuilding Company Ltd. of Goole

1905/1916

Sold in 1916 to Tower Steam Shipping Co. Ltd.

5

Edenside
Ex Cardiff City

1909

322

J. Fullerton of Paisley

1914/1916

Sold in 1917 to Kynoch-Arklow Ltd. of Dublin

6

Daleside
Ex Archvale
Ex Burlington Combe
Ex Wheatvale
Ex Bellavale

1910

448

Mackie & Thomson, of  Shipbuilding Yard, Govan, Glasgow

1952/1956

On Nov. 20, 1956, the vessel was sold & broken up at Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, The Netherlands

7

Deneside

1910

329

J. T. Eltringham & Co. of South Shields

1910/1922

Sold in 1917 to Deneside Steam Shipping Co. Ltd.

8

Cairnside

1913

560

A. Hall & Co. of Aberdeen

1913/1919

Wrecked at Shipwash Sands on Jun. 17, 1919

9

Arkleside

1914

648

A. Hall & Co. of Aberdeen

1914/1922

Sold in 1922 to Tyne-Tees Steam Shipping Co.

10

Rhenass

1914

285

Maryport Ship Building Co. of Maryport, Cumbria

1914/1916

On May 22, 1916, en route from Jarrow to Calais with a cargo of pig iron, the vessel was sunk by a mine from German submarine UC-10, 9 miles off Orford Ness, Aldeburgh. 6 lives were lost.

11

Silverburn

1914

284

Maryport Ship Building and Repair Co. of Maryport, Cumbria

1914/1917

On Jun. 13, 1917, en route from Sunderland to Peterhead with a cargo of coal, the vessel was sunk by gunfire from German submarine UB-41, 4 miles SE of Cove Bay, Aberdeen. No loss of life.

12

Braeside

1915

569

J. Fullerton of Paisley

1915/1917

The vessel went missing - it passed the Downs on Dec. 5, 1917 en route from Blyth to Jersey, with coal.

13

Deedon
Ex Magrix

1916

314

Cochrane & Sons, of Selby, North Yorkshire

1946/1955

The vessel was sold in 1955 to Bremner & Co., of Kirkwall, & renamed Orkney Dawn.

14

Earl of Durham
Ex Jolly Christine
Ex Tina

1918

313

Baanhoek Sliedrecht N.V., of Sliedrecht, The Netherlands

1925/1928

Sold in 1928 to T. G. Wilton, of London. Wrecked in Jan. 1937

15

Daleside
Ex River Tyne

1920

489

John Lewis & Sons Ltd., of Aberdeen

1922/1924

Sold on Nov. 11, 1924 to East Coast Transport Co. of Newcastle.

16

Sunniside

1920

739

Forth Shipbuilding & Engineering Co Ltd, of Alloa, Firth of Forth

1920/1926

Sold in Dec. 1926 to Sea Transport Co. of Guernsey, & renamed Beauport.

17

Brookside
Ex Cliffside
Ex Isabeletta

1921

419

J. Crichton, of Saltney, Cheshire

1946/1954

In May 1954 was broken up either at Gateshead or in Holland.

18

Cairnside

1921

559

A. Hall & Co. of Aberdeen

1921/1922

On Jan. 14, 1922 the vessel struck a rock & was wrecked off the island of Herm, W. of Sark, Channel Islands. All 13 crew survived - their small boat landed at the Chouet, Guernsey.

19

Deeness
Ex Beeston

1921

466

Cochrane & Sons, of Selby, North Yorkshire

1946/1951

On Feb. 16, 1951, the vessel, en route from St. Peter Port to London, in high winds was wrecked on Vauxville beach near Cherbourg, France. At 49.38.20N/1.51.20W. Tugs were requested but the weather did not permit them to assist. No loss of life. Peter Gill advises us that the crew walked ashore! As per his guestbook message.

20

Edenside 1

1921

366

J. & D. Morris, Pelaw Main Yard, Newcastle

1921/1958

Sold in 1958 & scrapped at Rotterdam on Apl. 8, 1958.

21

Fernside

1921

269

R. B. Harrison & Sons Ltd., of Newcastle

1921/1942

On Feb. 26, 1942 the vessel left Hartlepool & went missing. Believed to have been sunk by an air attack.

22

Glenside 1 Note
Ex Briar
Ex Royal Firth, later Helgebo, Carlo D., Patimax

1921

411

Brown's Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., of Hull

1944/1952

In 1952, the vessel was sold to V. Sorensen & Co. of Copenhagen, Denmark, & renamed Helgebo. Survived until c.1909

23

Moorside

1921

270

R. B. Harrison & Sons Ltd., of Newcastle

1921/1926

Sold in 1926 to Robert Rix & Sons of Hull & renamed Pegrix.

24

Wearside

1921

420

J. Crichton, of Connah's Quay, Flintshire, N. Wales

1921/1930

Sold in 1930 to A. Chester of Middlesburgh, & renamed Moorlands.

25

Brookside, later Welsh Rose, Sussex Birch, Holdernile

1922

581

Goole Shipbuilding & Repairing Company Ltd. of Goole

1922/1929

On Aug. 13, 1928 was sold to R. Hughes & Co. of Liverpool, & renamed Welsh Rose.

26

Deedale
Ex Coquetdale
Ex Kildrummy

1924

629

Hall Russell. of Aberdeen

1951/1959

On Jul. 20, 1959, the vessel was scrapped at Delfzijl, The Netherlands.

27

Deeside
Ex Glenapp Castle
Ex Red Sea
Ex Gem

1924

640

Scott & Sons Bowling Ltd., of Bowling, West Dunbartonshire, Scotland

1958/1959

In Nov. 1959, the vessel was scrapped at Nieuwe Lekkerkerk, South Holland

28

Glenside
Ex Cornel 1

1938

353

E. J. Smit & Zoon Scheepswerven BV, of Westerbroek, The Netherlands

1957/1965

On Apl. 6, 1965, the vessel was sold to G. & M. Amiridakis of Greece, & renamed Michael A.

29

Edenside
Ex Empire Firth
Ex Annick

1941

315

Richard Ironworks Ltd., of Lowestoft

1958/1968

Sold in 1968 to North East by East Shipping Co. Ltd. of Sunderland & soon N. Jadavji & S. G. Hirji of Mombasa, Kenya.

'ROBERT H. GAYNER' of Sunderland

Clive Ketley advises me that Robert H. Gayner was a Justice of the Peace, and Chairman of the 'Sunderland and South Shields Water Co.'. He was a 'River Wear Commissioner' & on the 'Pilotage Board'. I do not have dates for the above however. Clive also refers to there being references to G. H. Gayner, maybe related, in trade directories, from 1867 to 1925. In 1867 at 68 Nile Street, in 1878 at 2 East Sunniside & in 1918 at Maritime Buildings on St. Thomas Street.

A fleet list is below.

That is about all that I know about 'Gayner'. The WWW references to 'Gayner' are essentially non-existent. Maybe you might add to the knowledge?

A 'GAYNER' FLEET LIST

A list of fleet vessels. While I have tried to make it both complete & accurate, errors can easily 'creep in' when you access multiple sources for data. Corrections (or additions) are invited.

Please note, however, that Robert H. Gayner might best be described as the managing owner. He did own 100% of a number of the vessels listed below, (Warden Law built 1862, Derwent built 1868, & Northernhay built 1885). But he seems not to have owned 100% of the others. Vessel ownership was in 1/64th shares. So re Avon, built 1859, as an example, he owned 48/64 of the vessel with the balance, of 16/64, being owned by H. F. Fisher, an investor in the ownership of that particular ship. And so on through the other ships named.

1) VESSELS BUILT AT SUNDERLAND

 

#

Name

Built

Gross

Built by

Years in fleet

Disposition

1

Derwent, ON 20147

1857

258

W. R. Abbay & Co.

1857/1867

Collided & sank 1867

2

Avon

1859

263

Robert Pace, or maybe John Blumer

1859/1873

Sold to J. Dobson of Blyth

3

Warden Law

1862

347

J. Haswell

1862/1870

Abandoned 1870

4

Wye

1863

348

John Blumer

1863/1864

Transferred to London

5

Herbert

1864

325

 

1862/1872

Sold 1872

6

Lasbrough

1866

965

George Haswell

1866/1868

Went missing 1868

7

Severn

1867

398

Jacky Crown

1867/1881

Collided with Mayumba off Madiera & sank 1881

8

Derwent

1868

394

J. Crown

1868/1883

Transferred to Grimsby

9

Larkspur

1868

417

James Laing

1868/1883

Lost 1883

10

Humbledon

1870

433

J. Gill

1870/1873

Lost 1873

11

Offerton

1870

538

J. Gill

1870/1884

Sold

12

Warden Law

1871

477

J. Gill

1871/1883

Transferred to Grimsby

13

Beech Holm

1876

808

James Laing

1876/1898

Sold to Italian owners

14

Foxglove

1878

840

James Laing

1878/1883

Transferred to Liverpool

15

Amity

1880

1165

Robert Thompson

1880/1883

Sunk by India

16

Westward Ho

1884

1241

James Laing

1885/1900

Sold to E. Holtzapfel of Hamburg, Germany

17

Northernhay

1885

1269

James Laing

1885/1909

Sold to Italian owners

18

Wychwood

1889

1272

James Laing

1889/1911

Sold in 1911

19

Windrush

1891

1532

Robert Thompson

1891/1912

Sold to Canadian owners

2) VESSELS NOT BUILT AT SUNDERLAND

#

Name

Built

Gross

Built by

Years in fleet

Disposition

1

Anna Catherine

1841

255

 

1854/1855

Lost

2

Foxglove

1868

485

Rearden or Reardon of Stockton

1868/1872

Sold

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