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Nisbet Line

History

The Nisbet, Calder partnership formed Clydesdale Navigation Co Ltd in 1906 and bought a second-hand tramp steamer. A second ship was bought in 1909 and a third in 1913, when the managing company became George Nisbet & Co. Two of the ships were sold during WW1 and the third was torpedoed on a voyage between Middlesbrough and the Tyne in ballast.

George Nisbet & Co resumed as shipowners in 1924, when Nisbet Shipping Co Ltd was formed and adopted the prefix 'Blair' for their vessels. The business expanded and a third company, Northern Navigation Co Ltd was formed. By 1929 the fleet consisted of 10 ships; 4 owned by Clydesdale, 3 by Nisbet Shipping and 3 by Northern Navigation. Their main trading activity was from UK to Canada and the USA, but some voyages were undertaken to Russia, the Mediterranean and Australia.

Like all tramp owners Nisbet suffered during the Great Depression, but survived and at the start of WW2 owned 9 vessels and another 8 were allocated to the company by the MOWT. Their losses were heavy; 8 by enemy action, 2 by collision and 1 ship foundered. Nisbet continued after the war, although by 1955 the fleet was down to 3 ships. These were sold in 1961 and the companies liquidated.

Ships

Blairatholl

Blairatholl
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Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers Nisbet Sg Co Ltd
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder Napier & Miller Ltd
Shipyard Glasgow
Country where built UK
Yard Number 252
Official Number 148875
Call Sign GLNX
Classification Society N/K
Gross Tonnage 3,319
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 2,005
Length 340.1 Ft.
Overall Length N/K
Breadth or Beam 48.7 Ft.
Depth 22.5 Ft.
Draught N/K
Engine Type Triple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 22", 35 1/2", 60" and stroke 39"
Engine Builder D. Rowan & Co Ltd
Engine Builder Works Glasgow
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details 2 single-ended boilers
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 298 NHP
Maximum Speed 9

Additional Construction Information

  • 1 deck
  • Fitted with radio direction finding and echo sounding equipment

Career Highlights

Date Event
4 August 192 Launched
September 1925 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Sunk/foundered (Peacetime)
Service History Information Sunk following collision with John Bakke on 26 November 1942 at approximate position 51°25' N, 48°30' W whilst en route from London to the Tyne with a cargo of steel and lumber.

Blairclova

Blairclova
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Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers B.J.Sutherland & Co Ltd
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder J Readhead & Sons Ltd
Shipyard South Shields
Country where built UK
Yard Number 512
Official Number 165762
Call Sign GLLG
Classification Society Lloyd's
Gross Tonnage 5,083
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 2,953
Length 423.7 Ft.
Overall Length 439.2 Ft.
Breadth or Beam 56.7 Ft.
Depth 24.8 Ft.
Draught N/K
Engine Type Triple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 25", 42", 71" and stroke 48"
Engine Builder J Readhead & Sons Ltd
Engine Builder Works South Shields
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details 2 single-ended boilers and 1 auxiliary boiler operating at 220 psi
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 524 MN
Maximum Speed 11

Additional Construction Information

  • 1 deck, shelter deck and cruiser stern
  • Fitted with radio direction finding and echo sounding equipment

Career Highlights

Date Event
3 March 1938 Launched
May 1938 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Broken Up
Service History Information Completed for B.J.Sutherland & Co Ltd as Sutherland. Change of name to Blairclova and owner to Clydesdale Nav Co Ltd 1939, change of name to Ocean Venture and owner to Pan-Norse SS Co SA 1961. Wrecked on the north side of Harbour Island, Tolo, Hong Kong on 1 September 1962 and broken up.

Blairdevon

Blairdevon
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Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers Nisbet Sg Co Ltd
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder Napier & Miller Ltd
Shipyard Old Kilpatrick
Country where built UK
Yard Number 244
Official Number 147946
Call Sign GKZQ
Classification Society N/K
Gross Tonnage 3,282
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 2,006
Length 338.4 Ft.
Overall Length N/K
Breadth or Beam 48.7 Ft.
Depth 22.6 Ft.
Draught N/K
Engine Type Triple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 22", 35 1/2", 60" and stroke 39"
Engine Builder David Rowan & Co
Engine Builder Works Glasgow
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details N/K
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 225 NHP
Maximum Speed 9

Additional Construction Information

  • 1 deck
  • Fitted with radio direction finding and echo sounding equipment

Career Highlights

Date Event
28 November 1924 Launched
January 1925 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Broken Up
Service History Information Change of name to Jennifer Jane and owner to Pan-Ocean Nav Co SA 1956, change of name to Dorothea 1959. Taken to Karachi April 1970 for breaking by Hardware Manufacturing Co

Blairesk

Blairesk
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Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers Northern Nav Co Ltd
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder Napier & Miller
Shipyard Old Kilpatrick
Country where built UK
Yard Number 246
Official Number 148841
Call Sign GLJR
Classification Society N/K
Gross Tonnage 3,300
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 2,018
Length 340.4 Ft.
Overall Length N/K
Breadth or Beam 48.7 Ft.
Depth 22.6 Ft.
Draught N/K
Engine Type Triple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 22", 35 1/2", 60" and stroke 39"
Engine Builder D. Rowan & Co Ltd
Engine Builder Works Glasgow
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details N/K
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 225 NHP
Maximum Speed 9

Additional Construction Information

  • 1 deck
  • Fitted with radio direction finding and echo sounding equipment

Career Highlights

Date Event
14 January 1925 Launched
March 1925 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Broken Up
Service History Information Change of name to Eddi and owner to Rudolf Chr. Gribel 1952, change of name to Eddy and owner to Liberian SS Crop Eddy 1954, change of name to San Gabriele and owner to San Gabriele Corp 1961. Taken to Savona August 1970 for breaking by G.Riccardi

Blairgowrie

Blairgowrie
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Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers Clydesdale Nav Co Ltd
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder Napier & Miller Ltd.
Shipyard Glasgow
Country where built UK
Yard Number 243
Official Number 147920
Call Sign GFYD
Classification Society N/K
Gross Tonnage 3,259
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 1,993
Length 338.4 Ft.
Overall Length N/K
Breadth or Beam 48.7 Ft.
Depth 22.6 Ft.
Draught N/K
Engine Type Triple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 22", 35 1/2", 60" and stroke 39"
Engine Builder N/K
Engine Builder Works N/K
Engine Builder Country N/K
Boiler Details N/K
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 225 NHP
Maximum Speed N/K

Additional Construction Information

  • 1 deck

Career Highlights

Date Event
7 July 1924 Launched
August 1924 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew 26 at time of loss
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Sunk/foundered (Peacetime)
Service History Information The vessel issued a distress signal on 26 February 1935 stating that her steering had gone and two hatches had stove in. This was during a violent westerly gale. Ships arriving on the scene found no trace of her and she was lost with all hands. She was en route from Swansea to Boston USA with a cargo of anthracite and had given her position as 48°20' N, 27°01' W.

Blairholm

Blairholm
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Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers Northern SS Co Ltd
Country First Registered Russia
Shipbuilder Blyth Shipbuilding & Dry Docks Co. Ltd.
Shipyard Blyth
Country where built UK
Yard Number 126
Official Number 120672
Call Sign KMFB (as Blairholm)
Classification Society Lloyd's
Gross Tonnage 2,728
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 1,698
Length 313 Ft.
Overall Length N/K
Breadth or Beam 45.5 Ft.
Depth 20.5 Ft.
Draught N/K
Engine Type Triple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 22", 38", 61" and stroke 42"
Engine Builder N.E. Marine Engineering Co Ltd
Engine Builder Works Newcastle
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details 2 single-ended boilers operating at 180 psi
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 262 NHP
Maximum Speed 9

Additional Construction Information

  • 1 deck
  • Fitted with electric light
  • Fitted with wireless

Career Highlights

Date Event
30 September 1905 Launched
March 1906 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Wrecked
Service History Information Completed for Northern SS Co Ltd as Aleksandr Kamburov. Change of name to San Giacomo and owner to Soc Maritime et Commerciale de France 1921, change of name to Korsholm and owner to Rederi A/S Limfjorden 1922, change of name to Blairholm and owner to Clydesdale Nav Co Ltd 1923, change of name to Auratan and owner to A. Grozea 1933, change of name to SF. Nicolae and owner to M.N. Valsamakis 1934, change of name to Anna T. and owner to Tn, L. Teryazos 1935, change of name to Kiensing and owner to Kien Sing SN Co Ltd 1946. The vessel was wrecked on 28 February 1948 at approximate position 22°38' N, 115°28' E whilst en route from Hainan to Kobe with a cargo of iron ore

Blairlogie

Blairlogie
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Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers Portfield SS Co Ltd
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder Craig, Taylor & Co Ltd.
Shipyard Stockton on Tees
Country where built UK
Yard Number 225
Official Number 148310
Call Sign KRGD
Classification Society Lloyd's
Gross Tonnage 3,071
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 1,919
Length 325.8 Ft.
Overall Length N/K
Breadth or Beam 47.4 Ft.
Depth 21.9 Ft.
Draught N/K
Engine Type Triple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 22 1/2", 37 1/2", 62" and stroke 42"
Engine Builder Rotterdam Droogd Maats
Engine Builder Works Rotterdam
Engine Builder Country Netherlands
Boiler Details 2 single-ended boilers operating at 160 psi
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 266 NHP
Maximum Speed N/K

Additional Construction Information

  • 1 deck
  • Fitted with wireless

Career Highlights

Date Event
8 August 1929 Launched
October 1929 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Sunk/foundered (Act of War)
Service History Information Completed for Portfield SS Co Ltd as Portfield. Change of name to Grovedene and owner to Grovedene Sg Co Ltd 1935, change of name to Blairlogie and owner to Clydesdale Nav Co Ltd 1936. The vessel was attacked by machine guns and shells by German submarine U-30 on 11 September 1939 at approximate position 54°58' N, 15°08' W and later sunk by torpedo. She was en route from Portland USA to the UK with a cargo of scrap iron. All the crew survived.

Note: The submarine U-30 and her commander Lemp had sunk Athenia just over a week earlier and caused great controversy. The story of Athenia can be found on the Benjidog Athenia website HERE.

Blairmore

Blairmore
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Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers Clydesdale Nav Co Ltd
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder Ayrshire Dockyard Co Ltd
Shipyard Irvine
Country where built UK
Yard Number 514
Official Number 160219
Call Sign GSNB
Classification Society N/K
Gross Tonnage 4,141
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 2,533
Length 371.7 Ft.
Overall Length N/K
Breadth or Beam 51.2 Ft.
Depth 24.3 Ft.
Draught N/K
Engine Type Triple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 22", 38", 63" and stroke 42"
Engine Builder D. Rowan & Co Ltd
Engine Builder Works Glasgow
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details N/K
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 257 NHP
Maximum Speed 11

Additional Construction Information

  • 1 deck
  • Fitted with radio direction finding equipment

Career Highlights

Date Event
12 July 1928 Launched
August 1928 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Sunk/foundered (Act of War)
Service History Information The vessel was sunk on 25 August 1940 by a torpedo fired by German submarine U-37 at position 56° 00' N 27° 30' W. Details of Merchant Seamen who lost their lives can be found on the Benjidog Tower Hill website HERE.

Blairspey

Blairspey
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Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers Northern Nav Co Ltd
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder Ardrossan DD & SB Co Ltd
Shipyard Ardrossan
Country where built UK
Yard Number 344
Official Number 161892
Call Sign GNZD
Classification Society N/K
Gross Tonnage 4,155
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 2,522
Length 371.8 Ft.
Overall Length N/K
Breadth or Beam 51.2 Ft.
Depth 24.3 Ft.
Draught N/K
Engine Type Triple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 22", 38", 63" and stroke 42"
Engine Builder J.G. Kincaid Ltd
Engine Builder Works Greenock
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details N/K
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 257 NHP
Maximum Speed 9.5

Additional Construction Information

  • 1 deck
  • Fitted with radio direction finding equipment

Career Highlights

Date Event
5 September 1929 Launched
October 1929 Completed

Crew and Capacity Information

Item Value
Crew N/K
Passengers N/K
Cargo Capacity N/K

Status and Service History Information

Item Value
Status Broken Up
Service History Information Change of name to Empire Spey and owner to British Government 1942, change of name to Blairspey and owner to Northern Nav Co Ltd 1946, change of name to Evandros and owner to Marfuente Cia Naviera SA 1961. Taken to La Spezia for breaking 2 May 1967


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