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West Hartlepool Line/West Hartlepool Steam Navigation Company

History

I am grateful to B.G. Spaldin and H.S. Appleyard for most of the information on this page.

The correct name for this company was the West Hartlepool Steam Navigation Company. It was founded in 1856 by Ralph Ward Jackson and incorporated the West Hartlepool Steam Shipping Company wich dated from 1853 and which in turn originated with the West Hartlepool Shipping Company which had been founded in 1849.

WHSNC was initially controlled by the West Hartlepool Harbour and Railway Company and took part in the coal trade and provided a twice weekly service to Hamburg and a fortnightly service to St. Petersburg in season. The company purchased collieries and railways but in 1862 was found to be in breach of the Act of Parliament under which the company had been formed as this limited activities to the harbour and railways. In 1862 Jackson resigned and new directors were appointed. Ships were sold at a loss. A new company was formed but this was forced into liquidation in 1866 when the company's bank collapsed.

In 1899 a limited liability company called The West Hartlepool Steam Navigation Company Limited was formed with a capital of £500,000 and combined the fleet of the old West Hartlepool Steam Navigation Company with that of Mr. J.E. Guthe. Sir Christopher Furness was elected chairman and Guthe became managing director. The new company operated in the tramp steamer trade, operated services to Gothenburg and Hamburg and a weekly service from Stockton and Middlesbrough to Hamburg. Offices were opened in Cardiff and Newport and a service was operated jointly with Bucknall Line and F.C. Strick and Co Ltd. from Manchester, Cardiff and London to the Persian Gulf.

In 1906 Mr. J.E. Guthe Jnr. joined the Board of Directors and the Dinsdalehall Steam Ship Company Limited was formed. The various tramp steamers were regularly employed in the coal trade to the Danube and Black Sea ports bringing back grain to the UK. At the outbreak of WW1, the company steamer Federation was in Hamburg but managed to avoid internment by leaving port in total darkness.

In 1914 the Wiltonhall Steam Ship Company Limited was formed and Boltonhall, which is included in the Allen Collection, was owned by this company. With the loss of services to Hamburg and Gothenburg, the ships serving these routes were sold. J.E. Guthe died in 1916. He had brought his three sons into the company. One of these was killed in action and another died shortly after his father leaving his remaining son Mr. J.E. Guthe.

In the early 1920s the company acquired some second-hand ships and took delivery of Grantleyhall in 1927. Despite the recession of the 1930s five more ships were ordered and built.

There were a number of losses in WW2 and the company provided accommodation for the Dutch firm Vinke and Company of Amsterdam until Holland was liberated.

In 1947 the company ventured into the fishing industry and had several deep-sea trawlers. In 1975 J.E. Guthe died and was succeeded by his son Digby Guthe. In its latter years the company operated ships suitable for time charter to liner companies.

A check of Companies House shows the company to be dormant with the last documents filed in 2018.

Ships

Boltonhall

Boltonhall
Click image for enlarged view

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers Wiltonhall SS Co Ltd
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder W. Gray & Co Ltd
Shipyard West Hartlepool
Country where built UK
Yard Number 1056
Official Number 160775
Call Sign MKMM
Classification Society Lloyds
Gross Tonnage 4,824
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 2,861
Length 410.7 Ft.
Overall Length 423.5 Ft.
Breadth or Beam 54.8 Ft.
Depth 24.9 Ft.
Draught N/K
Engine Type Triple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 22", 36", 63" and stroke 48"
Engine Builder W. Gray & Co Ltd
Engine Builder Works Central Marine Engineering Works, West Hartlepool
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details 3 single-ended boilers operating at 225 psi
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 458 MN
Maximum Speed 11

Additional Construction Information

  • 1 deck and shelter deck
  • Fitted with radio direction finding equipment

Career Highlights

Date Event
28 October 1935 Launched
December 1935 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 Merchant Knight and owner to Drake Sg Co Ltd 1948, change of name to Mai Rickmers and owner to Rickmers-Linie mbH 1951. Taken to Kobe 30 December 1961 for breaking by Amakasu Sangyo Kisen.

Clumberhall

Clumberhall
Click image for enlarged view

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers West Hartlepool SN Co Ltd
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder William Gray & Co. Ltd.
Shipyard West Hartlepool
Country where built UK
Yard Number 1039
Official Number 160767
Call Sign GQZJ
Classification Society Lloyds
Gross Tonnage 5,198
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 3,097
Length 425.2 Ft.
Overall Length 435.5 Ft.
Breadth or Beam 55.3 Ft.
Depth 25.6 Ft.
Draught N/K
Engine Type Quadruple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 20", 28.5", 41.5", 61" and stroke 48"
Engine Builder Cen. Mar. Engineering Works Ltd
Engine Builder Works West Hartlepool
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details 3 single-ended boilers operating at 260psi
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 441 NHP
Maximum Speed 10

Additional Construction Information

  • 1 steel deck and shelter deck
  • Fitted with radio direction finding equipment

Career Highlights

Date Event
11 June 1930 Launched
August 1930 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 Ormos and owner to Ormos Sg Co Ltd 1946, change of name to Alpha Oranje and owher to Alpha South African SS Co Ltd 1947, change of owner to Moller Line Ltd 1950, change of name to Eiko Maru and owner to Toho Kaiun KK 1951, change of owner to Nichiro Gyogyo KK 1955. Taken to Sakai for breaking by Shinwa Kaiun 6 June 1961

Daltonhall

Daltonhall
Click image for enlarged view

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers West Hartlepool SN Co Ltd
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder W. Doxford & Sons
Shipyard Pallion, Sunderland
Country where built UK
Yard Number 672
Official Number 168926
Call Sign GQXG
Classification Society Lloyds
Gross Tonnage 7,253
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 5,022
Length 427 Ft.
Overall Length 442.9 Ft.
Breadth or Beam 56.5 Ft.
Depth 35.5 Ft.
Draught N/K
Engine Type Diesel Engine
Engine Details 2SCSA oil engine with 3 cylinders of bore 23 5/82 and stroke 91 5/16"
Engine Builder W. Doxford & Sons
Engine Builder Works Sunderland
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details 2 double-ended boilers operating at 120 psi
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 516 NHP
Maximum Speed N/K

Additional Construction Information

  • 2 decks and cruiser stern
  • Fitted with radio direction finding and echo sounding equipment
  • Fitted with gyro compass

Career Highlights

Date Event
28 December 1940 Launched
June 1941 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 Altis and owner to Altis Sg Co Ltd 1958, change of owner to Salamis Maritime Co Ltd 1965. Taken to Whampoa for breaking 11 May 1967

Hendonhall

Hendonhall
Click image for enlarged view

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers British Government
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder W. Doxford & Sons
Shipyard Pallion, Sunderland
Country where built UK
Yard Number 712
Official Number 180131
Call Sign GBTH
Classification Society Lloyds
Gross Tonnage 7,359
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 5,008
Length 431 Ft.
Overall Length 444.8 Ft.
Breadth or Beam 56.5 Ft.
Depth 35.5 Ft.
Draught N/K
Engine Type Diesel Engine
Engine Details 2SCSA oil engine with 3 cylinders of bore 23 5/8" and stroke 91 5/16"
Engine Builder W. Doxford & Sons
Engine Builder Works Sunderland
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details 2 double-ended boilers operating at 120 psi
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 516 NHP
Maximum Speed 10

Additional Construction Information

  • 2 decks and cruiser stern
  • Fitted with radio direction finding and echo sounding equipment

Career Highlights

Date Event
11 November 1943 Launched
25 March 1944 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 the British Government as Empire General. Change of name to Hendonhall and owner to West Hartlepool SN Co Ltd 1947, change of name to Taxiarhis and owner to Lebanesa Ltda SA 1959, change of name to Tony C. 1971. Taken to Skaramanga 24 April 1972 for breaking by Sidiremboriki.

Kepwickhall (1932)

Kepwickhall (1932)
Click image for enlarged view

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers West Hartlepool SN Co Ltd
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder William Gray & Co. Ltd.
Shipyard West Hartlepool
Country where built UK
Yard Number 1052
Official Number 160773
Call Sign GTXR
Classification Society Lloyds
Gross Tonnage 4,831
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 2,810
Length 410.7 Ft.
Overall Length N/K
Breadth or Beam 54.8 Ft.
Depth 24.9 Ft.
Draught N/K
Engine Type Quadruple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 20", 28.5", 41.5", 61" and stroke 48"
Engine Builder William Gray & Co. Ltd.
Engine Builder Works Central Marine Engineering Works, West Hartlepool
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details 3 single-ended boilers operating at 260 psi
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 467 NHP
Maximum Speed 10.5

Additional Construction Information

  • 1 deck and shelter deck
  • Fitted with radio direction finding equipment

Career Highlights

Date Event
18 June 1932 Launched
August 1932 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 Change of name to Stanhall and owner to Stanhope SS Co Ltd 1938. The vessel was sunk on 30 May 1940 by a torpedo fired by German submarine U-101 at position 48° 59' N, 05° 17' W. Details of Merchant Navy casualties can be found on the Benjidog Tower Hill website HERE.

Kepwickhall (1936)

Kepwickhall (1936)
Click image for enlarged view

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers West Hartlepool SN Co Ltd
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder W. Doxford & Sons
Shipyard Pallion, Sunderland
Country where built UK
Yard Number 816
Official Number 180101
Call Sign N/K
Classification Society N/K
Gross Tonnage 5,779
Deadweight (DWT) 9480
Net Tonnage N/K
Length 132.6 Metres
Overall Length 143 Metres
Breadth or Beam 18.1 Metres
Depth N/K
Draught N/K
Engine Type Diesel Engine
Engine Details N/K
Engine Builder N/K
Engine Builder Works N/K
Engine Builder Country N/K
Boiler Details N/K
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power N/K
Maximum Speed 13.5

Career Highlights

Date Event
4 September 1956 Launched
November 1956 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 owner to Kepwick Sg Co Ltd 1961, change of name to Fidentia and owner to Metcalfe Sg Co Ltd 1966, change of name to Premier Arctic and owner to Premier Sg Corp Inc 1972. Taken to Gadani Beach 30 May 1979 for breaking by Indus Steel Tdg Co.

Lindenhall

Lindenhall
Click image for enlarged view

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers West Hartlepool SN Co Ltd
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder William Gray & Co. Ltd.
Shipyard West Hartlepool
Country where built UK
Yard Number 1076
Official Number 160778
Call Sign GCCV
Classification Society Lloyds
Gross Tonnage 5,248
Deadweight (DWT) N/K
Net Tonnage 3,099
Length 439 Ft.
Overall Length 453.8 Ft.
Breadth or Beam 56.1 Ft.
Depth 26 Ft.
Draught N/K
Engine Type Triple-expansion Steam Engine
Engine Details Cylinders of bore 23", 37", 65" and stroke 45" plus low pressure turbine with DR gear and hydraulic coupling
Engine Builder William Gray & Co. Ltd.
Engine Builder Works Central Engineering Works West Hartlepool
Engine Builder Country UK
Boiler Details 3 single-ended boilers operating at 220 psi
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power 548 NHP
Maximum Speed 11

Additional Construction Information

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

Career Highlights

Date Event
24 July 1937 Launched
October 1937 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 damaged on 19 March 1941 after hitting a mine whilst in Victoria Dock London and was sunk on 7 November 1942 by torpedoes fired by German submarine U-508 at position 11° 34' N, 63° 26' W (off Venezuela). There are details of the Merchant Navy casualties on the Benjidog Tower Hill website HERE.

Polamhall

Polamhall
Click image for enlarged view

Basic Data

Item Value
Type Cargo Ship
Original Owners and Managers West Hartlepool SN Co Ltd
Country First Registered UK
Shipbuilder W. Doxford & Sons
Shipyard Pallion, Sunderland
Country where built UK
Yard Number 772
Official Number 180090
Call Sign N/K
Classification Society N/K
Gross Tonnage 5,507
Deadweight (DWT) 9220
Net Tonnage N/K
Length 128.2 Metres
Overall Length 136.5 Metres
Breadth or Beam 17.7 Metres
Depth N/K
Draught N/K
Engine Type Diesel Engine
Engine Details N/K
Engine Builder N/K
Engine Builder Works N/K
Engine Builder Country N/K
Boiler Details N/K
Propulsion Type Single Screw
Power N/K
Maximum Speed 12.5

Career Highlights

Date Event
24 August 1949 Launched
February 1950 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 Sokorri and owner to Socoa Sg Co Ltd 1962, change of name to Panaghia Grigoroussa and owner to Virgo Sg Co Ltd 1971, change of name to Buena Ventura II and owner to Manites Cia Naviera SA 1950. Taken to Gadani Beach February 1977 for breaking by Indus Importers.


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