Swansea and Port Talbot Docks History

Brian Murphy - Towage

Brian Murphy has kindly supplied us with the following towage documents and photographs relating to the Alexandra and Britannia towing companies at Swansea and Port Talbot Docks.

As well as some interesting photos of early local tugboats, Brian has included 'before and after' shots of several well-known tugs which were sold on to work in other UK ports or in other parts of the world.


The above three documents are dated 1964.

Towage rates for 1956.

Towage Rates for 1960.

Letter sent to tug users in July 1956

Tugs based in Swansea in November 1961.

Swansea Tugs before 1900.

Tugs 1900 to 1939

Tugs 1945 to 1995

The six tugs shown below were all associated with the port of Swansea.

Steam tug ''Expert'' built in 1892. Owned by A. O. Richards, Swansea from 1912 to 1916. Seen here in the river Tawe just below the New Cut Bridge.

Steam tug ''Foxhound'' built by Cox of Falmouth for the Britannia Steam Towing Company. Sold in 1938 to Bristol Channel Towage Cardiff and renamed ''Blazer''.

Steam tug ''Robert Redhead''. Built in 1900 as the ''Hannah Joliffe'' for service at Liverpool. Purchased in 1925 by Swansea Steam Tug Owners Ltd. Sold  in 1930 to Redhead & Dry and renamed ''Robert Redhead''.

Steam tug ''Amy''. Built in 1901, owned by Tug Boats Ltd, Swansea from 1920 to 1921 and then by the G. W. R. at Swansea until 1929.

Steam tug ''Lynx'' built in 1905 for Thomas Milward Swansea. Sold in 1913 to Grimsby Salvage and Towage Company. Seen here at the Shipbuilders Ailsa Shipbuilding Company Ayr.

Steam tug ''Criccieth''. Built in 1905 as the ''Conqueror'' for Steam Tug Conqueror Ltd of Swansea. Sold in 1920 to France Fenwick Tyne and Wear at Sunderland. Renamed ''Criccieth'' in 1922.

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