Swansea and Port Talbot Docks History

Onesimus Dorey, Shipowners Of Guernsey

As far as I can ascertain, this company was in existence in the late 19th century. All the following vessels were regular visitors to Swansea, mainly involved in the coal trade. Most of the vessels have the unmistakeable backdrop of Kilvey Hill. This company became of particular interest to me as the Belvedere(2) was my first vessel.

SARNIA - Built 1923 by Rennoldson at South Shields. Sold in 1957 and renamed Hardale. Broken up at Nieuw Lekkerkirk October 1958

BELVEDERE (1) - Built 1934 at Burntisland as Petworth, acquired by Doreys in 1957. Broken up at Nieuw Lekkerkirk 1960.

BELVEDERE (2) - Built in 1954 as Rambler Rose by John Lewis of Aberdeen for Hughes Holden of Swansea. Acquired by Doreys in 1961 and sold in 1965 and renamed Putney. Broken up in Limassol in May 1982

BELVEDERE (2) as Rambler Rose.

BELGRAVE - Built 1938 at Burntisland as Brasted. Acquired by Doreys in 1946 and broken up at Ghent in March 1962.

LANCRESSE - Built in 1930 by Henderson’s of Meadowside as the Prestatyn Rose. Acquired by Doreys in 1953 and broken at Bruges in March 1962

PORTELET (1) - Built in 1930 as Sanfry by Goole Shipbuilders. Acquired By Doreys in 1950 and broken up at Dublin in 1958

PORTELET (2) - Built in 1961 at Groningen and sold in 1978. Renamed Abdullah and deleted from register 1n 1995

ROCQUAINE - Built in 1943 by Scott Bowling for MOWT as Empire Rider. Acquired by Doreys in 1946 and broken up at Ternheuzen in 1961

HAVELET - Built in 1936 by Pickersgill at Southwick as Botswood. Acquired by Doreys in 1957 and broken up at Terneuzen in October 1961

PERELLE (1) - Built in 1945 as the Empire Fenchurch for MOWT. Acquired by Doreys in 1954. Sold in 1961 as a floating storage facility to Danish owners. 1962 reported as scrapped

PERELLE (2) - Built 1963 by George Brown at Gourock as Kinnaird Head. Acquired by Doreys in 1972. Sold in 1977 and renamed Francesca Seconda. Broken up at Porto Nogaro in November 1985.

PERELLE (3) Built in 1979 by Cooks of Wivenhoe. Sold in 1994 and renamed Fosseland

Letricheux & David Ltd.

While researching Swansea vessels lost to enemy action in World War 1, the name of a shipping company called Letricheux & David kept cropping up and, after a little research, I thought it was worthy of a place in Swansea’s maritime history.

Letricheux offices

The first mention of the company that I found was a notice in the London Gazette stating that a company called Letricheux, Callier & David, based in Swansea and carrying out business as “Merchants and Shipbrokers”, was dissolved by mutual consent on the 13th of February 1873.

In future, it stated, the business of shipbroker will be carried out by Ferdinand Callier, and the business of merchants by Adolphe Letricheux and Edmond David.

There is information regarding a company called Prevost & Letricheux trading as shipbrokers in 1860. Information from the Cambrian Index suggests this company traded up until 1871, and the next entry regarding Letricheux is in 1872 with mention of Letricheux, Callier & David.

From information in the London Gazette dated May 14th 1878 it appears that Ferdinand Callier had entered into business with a William Edgar Williams, the company being called Callier & Williams, Shipbrokers, Coal Merchants and Commission Agents. Somewhere along the line this partnership split up and William Williams was declared bankrupt. An application for his discharge as a bankrupt was made on May 11th 1878.

Most of the trade of these companies appears to have involved the export of coal from Swansea to various French ports, and the importation of wooden pit props, grain and potatoes back to South Wales.

Letricheux & David - The Fleet

S.S. ABERMAID - Built 1883 sold 1908 and renamed Torsten (as seen) S.S. Abertawe. No photo available. Built 1884 by Palmers Shipbuilding & Iron Co. Newcastle upon Tyne 1336t grt. Sold 1909 to Cie. Des Chargeures Francaise –Pisson & Cie.Paris

S.S. BUCHANESS - Built 1909 and sold in 1919 to Reardon Smith, Cardiff.

SS DUNGENESS - Built in 1904 and acquired by L&D in 1917 and sold to Reardon Smith 1920

SS HURLINESS - (seen as Kilnsea) Built in 1899 and acquired 1918 and sold to Reardon Smith 1919.

SS MERCURIA - No Photo available. Built 1899 as S.S. Kelvingrove and acquired in 1920 Sold on in 1920 to Brynmor Steamship Co., Swansea

SS SKEGNESS - No Photo available. Built in 1900 for the English Steamship Co., Middlesborough, which appears to be a subsidiary of L& D. Sold to Reardon Smith in 1919

SS YARBOROUGH - No photo available. Built 1900 by Wm. Gray & Co., at Sunderland Acquired 1918 and sold to Reardon Smith 1919

Letricheux Line Vessels Lost in World War 1

SS MILO - 1,4775 G.R.T. Built 1903 by Campbeltown Shipbuilders and acquired 1917. In collision June 22nd 1917 with unknown steamer 10 miles south of St. Albans Head while on passage from Rouen to Cardiff in ballast.

SS GUILDHALL - 2,609 G.R.T. Built 1898 by Tyne Iron Shipbuilding Co. Lt., Willington Acquired in 1917 Torpedoed and sunk by U62 June 25th 1917 40 miles SWxW Bishop Rock Lighthouse with 12 lives lost.

SS TARBETNESS - Built 1904 by Irvine Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Ltd. West Hartlepool 3,018 G.R.T. Acquired 1917 Torpedoed and sunk by U11O 12 miles S.W. of Caernarvon Lt/vl. March 7 th 1918

SS GIRDLENESS - Built 1905 by Ropner & Sons, Stockton on Tees. Acquired 1918 (English Steamship Co.Ltd.,) 3,018 G.R.T Torpedoed and sunk by U60 1.5 Miles NW of Cambeck Point, Bude Bay May 2nd 1918 while on passage from Swansea with a cargo of Patent Fuel 2 Casualties

SS SARACEN - This vessel of 3,272 G.R.T. was built by John Priestman & Co. Sunderland in 1917. She was lost on the morning of Boxing Day 1917 between Ushant and the coast of N.W. France . It is believed that this vessel struck a mine that had been laid some months earlier in the vicinity of the Isle of Wight. All the crew were saved

SS ORFORDNESS - This vessel of 2790 G.R.T. was built by Ropner & Sons. Stockton on Tees in 1906. She was acquired by Letricheux Lines in 1918 and operated by the English Steamship Co.Ltd., which we assume was a subsidiary of Letricheux Lines. On July 20th 1918, whilst on passage from Rouen to Barry in ballast, she was torpedoed and sunk by U 60 2.5 miles WxN of Newquay in Cornwall with the loss of 2 lives.

Article contributed by Ron Tovey (author)

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