Brockley Combe
Brockley Combe

June’s unknown ship brought many replies most of whom identified her as the Brockley Combe.

The winner of the June competition was Dave Haxell of Oxfordshire.

Malcolm Cranfield writes:

I believe that the ship is Brockley Combe of 1921, owned by A.L. Duggan’s ALD Shipping Company between 1926 and 1937, and that the photograph was taken in Bristol’s City Docks. Subsequent History: 1926 Brockley Combe, 1937 Lothdale, 1953 Orkney Dawn, 1955 Cumbria, broken up at Troon 3.7.57 (West of Scotland Shipbreaking Co.). The vessel Polly in the background, believed to have been built as such for Danish owners in 1911, was also broken up in 1957. A.L.Duggan was a prominent businessman and member both of Bristol City Council and the Port of Bristol Authority, becoming its Chairman. His ship owning as Ald Shipping Company, which had started in 1926, had concluded with the 1953 Dutch built Castle Combe, owned between 1954 and 1960.


Alan Blackwood writes:

This month’s ‘unknown’ is the 345 grt steam coaster Brockley Combe, the first of two identical vessels launched on the same day, 23rd March 1921 and for the same owners, the Northwich Carrying Company Ltd. by Cook, Welton & Gemmell Ltd. at their Beverley yard. The subject vessel, completed during 15th September 1921 as Redesmere, measured 135.0 x 23.1 x 9.0 feet overall and was powered by a Charles D. Holmes & Co. Ltd. of Hull built triple expansion steam engine which returned a speed of 9.5 knots. During 1926 she was sold to the Ald Shipping Company Ltd. of Bristol (with Alfred L. Duggan appointed Manager) and renamed Brockley Combe. Sold on during 1937 to the Helmsdale based George Couper & Co. Ltd., she was further renamed Lothdale. During 1942 Messrs. Duncan & Jamieson of Aberdeen became her Managers and two years later Bloomfields Ltd. (Coastal Shipping Department) also of Aberdeen, were appointed Managers. During 1946 she was registered to the ownership of C.B. Simpson of Helmsdale without change of name or PoR. In 1953 she was sold to Orcadian owners Bremner & Company, with John R. Bremner appointed Manager. During 22nd June 1953 she was renamed Orkney Dawn and registered at Kirkwall for operations serving the needs of Orkney’s southernmost islands. On 6th August 1955 she was sold to Captain W. Bennett of Whitehaven with John B. Moffat as manager and renamed Cumbria. She was broken up at my ‘home port’ of Troon by the West of Scotland Shipbreaking Company Ltd., commencing on 3rd July 1957.

Mike Goadby writes:

This months unknown ship is the 345 grt steamship Brockley Combe, built in 1921 by Cook, Welton and Gemmell Ltd. Beverley, (yard no 441) for the Northwich Carrying Co. Ltd., Northwich as Redesmere. Fitted with a 3cyl triple expansion engine which gave her a speed of 9.5 knots. Sold in 1926 to Ald Shipping Co. Ltd., Bristol (Alfred L Duggan manager) and renamed Brockley Combe. 1937 sold to George Couper and Co. Ltd., Helmsdale and renamed Lothdale. 22.6.1953 renamed Orkney Dawn. 1955 sold to Captain William Bennett, Whitehaven. 1955 arrived at Troon to be broken up by West of Scotland Shipbreaking Co. Ltd. Her sister ship was Hatchmere. Both ships were launched on the same day 23.3.1921. Hatchmere was lost on 21.12.1927 after striking a rock near White Head, Belfast Lough whilst on passage from Ardrossan to Magheramorne with a cargo of coal.

John Jordan writes:

Examining the surrounds of the little vessels and in particular the Warehouse with the ownership of J & R Bush puts this group in or about Bristol. The ship in question is old with a “woodbine” funnel show the letter “A”. This leads me to conclude that the owner was A.L. Duggan, an Alderman and a small time shipowner. The Company was known as ALD Shipping Company and was founded about 1923 and eventually absorbed by other owners in 1953/54. Ships of the company had names such as Brockley Combe, Castle Combe, and Monkton Combe. The owner was fond of recycling his ship’s names and had two Monkton Combes acquired from firstly, R&D Jones, with the name Goldcrest. That Monkton Combe was sold on in 1939 and Mr. Duggan acquired an Empire Ship from the Government Shipping Controller which he immediately named Monkton Combe. The vessel in the picture is possibly the SS Brockley Combe, acquired by ALD Shipping in 1930s and was a 135 foot steamer with a single hatch and was very ‘Puffer’ in overall design. She was built by Cook & Gemmell of Beverly in 1921 as Redesmere. That ship probably lasted with ALD Shipping to about 1936/37 as they got another Brockley Combe around 1939.

Derick Goubert writes:

June’s unknown ship is the Brockley Combe owned by Ald Sg. Co. Ltd. (A. L. Duggan) of Bristol. She was built by Cook, Welton and Gemmell Ltd. Beverley yard No 441, O.N. 145870 as Redemere in 1921 for the Northwich Carrying Co. Ltd., Northwich. Of 345 grt. 133 nrt 135 ft x 23.1 ft x 9.0 ft, and propelled by a T. 3-cyl by Charles D. Holmes Co. Ltd. Hull with a speed of 91/2 knots. Bought by Ald in 1926 and renamed they kept her till 1937 when she was sold to George Couper & Co. Ltd. Helmsdale and renamed Lothdale. 1942 managers became Duncan an Jamieson at Aberdeen. 1944 managers became Bloomfields Ltd. (Coastal shipping department), Aberdeen. 1946 sold to C.B. Simpson, Helmsdale. 1953 Sold to Bremner and Co. (John R. Bremner, manager),, Kirkwall. 22.6.1953 Renamed Orkney Dawn. 6.8.1955 sold to Capt. William Bennett (John B. Moffat, manager), Whitehaven. 3.7.1957 Arrived Troon to be scrapped by West of Scotland Shipbreaking Co.

Dave Haxell writes:

I believe the mystery ship is the Brockley Combe of the Ald shipping company of Bristol. Launched on 23rd February 1921 at the Cook, Welton & Gemmel yard (yard no 441) in Beverley, for the Northwich Carrying Company as the Redesmere she was completed on the 15th September 1921. Powered by a Triple-Expansion steam reciprocating engine which gave a speed of 9 ½ knots. She had a gross tonnage of 345 tons, a length of 134 ft, breadth of 30 ft and drew 9 ft aft. After 5 years as the Redesmere she was bought by the Ald Shipping Company and renamed Brockley Combe. She is photographed by the tea warehouse of J & R Bush which still exists today as part of the Bristol Heritage dock area. Alds sold her in 1937 to G. Couper & Company also of Bristol and she was renamed the Lothdale. In 1953 she was re-registered in Kirkwall and renamed the Orkney Dawn for Bremner & Company, finally becoming the Cumbria in 1955 for W Bennett before going to the West of Scotland shipbreakers in Troon in August 1957.


HC Spong writes:

The unknown is the Castle Combe owned by Ald Shipping Company pictured at Bristol.


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