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The Fleets

Albyn Line, Sunderland 1901-1966

The Albyn Line was founded as a private company in Sunderland in 1901 with Sir William Allan (1837-1903) as its chairman. After his death, Sir James (later Lord) Joicey (1846-1936) succeeded him.
Following a management contract in 1901 between the new company and the already existing firm of Allan Black and Company, the latter's managing director and managers took over these posts in the new company as well.
From the start of tramping operations the company used names starting with “Thistle” for all of its ships.

The pattern of Albyn Line trade was South Welsh or Tyne coal outwards to the Continent or Port Said, and after discharge in ballast through the Dardanelles to Odessa to load grain for London or the Continent. Other areas served occasionally were the River Plate and the Gulf of Mexico.

At the outbreak of the First World War the company owned four vessels. Apart from one which was detained by the Turks for the duration of the war, all the others were lost in 1917.

Until 1924 the Albyn Line operated with only one ship and the voyages tended to be of longer duration. During this period its income was supplemented by the profits of its shipping agency business. Two ships were built in 1924 and 1925, and in 1928 and 1929 four more new ships were immediately laid up because of the depression.

The Albyn Line entered the Second World War with four ships, only one of which survived.
In the 1950s three motor ships were built and they were chartered to liner or tramp companies. From 1961 trading conditions became less and less profitable and in 1966 the firm went into voluntary liquidation and the fleet sold to Chapman & Willan Ltd.

Many thanks to Henk Jungerius and Ted Finch for his assistance in collecting this data. The following list was extracted from various sources. This is not an all inclusive list but should only be used as a guide. If you would like to know more about a vessel, visit the Ship Descriptions (onsite) or Immigrant Ship web site.

Funnel & Flag:

Fleet:

Funnel Flag
Vessel Built Years in Service Tons
Thistleard 1912 built by Craig, Taylor & Co.Ltd, Stockton on Tees | 24th April 1917 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.82. 4,136
Thistleban 1910 built by Craig, Taylor & Co.Ltd, Stockton on Tees | 23rd December 1916 mined and sunk near Alexandria. 4,117
Thistleben 1924 built by W. Pickersgill & Sons, Sunderland | 4th October 1928 sunk in collision with US Steamer HANLEY off Florida coast. 4,589
Thistlebrae 1928 built by J. L. Thompson & Sons Ltd. Sunderland | 1940 seized by German forces at Trondheim renamed Altkirch, 1944 renamed Inster, 3rd May 1945 sunk by British aircraft off Laboe. 4,747
Thistledale 1941 built by J. L. Thompson & Sons Ltd. Sunderland | 1959 sold to Altis Cia Nav. S.A., Panama renamed Nedi, 29th November 1966 grounded Fehmarn Island, Lübeck when in tow for scrap, refloated and sold, 1967 scrapped at Kaohsiung. 7,241
Thistledhu (1) 1901 built by Irvine's Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Ltd., West Hartlepool | 18th June 1917 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.82 with the loss of 4 lives. 4,026
Thistledhu (2) 1955 built by John Crown & Son Ltd, Sunderland | 1957 renamed Kildare on charter to Avenue Shipping Co., 1960 renamed Thistledhu, 1966 sold to Somerston Shipping Co. Ltd, Bermuda (Chapman & Willan) renamed Merton, 1968 sold to Anesis Shipping Co., Panama renamed Rio Doro, 5th November 1977 steering engine failed and grounded Hatter Rev near Samso, 1978 scrapped at Bilbao. 5,635
Thistledowne 1952 built by J. L. Thompson & Sons Ltd. Sunderland | 1955 renamed Port Curtis on charter to Port Line, 1961 renamed Thistledowne, 1966 sold to Carlton S.S. Co. Ltd (Chapman & Willan), Newcastle, 1966 sold to Ratnakar Shipping Co., Calcutta renamed Ratna Jyoti, 1972 sold for scrapping, 1973 scrapped at Mazagan. 5,635
Thistleford 1928 built by Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland | 1950 sold to San Miguel Cia Mar S.A., Panama renamed Archon Michael, 18th December 1962 dragged anchors and grounded at Abu Zenima and declared total loss. 4,764
Thistlegarth 1929 built by Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland | 15th October 1940 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.103 with the loss of 31 lives. 4,750
Thistleglen 1929 built by Sir James Laing & Sons Ltd, Sunderland | 10th September 1941 torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U.85 with the loss of 3 lives. 4,750
Thistlegorm 1940 built by J. L. Thompson & Sons Ltd. Sunderland | 6th October 1941 bombed by German aircraft and sunk at anchorage F in Strait of Jubal, Gulf of Suez with the loss of 9 lives. 4,898
Thistlemor 1906 built by Craig, Taylor & Co.Ltd, Stockton on Tees | 3rd December 1909 foundered in Barnstaple Bay with the loss of 21 lives. 4,008
Thistlemuir 1941 built by J. L. Thompson & Sons Ltd. Sunderland | 1961 sold to Cia Auxilar Maritima Ltda, Port Limon, Costa Rica renamed Nunez de Balbao, 1968 scrapped at Osaka. 7,237
Thistleros 1924 built by D. & W. Henderson & Co. Ltd., Glasgow | 1928 sold to Mitsui Bussan K.K., Kobe renamed Shikisan Maru, 24th July 1944 torpedoed and sunk by American submarine USS Drum with the loss of 11 lives. 4,615
Thistleroy (1) 1902 built by Irvine's Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Ltd., West Hartlepool | 28th December 1911 wrecked on Cape Lookout Shoal, North Carolina. 4,027
Thistleroy (2) 1960 built by J. L. Thompson & Sons Ltd. Sunderland | 1966 sold to Somerston Shipping Co. Ltd, Bermuda (Chapman & Willan) renamed Ingleton, 1970 sold to Neptunea Mundial S.A., Panama renamed Panetolikon, 1981 sold to Askeladd Shipping Corp., Monrovia renamed Shabaan, 1982 sold to Najd Maritime Transport Co., Jeddah, 1984 scrapped at Chittagong. 7,919
Thistletor 1910 built by Irvine's Shipbuilding & Drydock Co. Ltd., West Hartlepool | 1930 sold to Plovidba Rad (Banaz & Rusko), Drubovnik renamed Rad, 3rd August 1940 shelled and sunk by German submarine UA. 4,162

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