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National Maritime Museum

Albyn Line Ltd


Reference code(s): GB 0064 ALB

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: Albyn Line Ltd

Date(s): 1901-1966

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 20ft: 610cm

Name of creator(s): Albyn Line Ltd


Administrative/Biographical history:

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. From then until the dissolution of the company in 1966 the office of chairman was filled by members of the Joicey family. 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. 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. As in 1914, 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.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Albyn Line Ltd, comprising Directors' and shareholders' minute books, 1901 to 1966, containing an unbroken series of balance sheets and profit and loss accounts; a full series of cash books and ledgers, 1901 to 1966; ships' voyage books, 1953 to 1966, containing information on costs, types of cargo, freight rates, rates of hire, fuel costs etc; voyage papers for some of the voyages of the last three ships from 1962 to 1966; insurance records, 1952 to 1966, and a random collection of chief officers' log books, 1960 to 1966. There are also the records of Allan Black and Company, the managers, relating to internal office administration, 1958 to 1966 and papers relating to the voluntary liquidation, 1966. There is no correspondence apart from two out-letterbooks.


Language/scripts of material: English

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Please contact the Archive for further information.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue online at the: National Maritime Museum website .


Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The records were presented in 1971 following a resolution at the last General Meeting of the members of the Albyn Line in 1966, when it was decided to liquidate.



Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions: Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions: 2010-08-26

Merchant shipping | Maritime transport | Transport
Shipping records | Documents | Information sources
Ships logs | Primary documents | Documents | Information sources
Water transport

Personal names

Corporate names
Albyn Line Ltd
Allan Black and Company