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National Maritime Museum

London and Rochester Trading Company Ltd (1924- 1984)


Reference code(s): GB 0064 LRT

Held at: National Maritime Museum

Title: London and Rochester Trading Company Ltd (1924- 1984)

Date(s): 19th century-20th century

Level of description: Collection

Extent: 16 boxes

Name of creator(s): London And Rochester Trading Company Ltd.


Administrative/Biographical history:

George William Gill, a ship surveyor, founded the Chatham Shipbuilding Business of Gill and sons in 1858. This business built sailing craft, barges and paddle steamers and had its own fleet of barges. On the 1st April 1900 the company joined with Stewart Brothers and Spencer of Strood, it owned a seed crushing mill and operated barges. The resulting London and Rochester Barge Company Ltd. started with a fleet of 25 sailing barges of 22 lighters. In 1907 the company bought its first motor barge. By 1924 the sail barge fleet had expanded to 60; in that year the present name of the company was adopted. The company built sail barges for its own use until 1928. In 1929, Albert Hutson of Maidstone was made Managing Director of the Maidstone Office. Hutson owned 20 sailing barges and 50 lighters. Transshipment of wood pulp from Rochester to Aylesford began that year. The company placed a prominent role in barge racing. In 1960 the company began 'Crescent Line' services between Whitstable, Kent and Esbjerg, Denmark. Services from Rainham to Dieppe, Rotherham and Ostend began in 1965, 1966 and 1968 respectively. In 1951 Francis Gilders Ltd. of Colchester merged with the firm. In 1964 London and Rochester merged with the Hay's Group. The London & Rochester Company's first bulk starch carrier was delivered in 1969. The company also carried beer in casks, coal and dry cargoes. In 1969 the fleet consisted of 30 motor ships, 13 coastwise barges, 14 estuary barges, 7 river barges, 96 lighters, 6 tugs and 19 motor craft, which were merged from other owners.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of London and Rochester Trading Company Ltd., comprising the company's financial and business records including contract agreements for ship specifications for the building of company barges, bills of sale for various barges, general arrangement plans and miscellaneous material re: company's lease arrangements and other business records.


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:

Acquired 22/09/1998, as a gift from Hays Marine Services Ltd.



Archivist's note: Edited by Sarah Drewery, Sep 2011.

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
Shipbuilding | Marine engineering | Transport engineering
Ships | Vehicles | Transport
Marine transport
Water transport

Personal names

Corporate names
London And Rochester Trading Company Ltd.