Dover Industries Ltd, Scrapyard, Eastern Docks
The Admiralty, who were using the Eastern Arm Camber for their ships during World War One, first set up a Shipbreakers toward end of the war. This was very soon taken over by Stanlee Ship Breaking Co. It was possibly owned by Wilfred Shirvell of Guernsey until 13.12.1926, when it was Struck off. The business then became A O Hill Ltd (director Austin Hill), which in turn was wound up on 20.3.1931 ( eventually struck off on 20.3.1936). A rival Shipbreaker was Dover Shipbreaking Company Ltd which went into Liquidation about 22.3.1926. Stanlee Purchased it’s Assets including Tugs Biter, Clincher, Ruby and Wrangler.
In 1931, under the directorship of Mr E P Hills, the business was known as Dover Industries Ltd. Finally on 31.12.1964, Dover Harbour Board required the land to develop the car ferry terminal and the business ceased.
The main business was the dismantling of ships, machinery and large plant. By 1926 there were 800 men employed there and the yard occupied almost all of the Eastern Docks. Many of the ships were naval ships from First World War. (This was a time of great activity following the 1921-22 - Washington Naval Treaty - Britain, United States, Japan, France and Italy agreed to limit the displacement and main armament of capital ships, aircraft carriers and cruisers, and total tonnage and age of the first two categories). This included HMS Glatton, which in 1918 was moored in the Harbour. A fierce fire broke out, threatening the after magazines(forward magazines had been flooded). If the ship was to blow up, the whole Fleet and parts of Dover would have been affected, and therefore it was decided to sink the vessel by torpedo !!! This was done with unfortunately some loss of life.
LIST OF SHIPS
HMS GLATTON Dover post 1918 (sunk in harbour 1918)
HMS HALCYON 6.11.1919 Sold to J H Lee of Dover Minesweeper
HMS COLNE Dover 4.11.1919
HMS WRANGLER Dec 1919 Banterer class gunboat
HMS DUNCAN “ 18.02.1920 Battleship
HMS CANOPUS “ 18.02.1920 Battleship
HMS C 8 “ 22.10.1920 Submarine
HMS Tay 22.10.1920 Gun Boat Medina class
HMTB No 87 “ 27.03.1920 Torpedo Boat
HMS H 12 April 1920
HMS TB101 (ex “Ghurka” Indian Navy) 27.03.1920 Torpedo Boat
HMS VENERABLE “ 4.6.1920 Bulwark class Battleship
HMS LONDON “ 4.6.1920 -----Ditto----
HMS LORD NELSON “ 4.6.1920 Battleship. Resold to Slough Trading 8.11.1921 and finally scrapped in Germany
HMS MEDUSA “ 1920 Medea class Destroyer
HMS SWIFTSURE “ 18.06.1920 Battleship
HMS C 1 “ Submarine sold to Stanlee 22.10.1920 And resold 14.11.1921 to Sunderland
HMS H 11 22.10.1920 Submarine
HMS C10 “ Submarine sold to Stanlee 22.10.1920 And resold 14.11.1921 to T Young
HMS GADFLY(renamed TB6) 22.10.1920 Coastal Destroyer
HMS ROXBURGH “ 1st class armoured cruiser, Resold to Slough Trading for BU in Germany
HMS TAY “ 22.10.1920 Gunboat
HMS “G 14” “ 11.03.1921 Submarine
HMS HIBERNIA “ 8.11.1921 Battleship. Resold for BU in Germany
HMS NEW ZEALAND 8.11.1921 Battleship. Was renamed HMS Zealandia in 1911. Resold to Slough Trading and then to Germany
HMS ST VINCENT “ 01.12.1921 Battleship
HMS “P 58” “ 01.12.1921 Anti sub patrol vessel
HMS “P 24” “ --------------ditto----------
HMS “P25” “ --------------ditto----------
HMS “P 34” “ --------------ditto----------
HMS “P 33” “ --------------ditto----------
HMS “PC 42” “ 01.12.1921 Q ship name Culloden &
HMS PC 62 01.12.1921 Q ship name Kinsnake & Mornington
HMS NEREIDE “ 1.12.1921 Acorn class Destroyer
HMS TEMERAIRE “ 1.12.1921 Battleship (renamed HMS Indus II 1904 (Training Ship) then HMS Akbar 1915)
HMS LANDRAIL 1.12.1921 Destroyer
HMS INFLEXIBLE “ 1.12.1921 Battlecruiser
HMS WEXFORD “ 1.12.1921 Minesweeper. Resold to Australia as TSS Doomba
HMS LUCIFER 1.12.1921 Torpedo boat
HMS LAERTES 1.12.1921 Torpedo Boat
HMS CONVOLVULUS 1.12.1921 Anchusa class sloop
HMS EGLANTINE 1.12.1921 Anchusa class sloop
HMS HALDON “ 14.12.1921 Paddle Sweeper
HMS CAERLEON “ 04. 1922 Hunt class minesweeper
HMS H 12 Submarine “ 04.1922 Submarine
HMS C 9 “ 07.1922 Submarine
HMS C 10 “ 07. 1922 Submarine
HMS CROME “ 07. 1922 Minesweeper
HMS HEYTHROP “ 07.1922 Minesweeper
HMS HAMBLEDON “ 07.1922 Hunt class Minesweeper
HMS PYTCHLEY “ 07.1922------ditto-----
HMS INDOMITABLE Dover 30.08.1922 Battlecruiser
HMS POMONE “ 25.10.1922
HMS SUPERB “ 12.12.1922 Battleship
HMS FLORA 12.12.1922 Cruiser(2 Funnels) (Renamed HMS INDUS 11 Training ship)
HMS VICTORIOUS “ 19.12.1922 Battleship(1 Funnel) (1920 Renamed HMS INDUS 11 -- a Repair ship from 1916)
HMS BLACK PRINCE 21.2.1923 Broadside Ironclad Warrior class
HMS TRENT 21.2.1923 Gunboat Medina class ( sold initially to Dover Shipbreaking Co)
HMPMS LINGFIELD “ May 1923 Paddle Minesweeper
HMS VENGEANCE “ 09.01.1923 Battleship
HMS PEMBROKE 21/2/1923 Iron Gunboat - Formerly TRENT. Later GANNET(Diving Tender)
HMS “P 13” “ 31.07.1923 anti sub patrol vessel
HMS PC56 “Panache” 31.07.1923 “Q” Ship (Decoy) Disguised as a small merchantman
HMS PENELOPE “ Light Cruiser Oct 1924
HMS TRALEE 2.7.1929 Minesweeper
HMS CODRINGTON “ Destroyer Sunk Dover 27/7/1940
HMS MEDUSA “ 09.09.1946 Minelayer M29 class monitor, previously named HMS M29.,launched 22/5/1915;converted to a minelayer 1919. She was renamed HMS Medusa in 1925, converted to a depot ship and renamed HMS Talbot in 1941, HMS Medway II in 1943 and back to HMS Medusa in 1944.
HMS TIARA June 1947 submarine war ended before she was completed
HMS CALEDON “ 14 Feb 1948 Light Cruiser Disarmed in April 1945. Sold to be broken up for scrap on 22 January 1948.Arrived at Dover Industries, Dover on 14 February 1948
SS CELTIC White Star Line transatlantic liner(largest ship in the world when constructed in 1901). 10.12.1928 went aground at Roches Point CORK . Dismantled by (as contractors) A.O.Hill and Peterson & Albeck(of Copenhagen) as partners . Took 5 years to dismantle
On March 1919 HMS Duncan was placed on the disposal list and was sold on February 18, 1920 to the Stanlee Shipbreaking Company. Her new owners towed her to Dover in June, where she was promptly broken up.
WW1 Submarine H11 Disposal Sold, on 20 October 1920 , Stanlee, Dover . (for scrap) But sunk and The wreck, thought to be that of the British submarine H11 lies in 63m of water just 3 miles off the Eyemouth coast
HMS Temeraire was a Bellerophon Class battleship built at Devonport Dockyard and launched in August 1907. She served in the Battle of Jutland in 1916, survived undamaged and was paid off into the reserve fleet in 1919. She then became a sea-going training ship. In 1921 she was paid off and sold to the Stanlee Shipbreaking Company in Dover, arriving there in 1922 to be broken up
BELVOIR Launched 1917: Ship Type: Sloop Minesweeper, Hunt Class. 2 x 12pdr, and 2 x 6pdr, although many had only one of each gun. Crew 71 sold to Stanlee, Dover 7/1922
SS FALCON. In Oct 1926, SS Falcon was laden with Jute and matches. The cargo caught fire, and the crew had to abandon ship,. Rescued by Ramsgate lifeboat. The ship was drifting toward Dover, giving rise to fear that much of Dover could be set alight. Wind changed direction and the ship eventually beached at Langdon Bay. Subsequently the ship was broken up by Stanlee, leaving just the keel . Shown on Pathe News at the time, and subsequently featured in a BBC documentary “Secret Britain” in Aug 2010.
HMS BULWARK. On 26th November 1914 HMS Bulwark, a 15,000 ton battleship, was moored at buoy number 17 at Kethole Reach on the River Medway. She was taking on coal from the airship base at Kingsnorth, on the Isle of Grain.
At 7.50am, as the crew were having breakfast, an explosion ripped the ship apart. The explosion was heard as far away as Whitstable to the south and Southend (in Essex) to the North. Eye witnesses stated that once the smoke has cleared, there was no sign of the ship. This evidence is supported by the fact that naval divers who investigated the wreck three days after the explosion found just two large fragments of wreckage - a section of the port bow as far aft as the sick bay, and 30 feet further away, a section of the starboard bow. Debris from the explosion fell up to four miles away
In all, the explosion killed 745 men and 51 officers. Five of the 14 men who survived died later of their wounds
Around 1934 Dover Industries were engaged to salvage as much as possible. However they found the work a struggle against strong tides and lack of visibility in the water. They therefore advised the Admiralty that work would cease on 30.9.1937. The highest point of wreckage was then 14ft below water at low tide. Their letter suggests all salvage was undertaken by Divers
SS Tanganjika German “Woermann” Line built 1922. 1939 German Navy accommodation ship, 1943 bombed and sunk at Wilhelmshaven, 1947 raised and Scrapped 1948
Built for SECR in 1914 for Folkestone/Dover - Calais/Boulogne. Passed to Southern Railway in 1923. 1949 scrapped. 2,495 gross tons. 20.8.1940 1000 troops + others taken off Guernsey before invaded by Germany. WW1 requisitioned on completion for Cross Channel trooping then fitted out by Denny as a mine layer. In service 8/3/1915-6/5/1920 and served in the North Sea, Mediterranean and Dardanelles, laying 5,673 mines.
WW2 troop transport with the B.E.F. landings in France. Boiler room penetrated by a shell from shore batteries off the French Coast at Gravelines 27/05/1940. After repairs she served trooping, as a target ship, and then converted in 1942 to an Infantry Landing Ship. Normandy beaches from 8/6/1944.Scrapped in Dover 1949
'WAR SEPOY',Tanker,built by Wm.Gray,launched 5/12/1918,completed 6/2/1919 for Shipping Controller, managed by Anglo-Mexican Petroleum Co, London; 1921 transferred to Admiralty; 1936 Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
'War Sepoy' was damaged and burnt out during an air attack at Dover,19/7/1940.She was filled with concrete, towed into position within the western entrance and sunk as a blockship,7/9/1940.Disposal commenced,2/5/1950.Entrance re-opened,26/4/1964.
SS Minnie Larrinaga, Tramp Steamer, built by Russell & Co, Glasgow , launched 30.6.1914. Owned by Miguel de Larrinaga Steamship Co. Severely damaged and burnt out in London Docks during an Air Raid 7.9.1940. She was brought to Dover in Jan 1941, filled with ballast and sunk directly over War Sepoy, Disposal as with War Sepoy
Empire Flaminian 1917 FLAMINIAN, Ellerman Lines Ltd, Liverpool.
1943 EMPIRE FLAMINIAN, MOWT managed by Ellerman's Wilson Line Ltd.
1947 Stevedore Training Ship for Royal Engineers at Marchwood, Hants.
1950 Scrapped Dover
Empire Flamian was a 2,763 GRT cargo ship which was built by W Harkness & Sons Ltd, Middlesbrough. Launched in 1917 as Flamian for Ellerman & Papayanni Lines. To MoWT in 1944 and renamed Empire Flamian. In 1947 she became a stevedore training ship at Marchwood, Hampshire for the Royal Engineers Port Unit. Arrived on 21 July 1950 under tow at Dover, Kent for scrapping
SS Solent Queen Built as the minesweeper HMS Melton for the Royal Navy in the Great War, she was purchased from the shipbreakers yard by the New Medway Steam Packet Co Ltd in 1929 and converted to a pleasure steamer. She was renamed Queen of Thanet. Her career was similar to that of Queen of Kent except that she suffered more from poor =reliability than her quasi sister. On one occasion in 1949 she had trouble with her reversing gear and she snapped her top mast after going under the Royal Pier at Southampton. She took part in the Dunkirk evacuation and made four trips, rescuing 4000 men, including 2000 in one go from the LNER steamer Prague, who had been damaged by the enemy. In service for the Red Funnel fleet as Solent Queen she operated as a day excursion steamer from Southampton, sailing to Ryde, Southsea, Shanklin and either Bournemouth, Swanage or "Round the Island". She was scrapped in 1951 at Dover after she had suffered a serious fire whilst undergoing survey and overhaul at Whites shipyard. As she was not in service she was underinsured and whilst the company were still interested in repairing her, the breakers offered more money and she was scrapped
PSB Lorna Doone Paddle Steamer Built for the Admiralty for World War I minesweeping duties
Laid up after the war and remained so until 1928 when bought by the New Medway Steam Packet Co
Operated on services from the Thames ports to the Kent and Essex coasts and to the French channel ports.
Laid up in 1939 but requisitioned as a minesweeper in September 1939.
Returned to peacetime service for the 1947 season and also spent 1948 on her Thames routes.
Sold to the Southampton, Isle of Wight and South of England Royal Mail Steam Packet Co
Entered service on May 10th 1949 as the Bournemouth excursion vessel PS Lorna Doone.
Spent the 1950 season and the first part of the 1952 season at Bournemouth
Transferred to Southampton in July 1952 to replace her fire-damaged sister PS Solent Queen.
Whilst under refit in the winter of 1952, it was decided not to proceed and she was sold for scrapping.
Towed to Dover for scrapping on March 13th, 1952
PT Ancient A Naval Paddle Tug(1914) brought back from Malta and scrapped 1952
Empire Longford “ 18.01.1953
Was Dimboola in 1912, then Hong Siang, then Empire Longford 1951
Empire Longford was a 3,703 GRT cargo ship which was built by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Newcastle upon Tyne. Launched in 1912 as Dimboola. Sold in 1935 to Ho Hong Steamship Co, Singapore and renamed Hong Siang. To Ministry of Transport in 1951 and renamed Empire Longford. Acquired by the military in 1951 and renamed Empire Longford, she carried stores from Singapore to Korea and between Korea and Japan. She was also used on at least one occasion to carry troops from Pusan to Inchon even though not designed to carry a human cargo. She was sailed to the UK and scrapped in 1953 in Dover, Kent.
SS Ragunda Finnish Vessel, built at Hellerup in 1916 As SS Lena. Scrapped 1955
Hythe British Railways cargo boat scrapped 1956
In 1927 A O Hill Ltd were responsible for dismantling Dover Promenade & Pier. The Pier was opened in 1893, offering proper promenade facilities and summer concerts. During WW1, the Navy took it over as a Landing Stage. Two auctions held June & July 1927 to sell the pier structure. Two of the pier gates survive at Pope’s Hall, Lenham
Kent Coalmines were visited and machinery(underground as well as above ground) was dismantled. During the WW11, the company was actively employed in marine salvage work, much valuable cargo and materials from wrecks along the South Coast being recovered. After the Second World War, Anti Aircraft Guns at Dover, Lydd, and Sheerness were dismantled.
Post WW11, a gang of men were sent to Jersey to take up the rails for scrap (Jersey Rail closed 1936, but briefly used by Germans during their occupation)
Post WW11,much of the pipeline of PLUTO (which delivered fuel from Isle of Wight to Cherbourg post Normandy Landings) was brought To Dover
Scrap produced was sent to N.E.Coast, Scotland, and Port Talbot in S Wales(for the large Steelworks). Some was also exported. In the early years the scrap was taken by train(steam!!) along the seafront to be shipped from the western docks. Over the years, the yard was forced to shrink as the Car Ferry business increased. However the business diversified. There was a foundry , producing Cast Iron castings up to 20 cwts and non-ferrous metal castings up to 5 cwts. Customers included the Admiralty, War Office, British Railways. There were also facilities for all types of machining, and for general engineering. They undertook ship repairs. They created a foundry producing brass boat fittings(Lurline Boat Fittings) There were over 150 different types and sizes of Boat fittings, which were sold throughout the UK to builders of small craft (also Exports inc USA) and included substantial orders for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. The Dover Promenade Steam railway was often used for transporting scrap to/from Western Docks. Their public weighbridge was used by many, including Banana Boats from the West Indies(and the railway transporting the bananas from the ships via Weighbridge to western Docks for distribution) . When forced to close in Dec 1964, there were some 30 people employed. This business had successfully recycled scrap from ships and from all over Kent for over 60 years.
My Grandfather, Alfred Jackson Brigham, joined the business in 1920. Having left the Royal Navy, he then helped to break up their ships !!!. He rose to become Foreman before his early death in 1928. He was also Dover’s representative for the Royal Fleet Reserve .
My father, Alfred Gordon Brigham, had to leave school at 15(1928) to earn the family crust. He was taken on as office clerk, and rose very quickly to become Managing Director.
In 1953 there was a troop carrier (Empire Longford) being dismantled. A lot of hardwood found its way into our new house, and I don’t think you would find a heavier attic floor!!!. In 1954 a Finnish ship (ss Ragunda) arrived, and the crew had left many bottles of wine and also tins of condensed milk(who remembers condensed milk sandwiches!!). Scrap also provided us children with a large roundabout!!
I, and my brothers in succession, would work in the office, mainly on the weighbridge, during our holidays (those bananas were a handy snack!!)
1.1.1947. Walter James Todd, General Foreman was awarded the British Empire Medal
Others I remember were Mr E.P.Hill(director) and his son Victor. Also Ron Partridge(in the office), Tommy Knight(diver), Bob Stokes(foreman), Tom Beer(scrap merchant of Barham), George Potter(hauliers).
Today of course this whole area is a giant Car Ferry Terminal, with no sign of its former life(there was also an adjacent factory—Parker Pens)