Shaw, Savill And Albion: A Fleet History

Shaw, Savill together with Henderson’s Albion Line were the senior companies in the trade between New Zealand and the UK until the advent of the New Zealand Shipping Co Ltd in 1873. The founding of the latter partly contributed to the merger of 1882 and the formation of Shaw, Savill & Albion Co Ltd. Without the merger, both concerns would have probably fallen by the wayside and be lost to history. Instead, thanks to the involvement of the White Star Line, the new company prospered and for nearly one hundred years traded successfully until overtaken by the decline of the British Empire, the rise of the European Common Market and the introduction of the container ship. Shaw, Savill & Albion was considered by some to be very Victorian in its attitude to staff and conservative in the design of its ships leading to the well-known phrase ‘Slow, Starvation and Agony’. However, the company’s ships were designed to transport large specialised cargoes over some of the longest and loneliest routes in the world and, in most cases, they did it efficiently. Shaw, Savill & Albion had one of its ships, GOTHIC, chosen as a Royal Yacht and introduced the engines aft passenger liner SOUTHERN CROSS which became the fore-runner of the modern cruise ship. This 264-page, A4 case-bound book starts with consideration of the Albion and Shaw, Savill Lines before discussion of the merger of 1882 and the subsequent history of Shaw, Savill & Albion Co Ltd from 1882–1918. Thereafter, the authors discuss the company in the inter-war period, including the collapse of the Royal Mail group and Shaw, Savill & Albion’s acquisition by the Furness Withy and the company’s role in World War 2. The post-war passenger and cargo ships are discussed along with the final demise of the company. The book, which is illustrated by 170 black & white and 50 colour photographs, contains comprehensive fleet lists including those ships managed and chartered by the company.

Authors: Henry C. Spong & Richard H. Osborne
ISBN: 978-0-9560769-3-9
Publication Date: December 2011
Member’s price: £15.00+p&p (£3.20 UK; £11.65 EU & Rest of the World)
Non-member’s price: £22.50+p&p (£3.20 UK; £11.65 EU & Rest of the World)

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