Wilson Line

Superlatives surround Wilson Line: the largest privately-owned shipping company, Hull’s biggest enterprise, and a company which largely kept its identity for 140 years. Thos. Wilson, Sons and Co. Ltd. could trace its history as shipowners from 1830. Bought by John Ellerman in 1917, the company became Ellerman’s Wilson Line but retained a high degree of autonomy, keeping its distinctive colour and naming schemes, routes and management in Hull. The WSS book is something of a record breaker, too, having been on the stocks for a number of years. But it has been well worth the wait for this A4-sized, 216-page hardback. A detailed and very readable history of the company is followed by full details and careers of 365 owned vessels. These range from tugs, through many short-sea cargo and passenger ships and deep-sea cargo liners, to ro-ro and container carriers, the majority of which are illustrated. The 69 managed ships are even more diverse, including a number of Scandinavian and Russian ships managed during wartime. To complete the work are the ships of the Wilsons and North Eastern Railway Shipping Co. Ltd. and a full index of names. There are coloured endpapers with illustrations of seven flags and funnels including those of the major companies taken over, and an attractive full-colour dust jacket. Wilson Line was a major part of the British merchant navy, and in “Wilson Line” it at last has a history which does it full justice. Contains 319 illustrations.

Authors: John Harrower
ISBN: 0-905617-72-X
Publication Date: May 1998
Member’s price: £3+p&p (£3.20 UK, £11.65 EU & Rest of the World)
Non-member’s price: £4.50+p&p (£3.20 UK, £11.65 EU & Rest of the World)

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