Unit History: Turnnbull Scott
The Turnbull Scott Shipping Co. Ltd was formed in May, 1911 with a capital of GBP 50,000 and took over SOUTHGATE (2) of 1899, TRONGATE of 1897, WESTGATE of 1893 and EASTGATE of 1889. EASTGATE of 1889 was sold in 1913 to Swedish owners leaving four tramps in the fleet at the outbreak of the first World War: WESTGATE of 1893, TRONGATE of 1897, SOUTHGATE (2) of 1899 and PARKGATE of 1906, two being lost to enemy action:
On April 04, 1917 PARKGATE Captured amd sunk by U35 80 miles NE of Cap de Fer.
On September 22, 1917 TRONGATE Torpedoed and sunk by UC71 5 miles N of Flamborough Head on voyage Tyne to France with coal.
This left WESTGATE of 1893, SOUTHGATE (2) of 1899, the new EASTGATE (2) of 1915, completed by William Gray & Co. Ltd at West Hartlepool and HELREDALE of 1906, transferred from the Whitby fleet in 1918.
WESTGATE was reported missing on 8th January,1919 off the Wolf Rock whilst on a voyage from Barry to Malta with coal, cause unknown.
The Redgate S.S. Co. Ltd was formed in 1919 and purchased the steamer GORDONIA of 6720 dwt, built by John Readhead & Sons Ltd in 1908 and capable of a top speed of 7.5 knots on 20 tons of coal/day, from the Gordon S.S. Co. Ltd of London and renamed her REDGATE.
A system of competitive tender for ex German prizes taken over by the British Government as war reparations resulted in five such vessels joining the Redgate and Turnbull Scott Shipping companies for a total of GBP 227,000 between 1920 and 1923. They were renamed SANDGATE, WHITEGATE, FLOWERGATE, NETHERGATE and BAXTERGATE, and all had previously belonged to the Hansa company of Bremen and were thus cargoliners with excellent accomodation for the crew. However when loading coal it was found with their tween decks and relatively small hatches, trimming costs were higher, and although suitable for the Plate trade they were always forced to top up with grain downriver from the Martin Garcia Bar due to their deep draft. A good loaded speed of 11 knots incurred a coal consumption of around 34 tons of coal/day, a figure which could not be tolerated when freight rates became much worse during the Depression.
A return to traditional trades had been made in September, 1977 with the delivery of the geared 29600 dwt bulker by the Hiroshima yard of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd, TRONGATE (4). She traded satisfactorily, particularly in the Plate grain trade to Japan, but her earnings did not match interest repayments and she was sold at the end of 1979 to the Nile S.S. Co. Ltd (Finance for Shipping) for GBP 5.24M with a bareboat-charter back at GBP 850,000/year and was finally sold to Greek owners in 1983.
In 1986 the coastal tanker SKELDERGATE was bareboat chartered to Turkish owners and purchased two years later.
Only IRISHGATE was left in 1990 and with her sale the family owned Turnbull Scott Shipping Co. Ltd was sold to British buyers for GBP 2.45M in May,1991.