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Simon Lewis
25th May 2009, 01:44 PM
This is or was a large shipping line.HQ in London, also offices in other parts of UK, China, Hong Kong.
Have not seen it listed here.Why?
Surely there was much Merchant Navy involvment?
I know the origins, and many of the Ships.Anyone, members or guests, know if there is a full written history of this Line?

Simon Lewis
25th May 2009, 02:52 PM
I know about Maersk.This is another completely different line.Origins in Sweden with base in the UK for many many years.Family business, originally, with vrey:o well known racing interests.
Based in Hong Kong after change in China.Any idea?

Simon Lewis
25th May 2009, 03:04 PM
Mollers was British from 1890s to at least the 1960s.I am not sure how all the shipping lines were connected, ie how they ran the business.There are aome records in the National Archive in England. the old PRO.
What I would like to know is tales from anyone involved in the British lines, probably sailing from Liverpool.There was some connection to Hull, from what I read.Anyone care to tell?

Gulliver
25th May 2009, 06:24 PM
Mollers was British from 1890s to at least the 1960s.I am not sure how all the shipping lines were connected, ie how they ran the business.There are aome records in the National Archive in England. the old PRO.
What I would like to know is tales from anyone involved in the British lines, probably sailing from Liverpool.There was some connection to Hull, from what I read.Anyone care to tell?


Hello Simon. O.K. I must leave this up to our more knowledgeable members.I must admit I had never heard of Mollers. But it did exist,with all kinds of 'connections' including Shanghai and Gibraltar to name but two.It probably does still exist because there's a Freight Agency in Bangkok (Mollers'(Thailand) Ltd. )

Just two links to show what I 'trawled up'. It's hard to believe the Racing connection...is this the link to prove it,perhaps?.One link refers to a vessel which was later renamed Ellizabeth Moller.
http://www.horseracing.freeserve.co.uk/owners/mollers_racing.html
http://www.aukevisser.nl/uk/id146.htm

Doc Vernon
25th May 2009, 09:15 PM
Hello Simon,
These may or may not be of some interest to you!
Cheers

http://www.scuba.co.uk/Travel/Red_Sea/Liveaboard/Wrecks/redsea_wrecks_rosaliemoller.htm

http://www.touregypt.net/VDC/rosalie.htm

http://www.shipwrecksofegypt.com/images/shippages/rosaliemoller.html

Good site above!

Name: Former names: Material: Dimensions:
Rosalie Moller Francis Steel 108.2x ?x ? m.

Brt \ Nrt: Built: Homeport: Cargo: Coal
3963 \ Glasgow ( UK) 1910 Home Port Liverpool ( UK )

Gulliver
26th May 2009, 02:10 PM
I don't think Simon will mind me posting some details from his message to me,as it may jog someone's memory about what seems to be quite a large 'empire'.


"The Mollers business was big.The docks in Shangahai were valued at a million pounds in the early 1950s, between 30 and 90 million in todays money.That is only part of what was lost in China.The business was founded in China, 1850s.I do know much more and not much from the people on the ships.You are probably right in that they had asian crews.
They had a marine insurance, engineering, shipbuilding and repair business.
There are bits of info all over the net.As far as I am aware nobody has put all the parts together to show the whole story.
Mollers UK Ltd, Rood Lane, Fenchurch St, London, now where British Land is.
The Hansard details from 1966 are very very interesting.They seem to show that the Mollers interests from Hong Kong were fighting to get what they could whilst Blythe was collapsing.
Let me know if you want more details"


Probably it didn't need to 'shout' about it's operations,like most British and other National companies did. I'm pretty sure in my time at sea that I heard some 'old China hands' mention it.
Simon is looking for any seafarers tales or memories about Mollers for his research.

So,over to anybody?.......

Gulliver

Simon Lewis
26th May 2009, 02:46 PM
Seems ok to me.I trust there will be some response soon.:)

Gulliver
26th May 2009, 05:47 PM
Hi Simon. there are a few threads on the Ships Nostalgia site:
http://www.shipsnostalgia.com/showthread.php?p=281364

As you know there is a wealth of 'general' info about Mollers on the web.Some different examples concerning the co.here:
http://www.pwsts.org.uk/daveedge.htm
http://www.clydesite.co.uk/clydebuilt/viewship.asp?id=16175
http://www.china.org.cn/travel/travelogue/2009-05/20/content_17804418.htm

Regards Davey

Daibach
28th May 2009, 08:34 AM
Hi Simon,
I joined the Red Anchor Line, which was owned by Chris Moller, in 1968 and automatically transferred to Mollers when Chris placed his fleet with the main Moller group, managed by Eric Moller, about 1974. The fleet, owned and managed, dwindled rapidly in the late 1970's and the last ships were sold in 1981.
There is a history of Mollers, and a full fleet list, in "Sold East" by H. W. Dick and S. A. Kentwell published by the Nautical Association of Australia in 1991 ISBN 0 9599079 4 7.
Regards,
Dave Edge.

Ron Mortimer
25th July 2009, 03:51 PM
Hi Simon
I served my apprenticeship with Mollers from 1953 - 1957 most of my time was spent on the Greystoke Castle it was an ex Woolworth carrier called the ' Pouncer' there was also a sister ship 'Muncaster Castle' both ships were chartered bt Shaw Saville for 5 years being called 'Gallic' and 'Bardic' other ships in Mollers were 'Blyth Trader' 'Blyth Navigator' 'Blyth Explorer' and another one I was on 'Burmuda Trader' this a heavy lift ship (200 ton derricks at three hatches) originally called 'Empire Viceroy' I also remenber that Mollers owned the 'Hong Kong and Whampoa' dry dock (on the kowloon side) hope this is of some use to you. Ron Mortimer

Doc Vernon
25th July 2009, 10:32 PM
Hi Simon

Welcome to this great site,and i am sure you will get to love it,its sort of catching,and eventually you will need it as your daily Fix haha!
Lots of info and a few Laughs along the way!
I am also sure that given time,you will find a few old mates that sailed with you!
Sit back relax and grab a Tinny!:)
Cheers

Des Taff Jenkins
31st July 2009, 08:28 AM
Hi Simon.
Don't know if these were some of the ships you were looking for. The Nancy Moller and the Daisy Moller were sunk by the Japanese in the last war. I believe they machine gunned and or beheaded the crews.
Cheers Des

happy daze john in oz
1st August 2009, 05:54 AM
G'day Simon nad welcome to the best site in town. If you care to add some dates to those ships you may well get replies from some who knew you. So sit back with a cold one and enjoy the voyage.:eek:

happy daze john in oz
1st August 2009, 05:57 AM
G'day Taff, yes there was a terrible slaughter took place with regards to the crew of the ship taken by the Japs. Late at night the crew were brought one at a time to the quarter deck where they were cerimoniously beheaded and their bodies thrown into the sea. The executione were spread over a couple of nights. After the war the capatin was tried for war crimes.

Des Taff Jenkins
1st August 2009, 07:24 AM
Hi John.
I think Billy wrote something about the Moller ships. The blokes that sailed on the Artic and Atlantic convoys suffered God knows, but in the main were treated humanly by the Germans, Not so the blokes in the Pacific and Indian Oceans but those murderous sods the Japs.
Cheers Des

porkysraft
28th December 2009, 04:22 PM
Simon:

For what it is worth, I am the nephew of Eric, Ralph (Budgy) and Chris Moller.
I too have been seeking information about Mollers shipping,
Unfortunatly the company died when Eric passed away in the late eighties. He had taken over the concern, including the horse racing, when Budgy died in 1982 and nobody from the family was allowed to visit White Lodge stud, later sold to Sheik Mahommad. The horses continued to race under a trust but I do not not know what has happened to them now as they do not seem to be active.
I believe that my uncle saw himself as the last emporer and did not want the family to carry on the business. I saw him soon before his death as I and my mother (his sister Isobel, better known as "Dido") lived next door in London and had dinner with him every week.
The old family home built by my grandfather, Nils, is still functioning as the Hang Shu Moller Villa Hotel in Shanghai. Apparently, in it's heyday it was a very grand place.
At the age of 12 I made a trip on one of the ships, The 600ft bulk carrier "Chapel River" from Taranto, Italy, to Bahia Blanca in Argentina with a cargo of steel pipes. The return voyage was from Vitoria in Braazil to Genoa with iron ore. The ship was chartered to another company at the time, who I do not remember, and I went after pestering my uncle about joining as a "cabin boy." Instead of continuing my earlierambitions of becoming a captain, I persued a career inmarine and travel photography and did not enter the company when the opportunity was presented.
I rememeber my grandmother and my mother travelling to Blyth for the launching of the "Blyth Adventurer" in 1958 or 1959. My grandmother performed the ceremony. I believe that Mollers owned or ran Blyth shipyards at the time. Theer was also an earlier connection with Hull,
In the late 70's or early 80's my mother travelld to Japan to launch the "Muncaster Castle" for Chris Moller's Red Anchor line at Misubishi, and until a recent robbery I had a ceremonial silver axe in my posession to mark the occasion.
Curiously, the captain of that vessel had been a cadet on the Chapel River during my South American trip and had been given orders not to let the silly bugger fall overboard!!
If anyone wishes to contat me I shall be pleased to give any other information about Mollers, the family,Whampoa docks and Shanghai that I have. At the present there are some members of the family attempting to resolve the jigsaw of the family tree.

Michael Feeney

John Munro
28th December 2009, 08:06 PM
I spent a couple of years as a sparks on the Coral River. She was an old Shell tanker and the whole crew flew out from UK and we spent several months in HK and everyday down at the HK whampoa shipyard.
She was converted into a Bulky. Super fun. The owners were in HK at the time...very hospitable. Initally we went an island just south of HK in Communist China (then) and from there to Poland etc etc
john munro

John Castle
7th April 2010, 11:40 AM
I sailed on the mv Coral River from January 1960 until September 1960 as third mate. She was a great ship, correctly identified as a converted Shell tanker. British officers and engineers and a Chinese crew. Details of the Coral River are official number 149490 net tonnage 3932.52 gross tunnage 7775 Powered by a Burmeinster and wein diesel engine. She was converted to carry iron ore, If my memory serves me right there was a second ship with the suffix river sailing out of the UK and a substantial fleet sailing in the far east, I believe hearing of 40 plus ships, but have no further details. The Coral River was i believe built in the 1930's and had little in the way of navigational equipment other than a dodgy radar and RDF. I remember sailing across the north Atlantic to Seven Islands in the St Lawrence at the end of the iceberg season, the skipper was canny and the ship was stopped and allowed to drift overnight as we approached Canadiian waters to minimise the possibility of contact with ice bergs.
Any body else out there remember those days.
John C.

Michael Kane
27th April 2010, 01:16 PM
Was the Burmuda Trader actually spelt the Bermuda Trader - my father John Kane (second engineer) was on this boat I recall him telling me. There is a photo somewhere of the boat and him with a fellow crew member. Previously the BT was also named the Empire Marshal

MIKE CUTCHIE
13th April 2015, 01:12 PM
My father (Capt. AW Cutchie) was the pilot who launched the Chapel River in 1962, then took it in sea trials.
Budgie Moller came to our home in Blyth to celebrate the successful launch.
I still possess photos of the launch of the ship, plus it putting to sea on trials, unfortunately on a grey, overcast day.

Mike Cutchie


Simon:

For what it is worth, I am the nephew of Eric, Ralph (Budgy) and Chris Moller.
I too have been seeking information about Mollers shipping,
Unfortunatly the company died when Eric passed away in the late eighties. He had taken over the concern, including the horse racing, when Budgy died in 1982 and nobody from the family was allowed to visit White Lodge stud, later sold to Sheik Mahommad. The horses continued to race under a trust but I do not not know what has happened to them now as they do not seem to be active.
I believe that my uncle saw himself as the last emporer and did not want the family to carry on the business. I saw him soon before his death as I and my mother (his sister Isobel, better known as "Dido") lived next door in London and had dinner with him every week.
The old family home built by my grandfather, Nils, is still functioning as the Hang Shu Moller Villa Hotel in Shanghai. Apparently, in it's heyday it was a very grand place.
At the age of 12 I made a trip on one of the ships, The 600ft bulk carrier "Chapel River" from Taranto, Italy, to Bahia Blanca in Argentina with a cargo of steel pipes. The return voyage was from Vitoria in Braazil to Genoa with iron ore. The ship was chartered to another company at the time, who I do not remember, and I went after pestering my uncle about joining as a "cabin boy." Instead of continuing my earlierambitions of becoming a captain, I persued a career inmarine and travel photography and did not enter the company when the opportunity was presented.
I rememeber my grandmother and my mother travelling to Blyth for the launching of the "Blyth Adventurer" in 1958 or 1959. My grandmother performed the ceremony. I believe that Mollers owned or ran Blyth shipyards at the time. Theer was also an earlier connection with Hull,
In the late 70's or early 80's my mother travelld to Japan to launch the "Muncaster Castle" for Chris Moller's Red Anchor line at Misubishi, and until a recent robbery I had a ceremonial silver axe in my posession to mark the occasion.
Curiously, the captain of that vessel had been a cadet on the Chapel River during my South American trip and had been given orders not to let the silly bugger fall overboard!!
If anyone wishes to contat me I shall be pleased to give any other information about Mollers, the family,Whampoa docks and Shanghai that I have. At the present there are some members of the family attempting to resolve the jigsaw of the family tree.

Michael Feeney

j.sabourn
13th April 2015, 11:06 PM
Mollers were always known in my time as a Hong Kong company and were considered like Butterfield and Swires, and Harley Mullions as H.K. Taipans. I worked for one of Harley Mullions sons, they were real tramps of the China Coast syndrome. Seem to recollect seeing some of Mollers ships in the 50's before my time working for HK owners, and think they had the union Jack painted on the side to distinguish their nationality, hopefully to prevent what happened to the Amythest some years previously. JS

Frederick Flower
14th March 2016, 02:56 PM
Simon:

For what it is worth, I am the nephew of Eric, Ralph (Budgy) and Chris Moller.
I too have been seeking information about Mollers shipping,

Michael Feeney
Mike,

I have just seen your posting from December 2009 and hope I’m not too late with his recollection.

I worked for Moller Line (UK) Ltd at the office in Plantation House, Rood Lane from 1961 to 1974. Seeing your posting it brought back memories of that period.
I initially joined the accounts department and can recall your mother by name and although I never met her I think she lived in Montagu Square.

The voyage which you undertook was when the Chapel River was on charter to the Italian company, Sidermar. I remember fixing the Red Anchor ships Isabel Erica and Nils Amelon. One charter I concluded for the Isabel Erica was so lucrative it virtually paid for the ship. Chris Moller was very pleased. I seem to recall there was another brother Lyndsey but he was not involved in shipping. Another nephew of the Mollers was David Hamilton. He worked as a broker at Galbraith Wrightson and at some time was training to get his pilot’s licence. I don’t know whose son he was – I presume your mother had a sister.



A few years later I had an opportunity to get involved in ship operations when the company reduced it’s staff and amalgamated a number of departments following the closure of Blyth Dry Docks and Shipbuilding Co. The yard’s last two newbuilds were the handy sized bulk carriers ‘Chapel River’ and ‘Pacific Princess’ which were built primarily to keep the workforce in employment. The yard had to close as it was not on the list of Government subsidised yards as shipbuilding in the UK was in a bad state and Owners were placing orders in Japan.
At that time Mollers had a number of Liberty ships such as the ‘Grosvenor Trader’; ‘Grosvenor Explorer’; ‘Sandys River’; ‘Elys Harbour’ which were subsequently scrapped. The ship management department then took over the chartering of the two bulkers together with the two handy size tankers ‘Hamilton Trader’ and ‘Blyth Adventurer’. The manager of the department suddenly left and I was asked if I would take over. It was a very enlightening experience being involved in the day to day chartering, insurance renewals, claims etc. EB and RB gave me every support.
The Blyth Adventurer ran aground off the Horsborough Light vessel off Singapore fulled laden with a cargo of naptha destined for the U.S. military in Vietnam. The long salvage of ship and cargo was eventually resolved at the Law Courts in London which I attended daily . The Hamilton Trader was fixed on a long term charter to Esso with a small premium on the rate if it traded on the UK coast. Esso kept it on the coastal trade but the cost of running the ship with the constant crew changes became unbearable and EB put the owning company into voluntary liquidation and the ship was subsequently sold.
Later they purchased 2 bitumen carriers off the stocks at Verolme’s yard which had long term charters with Shell. They named them Horama and Urshalim which were the two breeding mares they bought to start the stud after WW2. The heating coils in the ships caused no end of problems and expense and we were always making guarantee claims against Verolme.
In the late 1960’s Mollers financially backed a company who had the contract with the U.S. military to dredge sand in S. Vietnam to make the airstrip at Danang and were paid on the basis of each cbm dredged. Insuring the dredgers, pipes and floaters was another experience, but the contract paid very well.
Another active time was in the early 1970’s when Hong Kong office secured a contract with the Indian Cashew Corporation to ship hundreds of thousands of tons of raw cashews from E. Africa to Cochin. During the season we were chartering in at least one ship each week on the London market to cover this. We had the contract for about 3 years.

I visited HK with EB in the late 1960’s when they still owned the HongKong & Whampoa Dockyard. It amalgamated with Taikoo and became HongKong United Dockayrd and that was subsequently bought by Hutchinson International.

I was also involved in insuring the syndicate shares of the stallions and subsequent foals which was RB’s main outside interest, EB’s was running his own polo team, the Jersey Lillies for which he used to sign up high rated Argentinian players for the season. It was a pity that RB did not live to see Teenoso win the 1982 Derby, which was also Lester Piggott’s 9th and final Derby win. I went to RB’s memorial service.
When one of their horses was running, and the race was on TV, RB usually went to the meeting and EB would invite me into the boardroom to watch the race. The racing name continued for some time under the trust with Harry Wragg continuing as trainer then subsequently his son Geoffrey who won the King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes with Pindar, a horse which had been bought by the trust. Prior to that all the horses had been bred by RB.
I also used to have dinner at EB’s house in Mansfield Street when he was entertaining guests. Irrespective of their wealth, they were the most down to earth people you could meet and could mix comfortably with everybody.
All the ex. staff who I have met since those days remember their time at Mollers with affection.


Fred Flower

gray_marian
15th March 2016, 12:17 AM
#22, Fred, Michael has not visited this site since December 2009, to get in touch, send him a private message [pm] and it will arrive via this site to his email address if still the same. Good luck:)

Ceri Rayner
8th January 2018, 09:36 AM
Mike,

I have just seen your posting from December 2009 and hope I’m not too late with his recollection.

I worked for Moller Line (UK) Ltd at the office in Plantation House, Rood Lane from 1961 to 1974. Seeing your posting it brought back memories of that period.
I initially joined the accounts department and can recall your mother by name and although I never met her I think she lived in Montagu Square.


All the ex. staff who I have met since those days remember their time at Mollers with affection.


Fred Flower

Hello Fred

I have just joined this site because I was trying to remember the names of ships my father worked on. Googling brought up your post. My father was called Captain Trefor Owen and your post brought back many memories. His postings were usually always to Hong Kong and when he was home on leave I actually remember him taking me up to London (from Portsmouth where we lived) to visit the office at Plantation House. I remember as a child thinking that Rood Lane was hilarious! I think you would have been there the whole time that my father was employed by Moller - I'm not sure when he started but he was certainly there when I was born in 1955. He left the service becasue he died at the very young age of 44 in 1971. I hope this post finds you - I appreciate you wrote it a while ago. Best wishes, Ceri Rayner (nee Owen).