Say Goodbye to Stevie Clarke

Stevie Clarke was the affectionate nickname to Britain’s oldest shipping company Stephenson Clarke Shipping.

It had begun life during 1730, when two brothers, Ralph and Robert Clarke, bought shares in a 300-ton sailing vessel.

The company grew in size over the years as the family expanded with one son of one founder marrying Jane Stevenson in 1775.  As the company grew so did the fleet until  a point at the turn of this century the company operated 12 a fleet of small single deck bulk Carriers, designed for ease of loading and discharging with large open hatches and holds.

The company carried a wide range of bulk cargoes including
  • Aggregates
  • Alumina
  • Grain
  • Coal
  • Fertilisers
  • Steel

The line traded mainly within:
  • Northern Europe
  • The Mediterranean
  • Black Sea
  • West Africa
  • Atlantic Islands
  • Scandinavia
  • Baltic Sea

It was acquired in 1997 by the International Maritime Group whose CEO and Chief Executive was Barry Gilmour the man who later created the superyacht specialist Royale Oceanic Ltd having acquired Three Quays and Burness Corlett along the way.

Last week, Stephenson Clarke was wound up when liquidators were appointed.  It had become a victim of poor trading conditions and the board’s policy of not replacing its ageing tonnage.  On 4th July, the 5,800 ton dwt Newcastle, the last ship was sold.

Stephenson Clarke, the oldest shipping company in Great Britain, has become part of Britain’s maritime history

One comment

  1. Good days,
    I am now a retired mariner of 72 years of age.

    Newcastle upon Tyne end Stephenson Clarke have always been a special place in my memories, as the port was one of my most impressive place when I started my career, as a deck cadet on 1961. ‘Stephenson Clarke’ vessels were one of the prominent wievs .

    V. Onur
    (Rtd. Captain- Koctug fleet)

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