Records of Moor Line Ltd, shipping company, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Memorandum and Articles of Association 1892-1968
  • Minutes 1889-1938
  • Moor Investment Co 1917
  • Shareholding papers 1847-1948
  • Cash books 1920-1964
  • Journals 1961-1963
  • Annual report and accounts 1890-1967
  • Personnel 1925-1940
  • War service 1915, 1925
  • Press cuttings 1950-1966
  • Fleet particulars 1892-1952
  • Agreements to build vessels 1921-1946
  • Statements of account for vessels 1886-1911
  • Valuations 1917
  • Insurance of vessels 1943-1968
  • Vessel movements and voyage accounts 1912-1934
  • Ships‰?? log books 1954-1962
  • Abstracts of logs 1955-1964
  • Plans 1965
  • Shipping conferences 1927
  • Photographs of vessels 1848-1975
  • Photographs of personnel undated

Administrative / Biographical History

Moor Line Ltd was first created when the South Shields Steam Shipping Co Ltd changed its name in April 1897  . The South Shields Steam Shipping Co Ltd had been formed in 1889 by Walter Runciman, who was Managing Director and Secretary of the company, with Mr John Elliott as Chairman. In 1892 the company offices had moved from South Shields, Tyne & Wear, England to Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. Walter Runciman and his son, also named Walter, who carried on business as partners in Walter Runciman & Co, were appointed Managing Directors of Moor Line Ltd at the time of the change of name, and the next year, 1898, on the death of John Elliott, Walter Runciman became Chairman and held that position until his death in 1937  . In1902 Moor Line Ltd took over the Novocastrian Shipping Co and in 1905 it took over the North Moor Steamships Co. After heavy losses during World War I, the ships were sold to the Western Counties Shipping Co Ltd in 1919, and Moor Line Ltd went into voluntary liquidation in 1920. In November 1920 Moor Line Ltd was re-formed as a public company quoted on the Newcastle Stock Exchange. Like its predecessor it quickly built up a large fleet of tramp ships for world-wide trading. Severe losses of ships were encountered during World War II but a steady programme of replacement was undertaken after 1945, and in 1962 the first large bulk carrier was ordered. In July 1965  Moor Line Ltd purchased the Anchor Line, based in Glasgow, Scotland, from the United Molasses Co Ltd, believing that the association of the two companies offered a more secure financial future. In 1966  Moor Line Ltd purchased the managing company Walter Runciman & Co Ltd and decided to move their administrative offices from Newcastle-on-Tyne, England to Glasgow, Scotland and have the management of the two companies, Moor Line Ltd and Anchor Line Ltd , under one roof. In 1968  , Moor Line Ltd changed its name to Walter Runciman & Co Ltd and transferred the ownership of the entire fleet to Anchor Line Ship Management Ltd, a newly created company. Runciman Shipping Ltd was formed for the day-to-day management of all the vessels. In that year, Anchor Line Ltd gave up the Glasgow ‰?? USA trade, but became agents for Cunard Brocklebank Ltd, handling all Atlantic Container Line traffic from Scotland and providing ancillary shore services for containers. The base was at Braeside, Renfrew, Renfrewshire, Scotland. The Runciman Group expanded again in 1969 with the acquisition of the Currie Line, of Leith, Edinburgh, Scotland and in 1972 Anchor Line Ltd acquired George Gibson & Co Ltd , also of Leith. In 1976  , the Anchor Line Company Ltd structure was recast. It retained ownership of the vessels and had responsibility for shipping policy. There were five operating Divisions: Anchor Line Eastern Services Ltd (concerned with Eastern commercial activities); Anchor Line Ship Management Ltd (handling the bulk carriers and any managed vessels); Currie Line Ltd (concerned with European services, mainly with charted tonnage, warehousing and road haulage); George Gibson & Co (concerned with the gas tanker fleet); Runciman Shipping Ltd (dealing with the administration). Anchor Line Eastern Services Ltd, Anchor Line Ship Management Ltd and George Gibson & Co were all active in 2005.


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Deposit : Mr Brian Newman, Newcastle University : 1991 : ACCN 00142

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

None which affect the use of this material

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 0248 procedures

Custodial History



None expected

Related Material

Glasgow University Archive Services: GB 0248 UGD 255/01, Records of Anchor Line Ltd; UGD 255/02, Records of Walter Runciman & Co Ltd; UGD 255/04, Records of The Leith, Hull & Hamburg Steam Packet Co Ltd; UGD 255/05, Records of Currie Line Ltd; UGD 255/06, Records of The Isaac Line; and UGD 255/07, Records of George Gibson & Co Ltd.

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards: International Council on Archives,ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999 and National Council on Archives,Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names


Fonds level description compiled by Vikki Laidlaw, Hub Project Assistant, 01 September 2005.