Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 146,838 pages of information and 232,610 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Court Line

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1905 Court Line was founded in London by 25-year-old Philip Edward Haldinstein and traded from 1 Leadenhall Street as Haldinstein and Co. Ltd. He built up a fleet of tramp ships starting with the first Arlington Court.

After 1908: Improvement in freight rates led to more ships being ordered.

WWI Although the family was from Norwich they had a German-sounding name which became a problem during WW1 so, in 1915, Haldinstein shortened his name to Haldin by Royal Licence. The family were Jewish and very prominent in the Hebrew congregation in Norwich.

Early 1920s: fleet reduced to 4 ships

1926 the entire fleet was registered under the United British Steamship Co Ltd.

Late 1920s: purchase of both new and used ships, including 3 from Evans Thomas Ratcliffe of Cardiff. A further new 11 tramps were built between 1928 and 1930.

1929 Richard Philipps (youngest brother of Lord Kylsant) joined the company which then became Haldin and Philipps Ltd.,

1930s a large part of the fleet was laid up.

1939 Philip Haldin was knighted

WW2 Dorington Court (1938) became the model for the Empire Ship building programme and later for the Ocean and Liberty ships.

Postwar: purchased a number of Empire and other used ships.

1948 Philipps (by then Lord Milford) retired and the company reverted to Haldin and Co. Ltd.

1952 A programme of new building of ships started

1970s the company diversified into airlines, shipbuilding, ship repairing and package holidays

1972 The Doxford and Sunderland Group was taken over by Court Line.

1974 The enlarged group experienced cash-flow problems and the company went into liquidation in 1974.

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