London Office

Employed with the company between June 1976 and October 1984.
I joined SWRS&SL (Reardon Smith as it was known in the London/global shipbroking fraternity) in their London office in Trinity Square pretty much straight from school in June 1976. I was the post clerk/junior and spent some 6-8 months on this job before getting offered a position within the S & P (Sale & Purchase) broking dept., working with John Norman and Julian Owen, amongst others. During the time I was there, we had some excellent sales concluded. And yes we did have to sell some of the Reardon Smith fleet during the time I was there!

It always seemed a shame when one of ours was sold off. Whilst I was there, I remember that the Cornish and Welsh City (tweendeckers as I knew them) had been sold a few months before I joined. Then the Indian City went, followed by the Eastern City, Welsh and Orient City. The entire S & P dept left en bloc for Howard Houlders in 1984 and the demise of RS followed the next year. I then parted company in 1985 and left the shipbroking side and developed a career in freight forwarding.

Like many a comment I have read on this forum, it was a good company to work for. It was a great experience for a youngster straight out of school to work in the city and all the history associated with it. Going on the Baltic Exchange (the original one that is which sadly is no more) and just the general buzz working in London gave. At the time I enjoyed working with all of the staff there but after a while realised that not everyone got on with each other. A bit strange at the time to a youngster but clearly as you get on in life, it really shouldn’t have been! Some of the staff that were there – David Llewellyn, Norman Cunningham, Anthony Reardon (Mr Anthony as he was known!), Bill South (he employed me and then retired a year or two later), Alan Rowley, John Thorne, John Thorn-confused there was 2 of them! Jim Webster, John Dann, Alan Steed, Angus Graham (who left and took 2 or 3 of his colleagues and set up his own company), Tim Walsham, but to name but a few. Graham Ingrey. Posted on the forum 17 December 2011.

Ref Mike Jones posting on London Office. It is correct my father worked for Sir William Reardon Smith in their London Office from the end of the second World War in 1945 until his retirement in 1968. He was a chartering broker for the Line and worked on the Baltic Exchange in St. Mary Axe, that building was later destroyed in an IRA bomb explosion.
As a youngster I accompanied my father on a number of occasions on to the Exchange and found it very interesting Lots of city gents were milling around talking in strange terms to each other and the exchange floor was dominated with a central rostrum with top hatted beadles in attendance. On one of my first visits to the Baltic Exchange, I noted that at 1100 hrs a bell was rung. I asked my dad what that meant. He replied that it signified the official opening of the grain market. This time coincided with the opening of the Baltic Exchange bar downstairs.That became pretty obvious as the floor of the Exchange quickly emptied and everyone had moved downstairs to one of the longest bars I have had the pleasure of visiting. During the Second World War, my father was released from the Army in 1940 and seconded to the newly formed Ministry of War Transport in Berkley Square. He never told my mother and I exactly what it was he did in that job and it was not until after his death in 1971 that we found out that he was on the secret committee matching up requisitioned ships "taken up from Trade" by the Admiralty with war materiel cargoes from the USA and elsewhere. After the end of the war, he was helpful to Reardon Smiths in obtaining replacement chartered tonnage to help them get trading again. The Line offered him a permanent job as a broker in the London office Chartering Department. Reardon Smith's London Office when my father started working for them was in Creechurch House, in Creechurch Lane, just off Houndsitch and it later moved to the National Maritime Engineers Memorial building in Fenchurch Street.
For my part after I left Holloway Boys Grammar school in 1955 with my 3 A levels I volunteered for the Royal Navy for my National Service but was unsuccesful and before being called up into the Army my father asked Cardoff if they had a berth for me as a deck apprentice. They did and on the 15 October 1955 in company with Ginger Rothery, Tom 'Yorkie' Sawyer, Swansea Reid and Clive Thomas I travelled tp Rotterdam and was put on board the "Houstob City". 40 years later I retired.
I remeber most of those men mentioned in Mr. Ingney's posting particularly Mr. Thorne and Mr. Webster who acted as the boarding agents whenever a RSL ship came to the London docks.
One of the fringe benefits of having a parent in the London office was that sometimes I got a letter from my father to me on whatever ship I was serving on with advice on where my ship might be going next. I always took such informatuion as it was back up to the Captain of that ship and sometimes it was the first info the old man got before the official word came from Bill Burge in the Ops Dept in Cardiff.
Robin Stuart's father and uncle both worked in the London office Leslie Howells was the London Director in my father's tme. Bryan Boyer. Posted on forum 19 December 2011.