Reference code(s): GB 0214 DGR
Held at: Glamorgan Archives
Title: Graig Shipping Co. Ltd/plc records
Short Title: Graig Shipping Company records
Creation date(s): 1919-1992
Level of description: Fonds
Extent: 0.78 cubic metres (65 vols, 45 files & 16 booklets)
Name of creator(s): Graig Shipping Co./plc; Idwal Williams and Co.; Glynafon Shipping Co. Ltd; Garth Shipping Co. Ltd; Lisvane Investment Co. Ltd
Administrative/Biographical history: Of the many shipping companies founded at Cardiff (Glamorgan) during the boom years of 1919-1920, the Graig Shipping Co. is the only one that has survived to the present day. The firm was established in October 1919, by Idwal Williams (1884-1971) with a share capital of £100,000 in £1 ordinary shares. It was registered at Cardiff, and its shares were listed on the Cardiff Stock Exchange. The company's first investment was a First World War tramp steamer, re-named the SS Graig, which was purchased for the sum of £140,000. The new owner realised that the boom would not last long, and before the freight market slumped in 1920, he fixed the ship on a profitable two-year charter carrying coal from Durban, South Africa, to Kenya. This venture more than covered the capital loss on the vessel when it was finally sold at the end of the charter in 1922. During the 1920s and 1930s, Graig's business activity continued in the ownership and management of deep-sea steam trampers. In 1945, Graig Shipping raised additional funding through a listing on the London Stock Exchange, for ship investment. At the time, the fleet consisted of seven vessels. In 1951, the firm opened a London office, to maintain an active ship-broking presence with the City's Baltic Exchange. In 1952, the firm took over the Basra Shipping Co. Ltd of London. Re-named the Glynafon Shipping Co. Ltd., it became a subsidiary of Graig Shipping. During the 1960s, Graig Shipping took advantage of a government shipbuilding credit scheme, and built three ships. 1971 saw the death of Idwal Williams, and he was succeeded as chairman by his son, Desmond Williams, who had first joined the company in 1945. The company began to diversify its interests, acquiring a travel agency, property, and interests in oil exploration, and latterly high technology industries, fuel oil broking, pumice importation, data storage, oil exploration and coal mining. However, shipping has remained the core area of activity. The company is now styled Graig Shipping plc; subsidiary companies active at various times were Idwal Williams and Co., Garth Shipping Co. Ltd and Lisvane Investment Co. Ltd.
Scope and content/abstract: Graig Shipping Co. directors' minutes, with enclosed correspondence, copies of resolutions, etc., 1919-1946; statement of accounts, 1953-1972; shareholders' minutes, with reports of directors and statements of accounts, 1920-1969; register of transfers of ordinary shares, 1935-1975; register of probates, certificates of death, powers of attorney, etc., 1945-1973; registers of members [c. 1937]-1956; ledgers, 1949-1983; and voyage summary accounts books (by ship and voyage), 1948-1981; Idwal Williams and Co. directors' and shareholders' minutes, with enclosed agreements, resolutions, etc., 1948-1956; accounts journal, 1971-1987; and petty cash book, 1971-1986; Glynafon Shipping Co. Ltd directors' minutes, 1945-1979; and ledgers, 1952-1979; Garth Shipping Co. Ltd, ledgers, 1968-1983; Lisvane Investment Co. Ltd minutes, 1975-1983; and copy of Seventy Years in Shipping - Some Reminiscences of the History of the Graig Shipping PLC, by Desmond I. Williams.
Language/scripts of material: English
System of arrangement: Arranged into the following: Records of the Graig Shipping Co.; Idwal Williams and Co.; Glynafon Shipping Co. Ltd; Garth Shipping Co. Ltd; Lisvane Investment Co. Ltd; and Graig Shipping plc - General.
Conditions governing access: Some of the records contain confidential information and/or are in a very fragile condition. Such records will be only be produced at the discretion of the Glamorgan Archivist.
Conditions governing reproduction: Normal Glamorgan Archives conditions apply.
Finding aids: A full version of the catalogue can be searched online at http://calmview.cardiff.gov.uk/CalmView/
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records which meet the collection policy of the Glamorgan Record Office have been retained.
Accruals: Accruals are possible.
Archival history: Many of the companies' records were damaged or destroyed by fire at the Graig Co.'s offices in Merthyr House, Cardiff Docks, in 1945.
Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by a private individual, 1995-1997.
Note: Title supplied from contents of fonds.
Archivist's note: Compiled by Hayden Burns for the ANW project. The following sources were used in the compilation of this description: Glamorgan Record Office, Catalogue of records for the Graig Shipping Co. Ltd./plc, Cardiff; Williams, Desmond, I., Seventy Years in Shipping - Some Reminiscences of the History of the Graig Shipping PLC, (1989); Graig Shipping PLC website (www.graig.com/), viewed 27 January 2004."
Rules or conventions: This description follows ANW guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition, AACR2, and LCSH.
Date(s) of descriptions: January 2004