Memories of a Shipping Agent

Firstly, I found the Website very informative and interesting, in particular the railway section as I am a life-long railway enthusiast!

My reason for contacting you is that since my retirement two years ago I have been discussing various things with old work colleagues in the freight forwarding industry.

It’s a pity that over the years we have lost the vast majority of our heavy industry which made us world-beaters in many engineering and construction areas. Our company shipped all kinds of consignments from nuts and bolts to complete units!

My first job after leaving school in 1970 was working for LEP Transport Ltd, based in London.

After the first few months of obtaining a proper telephone manner and learning how to deal with adults other than family, I was put in charge of running the services to Belgium. I can recall most of the clients that we had back in those days and, in particular, one of our main ones which was Dowty Mining Ltd.

Our company was only responsible in shipping the Hydraulic Roof Support Spares which, I recall they were packed into single wooden cases with a weight of just over 1,000 Kilos. The consignments were shipped by road to Antwerp, where our clearing agent Freyman & Van Loo NV., would arrange customs clearance and delivery to the appropriate colliery location.

The destinations I can remember were Zolder, Winterslag and Waterschei.

The name of Andre Deligne appeared on the shipping documents, which I understood to be the selling agent?

I’m unsure how the main equipment was shipped, but can recall being told that it was shipped by container from either the UK or USA.

There are some good Websites showing the history of the Belgian mining industry, and it was interesting to read the history and see photographs of the collieries in question. Sadly, as in the UK, all now appears to be part of history!

A visit to the museum has always part of my plans, and hope that as soon as the situation changes I will be able to proceed. We have family in neighbouring Worcestershire.

Anyway, trusting that all is well with you and the good folks of Gloucestershire

Robert Elleray

Comments about this page

  • Who was your manager all those years ago – was it Mr. Strache?

    By John Spenton (19/10/2020)

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