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The image shows James Fraser (1867/1941), Malcolm's grandfather, a 'freelance mast maker'. At present, I list only six vessels built by 'Blumer' at North Sands. Photographed with a set of his masts during assembly at Blumers North Dock yard & standing where 'Brunel Drive' is today. You should know, however, that Michael Orpin of Jersey, whose wife is descended from Luke Blumer (Darlington branch), is also researching the family & yard histories. A notice about John Blumer's death, can be seen here (PERSONAL, 85% down), & also here. The company failed during the shipbuilding slump that followed WW1, after completing Ixia in Jul. It would seem to have built 258 vessels in its lifetime at North Dock, the last such vessel, Cydonia, a cargo ship of 3517 tons, being on the stocks for 4 years, & finally launched on Dec. Ray Ranns has kindly provided a newspaper cutting which advises that on Feb. John Blumer & Company Limited, be voluntarily wound up & its assets distributed. You are invited to visit this page for some general data about 'Blumer'. And next a splendid image, taken at Blumers in the early 1900s, shown here thanks to the kindness of Malcolm Fraser of Durham City. Which ceased to exist at or about the time that George Blumer died in 1867. The vessel's initial owner was 'Gregory & Co.', of Blyth, intended for use, it would appear, in the Baltic & Mediterranean trades. Now Luke Blumer (2) was the fifth son of Luke Blumer (1757/1840) (1), the son of a blacksmith from Soho, London. Initially registered, presumably in error, as 'Matfon' - an 1861/62 typo!
The partnership which existed prior to that date, the partnership of Arthur Robson & John Blumer, styled 'John Blumer and Co.' was then dissolved. The 1883/84 edition of 'Lloyd's' notes the vessel to be 'missing'. Thanks to Sheila Buttinger we now know a little more. (Thomas) Gilhespie was reported dead at sea in 1883 - drowned as a result of the total wreck, on Jan. While en route from Seaham to Devonport with Ralph Davison, of Crofton Mills, Blyth, Northumberland, in command.
A beautiful engraved gold watch, presented, on Oct. Richard Cumming by the workmen & officials of Messrs. The business remained at North Dock for the rest of its life - i.e. Taylor or ii) Captain Burn in command, with a cargo of coal, it was driven ashore in a hurricane on Caribou reef or Island, Anticosti Island (cannot spot exactly where), in the Gulf of St. How extraordinary that detail of what happened in May 1869 is available to us today thanks to a letter sent to New Zealand ('NZ') & published in the 'Nelson Examiner ...', a NZ newspaper, in Sep.
to 1922, I have read, but I am not 100% sure of that - see a few paragraphs below re Cydonia.
It would seem that Robert Pace & John Blumer went into business together &, in view of the business name, it would seem that Pace was the senior partner. We do not know the exact answer to that question but it probably was from 1859 through 1864.
They took over Booth's yard at North Sands when the Booth family emigrated to New Zealand in 1859. At which date, John Blumer set up his new shipbuilding business at North Dock & Robert Pace did the same at Southwick. 1875 voyage from Adelaide to Hobart with wheat etc.