Part of the Acorn Archive

Hearts of Oak


Colliers, Coaling and Temperley Transporters

30th June 1852 JOHN BOWES was launched by the General Iron Screw Collier Company.

She was the first steam driven iron screw collier in the world. She had a double bottom to carry water ballast, which was pumped out by her main engine prior to loading cargo. This saved time and money in loading solid ballast and having to pay for the ballast to be dumped.

She had a 60 foot long hatch to allow quick and safe loading.

John Bowes


Single screw Iron hull steamship; 437 grt; 150 ft x 25.7 ft x 15.6 ft

Engines originally 2.35 hp steam engines geared to one shaft; 9 knots. Re-engined 1864 and 1883.

Entered service in July 1852. She could make the round trip between the Tyne and London in 5 days and could carry 650 tons of coal.  This was as much as two sail colliers would achieve in a month.

Her clipper stem was later altered. Originally owned by Iron Screw Collier Co, she was sold off in 1898 to Norwegian owners, and then to Sweden and then to Spain, when she was renamed VILLA SEGAS;

November 1933, she was in voyage with a cargo of ore, and foundered in a gale.



One of the most innovative, influential and useful inventions to speed up and reduce physical effort

and reduce injury to both men and ships was the Temperley Transporter.

It was invented and Patented by John Ridley Temperley and Joseph Temperley.


A page will be added on the family, but briefly ….

John Ridley Temperley was involved with the development of the Brennan Torpedo.

Henry Temperley was a part of the well known Maritime Solicitors Botterel, Roche & Temperley.

The other members of the family were involved in their Shipping companies,

wrote books on The Merchant Shipping Acts, as well as being very successful merchants.


Devices for coaling a ship were largely dependent upon so many factors that would prevent the ship from going about its normal activity; it could also place the ship in danger.

Of the appliances that were available, the most efficient was the Temperley Transporter.


For More Details of their installation and Coaling ships.



It consisted of a long beam or girder of steel, which was hoisted by the ship's derrick so that one end hung over the hold of the collier, with an inclination in that direction, and the other over a position on the ship's deck convenient for the reception of the coal.


On the underside of the girder, ran a travelling apparatus, fitted with  a sheave through which ran a steel hawser. The traveller being run out  to the extremity of the girder, the hawser, which is furnished with a hook, is lowered into the hold of the collier where ten or twelve 2 hundredweight bags are attached to it. The bags are then hoisted up to the traveller, and as soon as they reach the the traveller itself, it is drawn inboard by the same hawser. The traveller is stopped over the point at which the coal is to be received on deck, and then the bags are lowered on to the deck. The traveller runs back out on its own, due to its own weight, to receive a fresh load. More than a ton of coal can be moved from collier to ship in a minute.


One man is required to work the hoist on the collier, while 20 men will be in the hold filling the bags and delivering them to the deck, where 5 or so will transfer the bags to the lift. One or two men suffice for the overhead work; their station is in the trestle trees. On board the receiving ship a few men will be stationed at the shear head to empty the bags into a canvas shoot, and then return them, while there will be the usual force of bunker trimmers.


ONE DAY'S COALING - 23rd July 1899

Admiralty figures for 23rdJuly1899 revealed that in one day’s coaling, it little mattered as to the ship’s complement, or size, it depended on whether or not they had Temperley transporters ( and that depended on the suitabilty of the hatches ) and the efficiency at which each crew could operate, as well as the ship’s arrangements for taking on coal.

Battleships :

MARS complement 774 took on 582 tons at  131.77 per hour.

MAJESTIC complement 833 took on 500 tons at 109.09 tons per hour.

The eight Battleships took on a total of 4,017 tons.

Cruisers :

ARETHUSA, with 313 complement, took on 276 tons at 92.51 tons per hour. DIADEM with 705 complement, took on 675 tons at 91.5 tons per hour.

NIOBE complement 685 took on 800 tons at 84.2 tons per hour.

The 18 cruisers took on a total of 6,561 tons

This averaged out to 66 tons per hour for each of the 26 ships coaled that day. The total coaling for the day on these 26 ships was 10,578 tons.


The Times 2nd January 1920

Naval Intelligence

From Coal to Oil

A sign of the change from the use of coal to oil in the Navy is afforded by the decision to dispose of the whole of the surplus stock of temperley transports, with the exception of a reserve of 12 serviceable ones, of 55 ft or over, complete with travellers, which is to be maintained at Pembroke. Home dockyards are to report to the Admiralty what surplus transports and spare gear they have in stock, in order that arrangements may be made for sale by the Disposal Board. The stocks of transports at foreign dockyards are to be sent to England for disposal if free freight offers at an early date, otherwise they are to be disposed of locally to the best advantage.



Although the Admiralty had certain Admiralty Colliers, they would often charter out. In 1874 the Temperley Vessel SCOTLAND was chartered by the Admiralty for supplies to the Far East.


SS KHARKI   ON 112680; Built 1899, Purchased 1900; operated as a Collier

and was converted to carry oil in 1906.

1,430 tons; 775 hp; 13 knots; Carried 90 tons of fuel.


After the Great War the Admiralty, only operated one collier,

the MERCEDES Built 1901; Purchased 1908;

9,930 tons; 350 ft x 50 ft x 28 feet; 2,350 hp; 9 knots.

She could carry 750/1603 tons of coal.


One of the Admiralty Oilers, PETRONEL, became ATHELGLEN


For more details on coaling


For more details on colliers and oilers 1920



Thanks to Paul Benyon



Raymond Forward