Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Coppack Bros. & Co., Connah’s Quay, Flintshire

I have to admit that I had never come across the name Coppack before, …and neither had the spellchecker. As it turns out it was a ship owning, and chandlery business founded in 1860 by a Captain John Coppack, of Connah's Quay, Flintshire.

The papers I had been asked to catalogue dated from the mid twentieth century, but complimented a much larger group that had already been catalogued by the Flintshire Records Office. The documents comprised printed reference books; log books, cargo books, files of accounts comprising manifests bills of lading etc., and daily records of movements. Most of the accounts, 1962-1972, relate to the export of steel from Deeside to Europe and Scandinavia. The series of books recording the ships movements and cargo's, 1940-1967 is particularly interesting as they give us details of cargo, ports of destination, weather conditions, and in some cases the loss, or decommissioning of ships.

By the 1950s, the business was mainly ship brokering and chandlery. The company was reliant on the British steel industry, which supplied most of its trade. As a private company in the 1960s, the business found it hard to compete, and with the decline of Connah’s Quay as a port, and the silting-up of the channels, its days were numbered. Coppack Bros. shipping and chandlery business eventually ceased trading in 1977.

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