Albion Saw Mill and
steam-powered saw mill was operated by William
Beddows & Company Limited, Union Mill Street, established
in 1864. The firm of timber merchants specialised in
sawing, planing and mouldings. The company was still
operating in 1964 when they were listed in Kelly's Wolverhampton Directory. Also on the
site, in the middle of the 19th century were W. & E. Walford, timber merchants.
From the 1964 Kelly's
Directory of Wolverhampton.
The wharf buildings from the
south. As shown in the 1838 advert below.
Shipton and Company
started the business in Charlotte Street, Birmingham.
It was later taken over by his cousins James and
James formed a partnership with Henry Pratt,
a miller, to carry goods at Albion Wharf,
Wolverhampton. As a result Henry
Pratt established a warehouse there in 1829. The
wharf lay beside the long basin that extended from
the canal, and went under the Albion flour mill. The
basin was built around
Pratt’s partnership with Shipton was dissolved, and
Pratt became bankrupt. Maurice and James Shipton
went their separate ways, James trading as a timber
merchant, and as Shipton & Company, canal carriers at Albion
Wharf. In 1833 the Shipton Warehouse was built at
Gloucester Docks. It still survives and carries the
name of a later occupant, the Severn & Canal Carrying
An advert from 1838.
The company's fly boats
travelled to a large number of destinations daily,
except on Sunday. The destinations included:
Liverpool, Manchester, Preston Brook, Chester,
Wrexham, North Wales, Shardlow, Gainsborough, Derby,
Hull, the Staffordshire iron works, Bilston,
Dudley, Worcester, Gloucester, Bristol, Tewksbury,
London, and Birmingham., Stourport, and
In 1847 Shipton's carrying
business was taken over by the North Staffordshire
Railway. The venture was not a success, and so the
railway company sold it to the Bridgewater Trustees
in 1849, with James Shipton as their agent. James
became mayor of Wolverhampton in November 1854, and
when his term of office ended a year later, he went
into semi-retirement and soon left the town.
He declined to stand for
another year as mayor because his year in office had
been difficult, due to arguments about the council's
failed attempt to purchase Wolverhampton Waterworks.
The council had been severely criticised by many
people, and a number of meetings had ended in
When his term in office was
over, he decided to leave in good spirit by inviting
the members of the council to a party at his house
in Dunstall Hill.
|The company is listed in the 1842 Pigot & Company's
Staffordshire Directory as Shipton &
Company, and can be found in the 'Carriers'
It is also listed in
White's 1851 Staffordshire Directory as
James Shipton, Albion Wharf, and also as
Shipton & Company, Albion Wharf. General carriers
to all parts, agents to the Trustees of the late
Duke of Bridgewater, daily carriers to Birmingham,
Liverpool, Gloucester, Bristol etc.
The 1838 advert lists fly boats to
and from London, Liverpool, Manchester,
Shipton also ran packet boats to and
from Birmingham, starting and ending in
Wolverhampton at Broad Street Bridge.
Albion Wharf was also used by
the largest, and most well known canal
transportation company, Fellows, Morton & Clayton
The company was founded in West
Bromwich by James Fellows, who decided to form his
own company, after working as a canal carrier’s
agent. The company started operating in 1837 after
James acquired his first boat called ‘Providence’.
The business rapidly grew, and moved to Tipton in
1841. Sadly James died in 1854, and his wife Eliza
took over the running of the business, until her son
Joshua was old enough to run the business himself.
By the 1860s the fleet had grown to around 50 boats,
after a boat building yard was built at Toll End.
In July 1850 the firm secured
an agency at Wolverhampton from the Bridgewater
Trustees. Frederick Morton, an additional agent, was
appointed there in 1869. On the 1st July 1876,
Joshua Fellows and Frederick Morton came together to
form Fellows, Morton & Company to take over
On June 1st, 1889 Claytons
merged with Fellows, Morton & Company to form
Fellows, Morton & Clayton Limited. William Clayton
and his son Thomas were general canal carriers who
specialised in transporting liquid waste from gas
works to distillation and chemical works, mainly
crude tar, and also ammonia-rich water, used in
Fellows, Morton & Clayton's
'Peacock' at the Black Country Living Museum.
The company's name on the side
of 'Peacock' at the Black Country Living Museum.
The new business flourished,
with a large fleet of boats. Their first steam boat
‘Pheonix’ was built in 1884. It was more powerful
and much faster than a horse-drawn boat. In 1911 the
company built its first boat powered by a Bolinder
engine. This was a great success and more quickly
followed. The company had hundreds of boats
including a large number of butties.
Fellows, Morton & Clayton also
operated from Broad Street Warehouse, Wolverhampton.
On January 1st, 1947 carrying
rates were increased, which resulted in the company
making its first ever trading loss. Things went from
bad to worse, and so the company went into voluntary
liquidation in November, 1948. The company's assets
were acquired by the Docks and Inland Waterways
Executive, the new governing body, formed in 1948
under the terms of the 1947 Transport Act which
nationalised the canals. The Docks and Inland
Waterways Executive, later became known as British
The 'President' at
the Black Country Living Museum.
President was built in 1909 at a cost of
£600 in Fellows, Morton and Clayton's
dock at Saltley, Birmingham. After a major
restoration, the boat was bought by the
Black Country Living Museum in 1983.
From Melville &
Company's 1851 Wolverhampton Directory.
The Albion Mill was built
around 1830 alongside Albion Wharf and its basin. It
is a good example of an
early corn mill, that is integrated into the canal
system. In 1845 it was operated by James Bradshaw &
Sons, millers, corn factors, bakers, grocers,
provision dealers, seedsmen, and tallow chandlers.
An advert from 1861.
Albion Mill in
2004, surrounded by rubble from the
recently demolished Hill's foundry.
Albion Mill during
Albion Mill as it
Another view of
A view of the
western side of Albion Mill.
Albion Coal Wharf
For many years the wharf was used by the Albion Coal
Company, that was owned by John Hill & Sons.
John Hill & Sons (Ironfounders)
Limited were based at Albion Works. The company was
founded in 1830 and survived until almost the end of
the 20th century. In the latter years of the 19th
century the company was run by two partners, Alfred
and John Hill. In November 1900 their partnership
An advert from 1851.
Albion Works was also occupied
by the Associated Steels & Tools Company Limited. It
is listed in Kelly's 1962 Wolverhampton Directory.
An advert from 1945.
An advert from 1953.
|John Hill & Sons was taken over by
Staveley Industries, of Staveley,
Hollingwood, near Chesterfield. As can
be seen in the advert below.
An advert from 1974.