South American Saint Line

Ship Register

In 1926 the Barry Shipping Co. was formed.

R.G.M.(Dick) Street of Penarth, who had worked for Gould Steamships and Industrials Ltd., set up this company in 1926 with three steamers bought from the Times Shipping Co. of Cardiff. The company continued until amalgamated with the St.Quentin Shipping Co. in 1933 to form the B & S Shipping Co.

The company were mostly engaged as tramps undertaking seasonal voyages to Montreal, but were also heavily involved in the coal trade to Buenos Aires, bringing back cargos of grain.

Formed in 1933 by the amalgamation of the Barry Shipping Co. Ltd. and the St. Quentin Shipping Co. Ltd. In 1935 the company scrapped their four old steamers and replaced them with three new ones with passenger accommodation, under a government scheme to modernise the country's fleet. The intention was to set up a Liner service to South America. The new ships were both given names prefixed Saint.

With financial backing from Lord Howard de Walden the firm commenced its liner service in 1936, changing its name to the South American Saint Line.

In 1940 the Shakespear Shipping Co. was taken over.

During the Second World War the company lost 12 of its vessels to enemy action, but in 1945, whilst continuing to operate in the tramp steamer trade, the company ordered two new passenger/cargo liners, the St Essylt (delivered in 1947) and the St Thomas (delivered in 1948).

Initially these two ships were to work between Cardiff and South America, carrying both passengers and freight. Unfortunately there was not sufficient business at Cardiff to maintain the service and much of the freight business was from the Continent and passengers from Dover. Nevertheless the firm continued to expand, adding the St John in 1954 and ordering the St Rosario in 1960. They also continued to operate their older ships in the tramp steamer trade. The leading light of the company had always been Dick Street and when he died suddenly in 1961 Lord Howard de Walden, who had supplied the financial backing, decided to wind up the company and in 1965 the company finally closed.

In 1965 the fleet was sold and the service passed to Houlder Line.


London - Antwerp - Hamburg - Bremen - Lisbon - Brazil - River Plate.


Orange containing depiction of house flag

and black top.

From B&C Review April 1962

From B&C Review  December 1961

The iconic Saint Line funnel

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