Private Limited Company

As Nicks & Co was readjusting to the role of timber merchant again, senior partner Thomas Drury died in August 1955, leaving the business to be carried on by his sons Tom, John and Kenneth. In January 1960, the three brothers converted the business into a private limited company, and a year later they purchased the freehold of Canada Wharf. This paved the way for them to upgrade the mill, including replacing their steam engine by electric power in 1963 (51).

The 1960s was a time of great change in the timber trade, particularly due to the new practice of packaging timber in the country of origin and the use of machines for handling timber in the yard. Tom Drury and his son Chris toured the Baltic ports to persuade suppliers to package their timber, and they arranged for this to be shipped in coasters that could deliver direct to Canada Wharf. This saved the expense of transhipment into lighters at Sharpness, but the Gloucester dockers claimed it was their work to unload a coaster and insisted on the employment of a much larger gang than was really needed. This method of importing continued until July 1986, when MV Eosarrived from Oskarshamn, Sweden, with 1062 cu m for Nicks & Co and Romans & Co. (Fig. 5) After that, all supplies arrived by lorry from east coast ports and from forests in Scotland (52).