1st.ed., 1986. Xi + 165 pp, 30 photo-plates. D.j., 24 x 15cm. FINE. ‘Ropner Ship Management’ compliment slip tipped in. The history of a British shipping company founded in 1874 in West Hartlepool, a concern that developed into the country’s premier tramp fleet. Robert Ropner ran away to sea and stowed himself aboard a ship at Hamburg bound for West Hartlepool. In his adopted England, he set out on a career in steam by building up an impressive tramp fleet. His ships played such a prominent role in helping to defeat Germany at sea in both World Wars that the Company became known as ‘Rope’s Navy’. The author recalls the history of the firm, its triumphs and tragedies, and describes the ships themselves together with their officers and crew. Illustrated with 30 photographs, a detailed Appendix provides a Fleet List from 1874 to 1982. FINE copy.