There were six ships in this Group which were all former Port of London Authority hoppers used for working with the dredgers. As the demand for fuelling ships became more acute as WW1 progressed, these ships lent themselves to rapid conversion into tankers by plating over the bottom sludge door joints and installing a pipeline and pumps.

All six were triple expansion engined and single-screwed coal burners which varied between 700 and 870 tons. As PLA ships they were numbered from No 3 to No 8 inclusive and when they were chartered by the Admiralty, they were renamed after salient features of the River Thames with an OL-suffix e.g. PORT OF LONDON AUTHORITY HOPPER NO 3 was renamed BARKOL after Barking and so on. After the end of the War, which they all survived, they were returned to their owners and resumed their previous names. All are shown in Official Documents as having served as Royal Fleet Auxiliaries.

The full Group consisted of BARKOL, BATTERSOL, BLACKOL, GREENOL, PURFOL and SILVEROL being named after Barking, Battersea, Blackwall, Greenwich, Purfleet and Silvertown respectively.


BARKOL:

Builder: Wm Simons & Co, Renfrew.

Launched: 29 September 1898 as THAMES CONSERVANCY HOPPER No 3. Completed: October 1898. Renamed PORT OF LONDON AUTHORITY HOPPER No 3 in
1909. Chartered by the Admiralty in January 1917 and renamed BARKOL.

Yard Nr: 356 Official Nr: 110038 Signal Letters: Not fitted

Tonnages: 704 grt 321 nrt

Dimensions: 204’00” (o.a.) x 30’01” x 12’10”

Machinery: Triple expansion 3 cyl by the builders. 153 nhp.

Speed: ?? knots.

Pennant Nr: X 04

Battle Honour: None recorded

Fate: Returned to owners 1920 and resumed her previous name. Sold 1929 and renamed LANDGUARD. Arrived Bruges for demolition in May 1957

 

BATTERSOL:

Builder: Wm Simons & Co, Renfrew.

Launched: 14 October 1898 as THAMES CONSERVANCY HOPPER No 4. Completed: October 1898. Renamed PORT OF LONDON AUTHORITY HOPPER No 4 in 1909. Chartered by the Admiralty on 16 November 1916 and renamed BATTERSOL.

Yard Nr: 357 Official Nr: 110039 Signal Letters: Not fitted

Tonnages: 704 grt 321 nrt

Dimensions: 204’00” (o.a.) x 30’01” x 1’10”

Machinery: Triple expansion 3 cyl by the builders. 153 nhp.

Speed: ?? knots

Pennant Nr: X 05

Battle Honour: None recorded

Fate: Returned to her owners in 1916 and resumed her previous name. Sold commercially in 1927 and renamed JAMES No 59. Arrived Hendrik Ido Ambacht for demolition by F Rijsdijk Industries in the first quarter of 1937

 

BLACKOL:

PLA Hooper No 5


Builder: Fleming & Ferguson Ltd, Paisley.

Launched: 20 October 1906 as THAMES CONSERVANCY HOPPER No 5. Completed: November 1906. Renamed PORT OF LONDON AUTHORITY HOPPER No 5 in 1909. Chartered by the Admiralty in September 1916 and renamed BLACKOL.

Yard Nr: 354 Official Nr: 123780 Signal Letters: HKDG

Tonnages: 869 grt 368 nrt 1330 dwt

Dimensions: 204’00” (o.a.) x 32’01” x 15’01”

Machinery: Triple expansion 3 cyl by the builders; 161 nhp.

Speed: ?? knots

Pennant Nr: X 08

Battle Honour: None recorded

Fate: Returned to her owners in 1920 and resumed her previous name. Sold commercially in 1927 and renamed STONEWELL. Was dismantled in Durban, South Africa and then scuttled locally on 10 May 1951

 

GREENOL:


Greenol as Seastone

Builder: Fleming & Ferguson Ltd, Paisley.

Launched: 26 March 1907 as THAMES CONSERVANCY HOPPER No 7. Completed: April 1907. Renamed PORT OF LONDON AUTHORITY HOPPER No 7 in 1909. Chartered by the Admiralty on 9 September 1916 and renamed GREENOL.

Yard Nr: 356 Official Nr: 123824 Signal Letters: HLFT

Tonnages: 873 grt 369 nrt 1330 dwt

Dimensions: 204’02” (o.a.) x 32’01” x 15’01¼”

Machinery: Triple expansion 3 cyl by the builders. 161 nhp.

Speed: ?? knots

Pennant Nr: X 56

Battle Honour: None recorded

Fate: Returned to her owners in 1920 and resumed her previous name. Sold commercially in 1927 and renamed JAMES No 46. Renamed SEASTONE in 1961. Arrived Cork, Eire for demolition by Haulbowline Industries Ltd. in February 1982

 

PURFOL:


JMR258


Builder: Fleming & Ferguson Ltd, Paisley.

Launched: 13 February 1907 as THAMES CONSERVANCY HOPPER No 6. Renamed PORT OF LONDON AUTHORITY HOPPER No 6 in 1909. Chartered by the Admiralty in October 1916 and renamed PURFOL

Yard Nr: 355 Official Nr: 123823 Signal Letters: HLFS

Tonnages: 869 grt 369 nrt 1330 dwt

Dimensions: 204’00” (o.a.) x 32’01” x 15’01”

Machinery: Triple expansion 3 cyl by the builders. 161 nhp.

Speed: ?? knots

Pennant Nr: X 28

Batle Honour: None recorded

Fate: Returned to her owners in 1920 and resumed her previous name. Sold commercially in 1927 and renamed ROCKWELL. Purchased for demolition in Durban, South Africa by K Nathan (Pty) Ltd and was broken up in the 3rd quarter of 1966

 


SILVEROL:

RFA Silverol

Builder: Fleming & Ferguson Ltd, Paisley

Launched: 28 March 1907 as THAMES CONSERVANCY HOPPER No 8 . Completed: May 1907. Renamed PORT OF LONDON AUTHORITY HOPPER No 8 in 1909. Chartered by the Admiralty in October 1916 and renamed SILVEROL.

Yard Nr: 357 Official Nr: 123847 Signal Letters: HLFV

Tonnages: 869 grt 368 nrt 1330 dwt

Dimensions: 203’11” (o.a.) x 32’01” x 15’01”

Machinery: Triple expansion 3 cyl by the builders. 161 nhp

Speed: ?? knots

Pennant Nr: X 64

Battle Honour: None recorded

Fate: Returned to her owners in 1920 and resumed her previous name. Sold commercially in 1927 and renamed JAMES No 47. Renamed ROCKSTONE in 1964. Arrived Grays, Essex for demolition by T.W. Ward Ltd in March 1977

 

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