Amundsen & Smith Ltd can
trace its origins to the early years of the
20th century, when its founder Alfred F Amundsen,
a Sunderland man of Norwegian descent, began his
business career in the offices of Thomas R Pinkney,
Shipbrokers and Sale & Purchase Brokers, of
West Sunniside in Sunderland.
After a short spell
with Rose Line, Mr Amundsen set up in business
before the First World War with a partner as Lythgoe,
Amundsen & Company, managing a series of small
coasters, including the "COMPASS", "WHARFEDALE","THAMES"
and "TREFUSIS" from their offices in
He continued business on his own after the break-up
of the partnership, and after serving in World
War I, joined forces with his friend William Smith
in 1919 as Amundsen & Smith with offices in
Sunderland and Seaham Harbour.
The Amundsens had two sons. Alfred
straight from school to work for Newcastle shipowners
R S Dalgliesh in 1931 whilst his younger brother
Archie joined his father at the Seaham Harbour
Both were called up during World War II and returned
from the armed forces to take over the business
upon their father's death in 1946. In the meantime,
Willie Smith had taken up the post of Company
Secretary with the Seaham Harbour Dock Company.
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