This is where we play 'catch-up', by following other events that led up to the closure and advertised sale of just about everything at Greenore, as the year 1952 dawned.
The first and most important of these foundational events occurred at the conclusion of World War II. That primeval event was the British General Election held on July 5, 1945. When final votes were counted, it resulted in a Labour win of 393 seats out of the 640 seats available in the House of Commons. With 321 seats needed for a win, the Labour Party had a sufficient majority to push through is political agenda of nationalization. In their sites were the electricity; gas; coal; steel and railway industries, with the latter tied to the ferry industry.
Prior to nationalization there were four major railway companies, each one dominating a geographic area. On January 1, 1948, the Railway Executive of the British Transport Commission (BTC) took over the assets of these railway companies and eventually subdivided their administration into five regional authorities. However, shipping was not a part of their nationalization program, yet, because the railways which were heavily in debt when they were acquired, the assets of both the ferry services and the railways became co-mingled and in many instances in the hands of the Labour government.
The London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS), was the largest of the big four railway companies, and it controlled over 120 smaller railway companies which made LMS the largest commercial undertaking in the British Empire, and second largest employer after the Post Office.
In 1950, there were a number of ferry companies that were not directly controlled by BTC and its operating arm of British Railways. One of them was a part of the LMS absorption which maintained a service from Hollyhead in Anglesey, Wales to Dun Laoghaire, a coastal town in the County of Dublin, and Greenore on Carlingford Lough in County Louth, Republic of Ireland. Service to Greenore was sporadic and it was restricted to cargo and livestock, but passenger service had been terminated earlier. This of course was the penultimate year before disaster struck Greenore where everything was put up for sale.
Included in the sweeping nationalization program by BTC in 1948, were canals; bus services; hotels; ferries; ports and the road haulage industry. However, in October 1951 the Tories won the General Election and began to denationalize the road haulage industry. But the aging fleet of ferries were mainly bound for the scrap heap, and there was no money in the government kitty to buy new ships.
The story of Greenore continues tomorrow.
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