Established in 1498six years after Columbus discovered America
The Shore Porters Society began as a group of porters, or ‘Pynours’ who worked at Aberdeen Harbour and formed, for their mutual protection, what must be one of the oldest co-operatives in existence.
In 1666 the Superannuated Members Fund, or Property and Warehousing Department, was founded as one of two distinct trading units to provide for retired and sick partners. The other unit was known as the General Haulage Department, the Horse and Van Department, or simply the Working Department.
For centuries the Society was a semi-public body under the control of Aberdeen Town Council, but by 1850 – the year before the Great Exhibition – it was completely independent.
The Shore Porters Society trades as International Removers and operates out of Aberdeen and Richmond upon Thames, Surrey, with a fleet of 30 lorries and vans.
Our Removals business is a renowned market leader, carrying out household removals of all sizes both nationally and internationally. We are proud of our 25-year association with the major auction houses, and every day on their behalf we transport antiques and works of art to destinations near and far. We also have a long-established relationship with the oil and gas industry, organising regular personnel moves to and from Aberdeen, the Oil Capital of Europe.
The Property and Warehousing Department now has 11 warehouses in Aberdeen, storing a vast range of commercial and personal items and two in Richmond upon Thames, Surrey, for personal items only, of all sizes and shapes.
Our newest facility is a warehouse which provides unrivaled commercial storage options for businesses across the north-east of Scotland.
Located in the very heart of the Granite City, the warehouse is ideally situated for storing items which are being shipped to and from its vibrant port.
The Shore Porters’ Society of Aberdeen is established. It begins as a group of labourers responsible for loading and unloading cargo at the harbour in Aberdeen.
The society’s activities expand to include transportation services, such as carting and delivering goods.
The Shore Porters’ Society becomes more organised and recognised as a trade union. It focuses on providing fair wages and working conditions for its members.
The society constructs its headquarters, known as the Shore Porters’ Building, on Regent Quay in Aberdeen.
Removals and storage
The society further expands its services to include removals and storage, catering to the needs of the local community.
The Shore Porters’ Society becomes incorporated under the Friendly Societies Act, solidifying its legal status as a cooperative organisation.
The society introduces a scheme to provide pensions for its members, ahead of the introduction of state pensions in the United Kingdom.
Mechanically Propelled Vehicles
The Shore Porters’ Society purchases its first motor vehicle, marking the transition from horse-drawn transportation to motorised transport.
Shore Porters Removals Ltd
The society establishes a subsidiary company, Shore Porters Removals Ltd, to handle its removal and storage services.
Rumsey & Son
A base in London was established with the acquisition of family run business established in 1928, Rumsey & Son.
The Shore Porters’ Society celebrates its 500th anniversary, marking five centuries of operation and service to the community.
The society continues to operate as a cooperative, providing a range of services including transportation, removals, and storage, while maintaining its commitment to fair employment practices and community involvement.