A History of the BP Oil Terminal in Hamble-le-Rice.
Hamble Jetty by Gregory Robinson
By the end of The Great War the Admiralty decided that it no longer needed its Seaplane site at Hamble and so it sold the land to the aircraft manufacturer A V Roe and Company Ltd who then relocated part of their business to Hamble.
Oil companies were also keen on this area as the Royal Navy was converting the fleet from coal to oil and Hamble was close to the busy ports of Portsmouth and Southampton.
In June 1919 a Shell company, the Anglo Mexican Petroleum Co (soon thereafter to become Shell-Mex Ltd) bought the land from A.V. Roe for £5500.
The sale was completed on the 22nd June 1923 although it is believed that construction work had already started in 1921.
It took 900 men over 2 years at a cost of £20,000 to construct the 3 hand riveted tanks, boiler house, jetty, offices, pump house and workshops.
The Terminal started operating commercially in 1924.
Shell-Mex Ltd was also granted consent to build a jetty into Southampton Water from which fuel oil for ships’ bunkers could be supplied.
Around the same time the Anglo Persian Oil Company (BP) and its shipping arm the British Tanker Co. Ltd. were both looking for suitable locations around the UK for supplying fuel oil.
The painting was created by Hamble artist Gregory Robinson in the early 1920’s. His descendants are still residents of Hamble.
On the 6th June 1922 the British Maple, converted to a bunkering depot ship, started operating off the coast of Hamble.
It had been launched in Newcastle (1898) as the Mount Royal, and before coming to Hamble had spent time as a transport ship for the Boer War during 1899.
After this it became a cargo carrier between Canada and the rest of the world. In 1914 the Mount Royal was refitted to become a decoy ship in the Special Services Squadron for the Iron-Duke Class battleship HMS Marlborough.
In 1915 the Admiralty converted the ship in to an oil storage vessel and it was renamed Rangol, and in 1916 was subsequently renamed the Maple Leaf.
BP bought the ship on the 4th October 1919 and it was again renamed as the British Maple.
In 1932 Shell and BP formed a joint company, Shell-Mex and B.P. Ltd., This merger operated the Hamble site until the break-up of the company in 1976, when BP Oil UK Ltd. took full control.
Today BP Hamble receives various oil products via pipeline, road tanker and ship. It safely stores these oil products in storage tanks and pipelines before distributing them via pipeline, road tanker and ship.
The terminal also has the potential to receive and distribute products via railway as the railway lines that connect the Terminal with Hamble Halt station and the world beyond are still in place. However there are presently no plans to reopen the railway which was last used in the mid 1980’s.
Over the years the village of Hamble has gradually expanded around the Terminal to a point where the installation is now very much at the centre of the community.
With this in mind the Terminal staff take the safety of the local community, and our position as a good-neighbour very seriously indeed.
The staff also enjoy organising and supporting community events and local organisations.
Please follow this link
to download a copy of the latest Hamble Oil Terminal COMAH / Public Information Zone card
In the event of an emergency you will hear the COMAH alarm. Please follow this link
if you would like to hear a recording of the 'COMAH Alarm' and the subsequent 'All Clear' sirens This alarm would be used to inform everyone of an emergency. It is usually tested once a year on the first Tuesday in June at 10:45.
Please follow this link
if you would like to hear a recording of the 'On-site Fire Alarm' This alarm is solely for the attention of on-site personnel. It is tested every Tuesday at 11:00.
BP Oil UK Ltd. Hamble Terminal, Hamble Lane, Hamble-le-Rice, Southampton, S031 4NR.