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Our History


The company started trading in 1969 with Stanley Clifford as a Journeyman Waterman working for several waterage companies in the lower Thames area, covering jetties from the top of the long reach Purfleet to Canvey Island gas jetty. His specialised mooring services were supplied to tankers at the major oil terminals along the Thames Estuary.  Stanley Clifford managed all small tankers, dock work and colliers on the Thames and Medway.  In 1992 Clifford Shipping Services (Thames) Ltd acquired C.F Bowen Limited and continued to regularly supply thirty men and boats to all terminals. In 1995 Mobil Oil Company requested that Clifford Shipping Services (Thames) Limited become the sole supplier of boatmen services at their Croyton Oil Refinery until September 2000 when it was purchased by BP.


In March 1987, Stanley Clifford’s son, James Clifford joined the company and was made a company director in November of 2004.  He had the honour of being presented to the Queen as an apprentice during her visit to Watermens’ Hall in 1989. James Clifford was successful in winning the world’s longest and oldest single sculling race, The Doggetts Coat and Badge in July 1993.  In 2007 he was successful in being appointed as a Waterman to her Majesty the Queen and as part of his royal duties, James Clifford took part in River Thames Flotilla to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in June 2012.  In March of 2013 Stanley Clifford sadly passed away and James Clifford has taken the lead in successfully moving the company forward.


Since the year 2000 Clifford Shipping Services (Thames) Limited has continued to expand and have maintained contracts with two major oil terminals, Vopak London Terminal and NuStar Grays Terminal, and expanded to cover the Oikos Storage Terminal located on the north side of the Thames River Estuary.  Clifford Shipping Services (Thames) Limited have to date, undertaken over 50,000 mooring operations on the lower Thames and Medway area with a current fleet of 12 vessels. Other services that Clifford Shipping Services (Thames) Limited are able to offer is safety boat attendance to allow repairs to terminals by contractors employed by the above companies. And the transportation of stores to large ships via the company’s stores barge.


Clifford Shipping Services (Thames) Limited have over forty years experience working the Thames Estuary and River Medway, we have built a solid reputation as being a reliable, honest and friendly company. We are committed to building on this reputation and expanding as a company capable of covering all waterside moorings, suppliers of safety workboats on the Thames Estuary, River Medway and the Hoo Peninsular thus becoming the number one supplier of Watermen in this area. 

               Our Directors

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                  Stanley Clifford

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James Clifford