Edward (Ted) Renshaw FICS, BA Hons
13.8.1942 – 22.4.2018
Edward (Ted) Henry Renshaw was born in the old Bristol Maternity Hospital in Bristol. His father Walter had moved to Bristol from Newark to work at Rolls Royce in the aircraft drawing offices. Unfortunately, his mother died when he was just 2 years old and his father subsequently married his house keeper so Ted would have someone to look after him. He recalled that his childhood was not a particularly happy one. On the 14th July 1961 he married the love of his life and soul partner Pattie at St Johns Church Clifton, at the age of 19 and left home.
Ted went to Fairfield School and later Cotham Grammar in Bristol and was particularly keen on languages, especially French which he continued to study with the help of his French speaking son-in-law Bruno, until he became ill. In addition, he loved cycling and was a great walker throughout his life enjoying both the outdoors and being close to nature. When he joined the Air Cadets at 14 he was the tallest on parade at 6 feet 2 inches. Later he joined the Royal Naval Reserve, assigned to HMS Flying Fox where he was responsible for communications.
At the age of 15 Ted was sent to work in a shoe factory in Bristol and spent some time in Bridgend South Wales. It is not clear how Ted ended up in the world of shipping, but his first employer was Houlder Brothers Ltd who were part of the Furness Withy Group in Queen Square, Bristol. The offices were located in eighteenth century buildings close to the quayside. One of his first duties in the morning was to evict the nightly rat population rummaging in waste paper bins. Today, ship agency clerks enjoy 4-wheeled transport but Ted, who lived in Wick approx. 10 miles from Bristol and 20 miles from Avonmouth, had a moped. He was often seen by his father in law early in the morning riding to work, sometimes his father in law claimed, he was sure Ted was asleep! Houlder Brothers became Brantford International and the offices moved from Bristol to Portview Road Avonmouth. At this time the Brantford International Agency Department, under Ted’s leadership, were Agents for many notable shipping lines visiting the port of Avonmouth and Portishead: Furness Withy Line, Shaw Saville Line, Prince Line and Esso Tankers to name but a few. Throughout his long career within the shipping community in Avonmouth and latterly Royal Portbury Dock, Ted worked for various companies in the role of port agency manager.
Education was an important part of Ted’s work ethic, where he encouraged those around him to undertake further education to improve their understanding of the shipping world and thereby increase the level of professionalism within the shipping industry. To this end he was an enthusiastic promoter of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers whose professional qualifications are recognised worldwide. Ted involved himself with the Institute education right from the beginning of the new syllabus (of which to a large extent the basics are still retained). Introduction to Shipping was his particular topic and the delivery of the Foundation Diploma intended for those starting in the industry from school. This aimed to provide a bench mark for employers to assess the potential of students who would hopefully go on to progress to Membership in the future. For many years Ted both taught the Introduction to Shipping syllabus by the distance learning programs such as Tutorship and at PREP at Warwick University. In addition, he served as both marker, examiner and was very well respected and liked by his students. There was always a willingness to encourage and give time to those students who required it, freely passing on his experience and expertise. There is no doubt Ted’s understanding and compassionate approach encouraged many Foundation Diploma students to find the perseverance to continue to Membership who, without Ted’s unfailing belief in them, would not have had the courage to do so. The Institute owes him a great debt.
Ted led by example, by not only being a Fellow of the Institute of Shipbrokers, but also undertaking a Degree in Business Studies at the University of the West of England, where he graduated in 1990. The latter part of his career saw Ted as the in house education officer for Graypen Shipping, from 1998 until his retirement from shipping in 2007. During this time he travelled the length and breadth of the country passing on his expertise and experience at the companies nationwide offices. Even after his retirement Ted’s thirst for knowledge led him to undertake a six year part time BA Hons Degree in Archaeological Studies at the University of Bristol, graduating in 2013.
During his career he was involved in the local shipping community; being President of the Bristol Steamship Owners Association, 1990-1991; Chairman of the Bristol Branch of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers prior to its amalgamation with the South Wales Branch, where he sat on various committees including education. For the Bristol Steamship Owners he represented them on the Seafarers Centre committee where he was also held in high esteem. Other real high points of his life was an invitation for him and Pattie to attend a Garden Party at Buckingham Palace in 1998.
Ted will be remembered for his professionalism, enthusiasm, dedication and fairness both in and outside of the shipping community and is a sad loss to both.