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History - Page 1

Cory has been operating for over 100 years . We started out as W.M. Cory and Son Ltd, transporting coal into London on the River Thames. Today, Cory is one of the country’s leading waste management companies. We are still using London’s valuable river network, in fact we’re currently the largest lighterage operator on the upper reaches of the Thames, but we’ve also extended our business to nearly 40 different locations throughout England. Find out about some of our milestones...



1914 - 1918

1920 - 1930s

1939 - 1940s

1950s - 1970s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000 to date

Coal in, waste out

Cory Environmental started life in 1896. The Company was then called William Cory and Son Ltd and was an amalgamation of eight companies in one of London’s most important industries – the coal trade. The Company’s assets were considerable. They included:

· 13 wharves on the Thames
· two floating derricks
· leased depots in the Victoria, Albert and Tilbury docks
· four tug bunkering stations
· yards and works at Charlton, Erith, Brentford, and Rochester
· 2,500 railway wagons
· 42 coal depots
· 25 stables, which housed the Company's 350 horses

William Cory & Son handled over five million tonnes of coal, coke and patent fuel each year. The goods were transported into London and the south east by barges on the Thames and the Medway, and by wagons on the rail system. In addition, hay was brought into the capital from the surrounding countryside.

It was here that a prime opportunity to utilise barges that had emptied their load in London was identified, giving an early insight into Cory’s future business. Every tug leaving London on the Thames left with a cargo of rubbish from London's streets, for ultimate disposal on the marshlands of Kent and Essex.

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