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British shipping companies (Pi)

Last modified: 2021-05-29 by rob raeside
Keywords: shipping lines |
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A.W. Pickard & Co.

[A.W. Pickard & Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 27 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of A.W. Pickard & Co. (#744, p. 72) as triangular, red with a white disc inscribing a red "P".
Ivan Sache, 27 April 2021

Pickering & Haldane's Steam Trawling Co.

[Pickering & Haldane's Steam Trawling Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 4 May 2021

He has given his name to a substantial area of the west of Hull, and was the archetypal Victorian self-made man. Christopher Godmond Pickering was born in 1842, the son of Christopher Pickering, a tailor, and his wife Jane Gibson. On the 1861 census the family were living at Hales Entry; young Christopher was a fish curer. Ten years later he was married to Rachael Blakestone and lived at 3 Marlborough Terrace, Hessle Road. He was then a fish merchant. In the next ten years he became a ship owner [...].
Pickering made a fortune very quickly. During the 1880s he owned a fleet of sailing smacks in partnership with a man named Haldane. They were quick to recognise that the future was in steam, and sold the sailing ships in Europe in order to acquire steam trawlers. By 1914 he headed Pickering & Haldane's Steam Trawling Co. and Pickering, Haldane & Co. (fish and ice merchants), as well as being Chair of several fishing and allied firms. [...]
He died in 1920.

Christopher Pickering - a rags-to-riches story

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Pickering & Haldane's Steam Trawling Co., Ltd. (#1725, p. 119), a Hull-based fishing company, as blue with a red saltire, in the respective quarters, the white letters "&", "P", "Co.", and "H".
Ivan Sache, 4 May 2021

Pike Ward Ltd.

[Pike Ward Ltd. houseflag] image by Eugene Ipavec, 17 April 2009

A venerable British company Pike Ward Ltd., established at Teignmouth (Devon):
“Pike Ward Limited offers a wide range of services to the shipping industry. These include Shipbroking, Ships Agents and Cargo Supervision. From our main office in Teignmouth we are well positioned to serve other ports in Devon including Bideford and Dartmouth.” (A further port served is Appledore.) The firm was founded in 1876.

Shown on the website is the house flag (a drawing – no photo found yet): green bearing a white six-pointed star in the centre.
Jan Mertens, 17 December 2008

T. Lee Pippet

[T. Lee Pippet houseflag] image located by Ivan Sache, 28 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of T. Lee Pippet (#864, p. 78), a Newcastle-based company, as blue with two horizontal stripe near the top and bottom, a red horizontal stripe in the center, and a big red "P" superimposed. 
Ivan Sache, 28 April 2021

Pockett's Bristol Channel Steam Packet Co., Ltd.

(G.J. Wakefield)

[Pockett's Bristol Channel Steam Packet Co., Ltd. houseflag] image located by Ivan Sache, 30 April 2021

The Pockett family’s business commenced in 1840 when James’ father, Capt. Walter Pockett (1794-1856), began taking passengers from Swansea to Weston-super-Mare and Ilfracombe aboard the smack ‘Elizabeth’ on summer weekends and bank holidays. Due to the enterprising acquisition of three paddle steamers, the ‘Troubadour’, the ‘Lass of Gowrie’ and the ‘Lord Beresford’, the business expanded rapidly and, in 1852, James Wathen Pockett took over from his father as proprietor. At that point he had three paddle steamers under his control, the aforementioned ‘Lord Beresford’, together with two newer vessels, the ‘Princess Royal’ and the ‘Prince of Wales’.

The business was to become known as Pockett’s Bristol Channel Steam Packet Company, and involved James Pockett’s two younger brothers, William (1823-1890) and Henry (1828-1868) as paddle steamer Commanders. The earliest record of William Pockett as Commander is in 1858, aboard the ‘Prince of Wales’ on a voyage from Swansea to Hayle in Cornwall. (William went on to run the company for several years after the death of his elder brother James c.1880) Henry Pockett is recorded as being Commander of the ‘Lord Beresford’ in 1861, sailing between Swansea and Ilfracombe, but there was friction on the horizon as, when he commanded the paddle steamer ‘Henry Southan’ between Swansea and Bristol in 1862, he found himself having to sue his brother James for his wages. Henry Pockett died in 1868 at just 40 years of age.

Pockett’s Steam Packet Company continued to thrive and, in 1865, Swansea’s first steam-driven quayside crane was installed on the company’s wharf near the entrance to the North Dock Basin. The rail-mounted crane, patented by G. Stothert & Co. of Bath, was capable of lifting loads of anything up to 3 tons. That same year a new service between Swansea and London was inaugurated with the s.s. ‘Pioneer’, and in 1868 the paddle steamer ‘Velindra’ was added to the Bristol Channel fleet. The ‘Velindra’ was a modern vessel of 199 gross registered tons, and had been built at Blackwall, London, in 1860.

In 1871 the company relocated to the South Dock Basin and by 1879 had acquired yet another paddle steamer, the ‘Collier’, followed by the ‘Rio Formoso’ in 1887. The ‘Prince of Wales’ was by then obsolete, having been built in Neath in 1842, and was put up for sale. In 1896, after 28 years service, the ‘Velindra’ was also disposed of and was replaced that same year by the paddle steamer ‘Brighton’, built in Govan in 1878. The last vessel known to have been purchased by Pocketts was the paddle steamer ‘Mavis’, acquired in 1909. Built in 1888 at Kinghorn, Fife, the ‘Mavis’ was to prove unreliable and lasted just four years before being withdrawn from service in 1913. She was scrapped two years later at Briton Ferry.

After 19 years of excursions from the South Dock at Swansea, and also from the Mumbles Pier which was built in 1898, Pocketts’ last remaining paddle steamer, the ‘Brighton’, was requisitioned by the War Office in 1915 for naval service in the First World War. After the war she was sold to a Turkish company and spent her remaining years in the Aegean until being broken up in 1927. With the loss of the ‘Brighton’, Pocketts’ role as ship-owners ceased to exist, and the company’s former excursion routes in the Bristol Channel were quickly absorbed by P&A Campbell’s fast-expanding fleet of ‘White Funnel’ paddle steamers. Nevertheless, the company retained its wharf, warehouse and office in the South Dock Basin until the mid 1930’s and today, quite rightly, the famous name of Pockett is preserved for posterity as part of the Swansea Marina.
Swansea and Port Talbot Dock History

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Pockett's Bristol Channel Steam Packet Co., Ltd.
(G.J. Wakefield) (#1347, p. 101), as horizontally divided blue-white-blue with a black "P" in the center.
Ivan Sache, 30 April 2021

Pollok, Gilmore & Co.

[Pollok, Gilmore & Co houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker

Pollok, Gilmore & Co. white used white with the blue letters "P.G". They were taken over as Rankin, Gilmour & Co. and eventually as the Saint Line Ltd..

Polytechnic Touring Association

[Henderson & McIntosh houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 29 April 2021

The Polytechnic Touring Association (PTA) was a travel firm which emerged under the aegis of Quintin Hogg’s Polytechnic (later known as the Regent Street Polytechnic then, from 1970, as the Polytechnic of Central London or PCL, and finally from 1992 as the University of Westminster).). The firm gained independent status in 1911 as the Polytechnic Touring Association. It traded for a further fifty years, changing its name along the way to Poly Travel, before its acquisition by a competitor. It eventually became part of one of the UK’s best-known holiday brands, Lunn Poly.

The PTA was a distinctive, significant and successful player in the growing British travel and tourism industry. While other travel agencies had ‘rational recreational’ and educational origins, the PTA was distinctive in terms of the numbers of tourists for whom it catered and the balance of its portfolio. Polytechnic/PTA travel accounts up to 1911, considered as a body of writing, formed an ideology of ‘collective Continentalism’ which represented aspects of modernity. Their emphasis on simple fun and enjoyment suggested a degree of willingness to edge close to the boundaries of respectability while on holiday. After its change of status in 1911, the PTA became an effective adaptor to changing economic and social conditions – if not the pioneer it claimed to be, in emulation of the Polytechnic. By its latter days in the 1950s, now known as Poly Travel, it was a sizeable and well-respected firm, though not as modern – in the sense of being new and innovative – as perhaps it had been in its early years.
Neil Matthews. 2013. The very model of a modern travel agency?
The Polytechnic Touring Association 1888-1962. PhD Thesis, University of Westminster
Neil Matthews. 2013. From philanthropy to commerce: the Polytechnic Touring Association. Pp. 203-239 in E Penn (Ed.), Educating mind, body and spirit: the legacy of Quintin Hogg and the polytechnic, 1864-1992. University of Westminster Press

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of the Polytechnic Touring Association (#1177, p. 93) as white with a red cross cantonned by the blue letters "P", "S", "Y" and "V".
Ivan Sache, 29 April 2021

Porthcawl S.S. Co., Ltd.

[Porthcawl S.S. Co., Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 23 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Porthcawl S.S. Co., Ltd. (Thomas & Stephens) (#335, p. 52) as blue with a white "T.S." monogram.
Ivan Sache, 23 April 2021

Port Line Ltd (Commonwealth and Dominion)

[Port Line Ltd houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 30 December 2001

This image is redrawn from one provided by Ted Harrison, based on a menu card from the shipping line.

[Port Line Ltd houseflag] image by Phil Nelson, 9 April 2000

from Stewart and Styring's Flags, Funnels and Hull Colors 1963: note the narrower crosses.

The Port Line was in operation from about 1923 to 1980.

Port Line was the secondary name that the company acquired because its ships were named 'Port of .........'
David Prothero, 3 January 2008

The company was founded in 1914 as the Commonwealth & Dominion Line, by fusion of G.D. Tyser & Co. and several other companies. In 1916, it was purchased by the Cunard Steamship Company, but kept operating under its original name, to be renamed into the Port Line in 1937. In 1978, it was fully integrated into Cunard.
Source: Merchant Navy Nostalgia website:
The company flag was inherited from G.D. Tyser & Co.
Tomislav Todorovic, 13 December 2014

Portosalvo Ltd.

[Portosalvo Ltd. houseflag] image located by Jan Mertens, 3 December 2008

‘Portosalvo Ltd’ is established at Aberdeen, UK (founded 1996) and operates two platform supply vessels (a third one is in the project stage) for offshore work ( Here, a flagoid is shown repeating the white ‘RN’ monograph in the upper hoist corner of a flag divided by an ascending diagonal into a blue field (hoist) and a green one (fly), bearing a stylized white initial ‘P’.

Portosalvo Ltd. is part of the Italian towing company fleet, 'Rimorchiatori Napoletani Srl' (“Neapolitan Towing”), founded in 1917.
Jan Mertens, 3 December 2008

Powell Line

[Powell Line houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 24 April 2021

F.H. Powell & Co. already operated a steamship on a direct line between Liverpool and Bristol in 1860 (every Tuesday, return every Saturday), as reported in Bradshaw's General Railway and Steam Navigation Guide, No. 318, 1 January 1860.

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of the Powell Line (F.H. Powell & Co.) (#428, p. 57) as blue with a yellow "P" in the center.
Ivan Sache, 24 April 2021

Powergen plc.

[Ensign Express Shipping Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 10 December 2005

Powergen p|c, London - dark green flag, outline of person in white lines holding a yellow radiant half-sun.
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 10 December 2005

This logo is reminiscent of Prometheus giving fire to humans.
Phil Nelson, 10 December 2005

Power Steamship Co., Ltd. (J. Power & Co.)

[Power Steamship Co., Ltd. (J. Power & Co.) houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 1 May 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Power Steamship Co., Ltd. (J. Power & Co.) (#1608, p. 113), a London-based shipping company, as red with a white "P".
Ivan Sache, 1 May 2021

British Shipping lines: continued