SS Peleus de la Blue Funnel Line d'Alfred Holt de Liverpool, lignes d'Afrique du Sud, d'Australie et d'Extrême Orient. (collection agence Adhémar) Peinture de Walter Thomas*
SS Peleus, vapeur de 10093 tonnes, long de 149 mètres, filant 18 nœuds. Les quatre paquebots mixtes de "classe P" de la Blue Funnel Line (Peleus, Perseus, Patroclus et Pyrrhus) ont été lancé à partir de 1949 pour compléter la "classe A" (Atraus, Adrastus, Alcinious, Arencas, Ajax, Astyanax…) construite dans l'excitation de l'après-guerre. Bien qu'ils leur aient ressemblé d'aspect, ils constituaient une nouvelle catégorie de paquebots, plus larges, plus rapides et surtout équipés de turbine à vapeur qui remplaçaient les moteurs de la "classe A".
SS Peleus a été construit à son port d'attache, Liverpool, par Cammell Laird & Co. Ltd., Birkenhead. Il a été démoli à Taiwan en 1972.
SS Peleus, 10,093 tons, L 489 feet, 18 knots. The four "P" boats of the Blue Funnel Line were introduced after war, starting with the Peleus in 1949. The other "P" class ships were Perseus, Patroclus and Pyrrhus. The quartet was built to serve the express cargo and passenger trade between the U.K., continent and far east to which end. Although based closely on the design of the "A" class (Atraus, Adrastus, Alcinious, Arencas, Ajax, Astyanax…) they were larger, faster and steam turbine driven. SS Peleus was built at her home port by Cammell Laird & Co. Ltd., Birkenhead. Scrapped in Taiwan in 1972.
The Fleets Blue Funnel Line (Ocean Steamship Company / Nederlandsche Stoomboot Maatschappij 'Ocean' / East Indian Ocean Steam Ship Company / China Mutual Steam Navigation Company)
Alfred Holt commenced shipowning with Thomas Ainsworth in 1852 and built their first new ship in 1854, which they immediately chartered to the French Government for use in the Crimean War. The company started sailings to the West Indies in 1855, but in the face of competition from established companies, later pulled out of this route. In 1864 they began sailing to China and the Far East, and have since become the major British company serving this area. The company was registered as the Ocean Steamship Co. in 1865.
In 1891, a Dutch subsidiary company, Nederlandsche Stoomboot Maatschappij 'Ocean' (N.S.M.O) was formed to compete with Dutch companies serving the East Indies, and the company also formed the Singapore based East Indian Ocean SS Co. the same year. The China Mutual Steam Navigation Co. was taken over in 1902 together with their fleet of 13 steamers and their route between China and the West Coasts of Canada and the USA. Although ships were nominally owned by China Mutual SN Co. after this date, these are not shown seperately for the purposes of this list.
In 1915 Royden's Indra Line of seven ships was purchased with their New York - Far East service. Greenshields, Cowie & Co's Knight Line was bought in 1917 and a joint passenger service to Australia with the White Star Line was formed in 1924 and this was joined by the Aberdeen Line in 1926. The Glen and Shire Lines (not the Scottish Shire Line) were taken over in 1935 following the collapse of the Royal Mail group, and a controlling interest in the Straits SS Co. was acquired the same year. Shaw, Savill had taken over the joint service to Australia from White Star Line, but Blue Funnel Line withdrew from this partnership in 1939.
In 1967 the Blue Funnel and Elder Dempster Line fleets merged and in 1972 the group acquired William Cory & Son Ltd and became Ocean Trading & Transport Co. Ltd. Transfers between different companies within the group became common after this date, but these have been largely ignored for the purposes of this list.
* Walter Thomas (1894-1971), peintre (huile et aquarelle) et illustrateur de liverpool spécialisé dans l'affiche et les documents promotionnels pour différentes compagnies de navigation. Il était l'assistant du prolifique Odin Rosenvinge. Ses gros clients furent The Blue Funnel, Cunard, Elder Dempster et White Star Line.
Walter Thomas (1894-1971) - a Liverpool marine painter and illustrator. He painted in both oil and watercolour providing subjects that could be translated into poster art and other promotional projects. He worked for the Liverpool printing firm of Turner and Dunnett as assistant to Odin Rosenvinge, one of the most prolific of the poster artists. Clients of the firm included the major shipping companies Blue Funnel, Cunard, Elder Dempster and White Star Line.