China-going P & O’s

(notes by Lisa Lewis)


Published in Just So Stories in 1902, with the the story “The Crab that Played with the Sea”.

Notes on the Text

[line 1] P. and O.’s Ships of the Peninsular and Orient Steamship Company and other companies in the Inchcape group sailed to India, the Far East and Australia.

[lines 2 & 3]  Pass Pau Amma’s playground close, And his Pusat Tasek lies  See the story. Pau Amma was ‘The Crab that Played with the Sea”  and Pusat Tasek his hiding place.

[line 4] B.I.’s British India liners, another Inchcape group company, had similar routes and also sailed to East Africa..

[line 4] N.Y.K and N.D.L. Nippon Yusen Kaisha (Japan Shipping Company) and Norddeutscher Lloyd (North German Lloyd) served eastern Asia and Australia.

[line 7] Bens, M.M.’s and Rubattinos The Ben Line steamers of Edinburgh plied to the middle and far east, particularly Hong Kong. They were all called after Scottish mountains, e.g. Ben Lomond. M.M.’s were ships of the French Compagnie des Messageries Maritimes serving the middle and far east, including India, Indo-China (now Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia), the Dutch East Indies, China and Japan. The Societe Reunite Florio-Rubattino sailed from Genoa to Bombay.

[line 9] A.T.L.’s The Atlantic Transport Line between London and New York.

[line 10] O. and O. and D.O.A.  O. & O. was the American line Occiental  and Oriental Steaamship Company, serving the Pacific.

D.O.A. was the Deutsche Ost Afrika (German East Africa) line operating round the coasts of Africa.

[Page l73, line 12] Orient, Anchor, Bibby, Hall The Orient Line, a branch of Inchcape, sailed to Australia. The Anchor Line ran on the North Atlantic and Indian services. The Bibby Line ran from Liverpool to Colombo and Rangoon, but no further east. The Hall Line chiefly served the Mediterranean and Levant.

[line 14] U.C.S. The Union Castle Steamship Company, plying to South and East Africa.

[line 16] ‘Beavers’ The Elder Dempster Company’s Beaver service to West Africa.

[line 18] Shaw-Savill The Shaw Savill and Albion Company sailed to New Zealand. It was a subsidiary of the White Star line.

[line 21] White Star The White Star line was mainly an Atlantic service.

[line 23] B.S.A. ORG did not identify this line, but suggested the British and South American S.N. Co. as a possibility.

[line 25] Mr. Lloyds Lloyd’s insurance market, so-called after Lloyd’s Coffee House by the Thames where it began in the 1650s, specialising in marine insurance.

[line 26] wire ORG suggested a pun on the double meaning, telegram or towing hawser.

[line 28] mangosteens Fruits of the tree Garcinia mangostana, native to Malaya. They resemble oranges with brown skins and pink flesh.


[line 30] page of The Times Shipping news was regularly published in the position described.




©Lisa Lewis 2006 All rights reserved