P and O Other Companies
B.I.S.N. Co

British India Steam Navigation Co

British India Steam Navigation Company was formed in 1856, originally as the Calcutta and Burmah Steam Navigation Company, in the main by William Mackinnon to carry mail between Calcutta and Rangoon. The company so rapidly expanded that it was re-formed to become BI, and which became part of the P&O group of companies in about 1914, finally ceasing as BI when absorbed into P&O in 1972.

When I was transferred into the P&O and BI Freight Department's Manifesting section, I became involved with Bills of Lading and Freight Manifests. One of my early jobs was the addition of all the correct 'rubber stamps' which virtually enabled us to get out of any situation that might occur when carrying items of freight.

The freighters I used to see in Melbourne were "Chakrata", "Chakdina","Chandpara", "Chindwara", among others,some of them carrying a small number of passengers and commonly referred to as 'passenger cargo ships'.

It was on Chakdina that I had my first real curry, and have been hooked on them ever since.

Later when I transferred to the Passenger Department I used to issue tickets for such passenger ships as "Kenya", "Uganda". These ships were regularly used by passengers in conjunction with P&O tickets thereby using two different liners and lines, depending on how they wished to structure their travel.

I physically became involved with the previous"Kenya" ( she was built in 1930) when she was sold to Sitmar Line in 1952 and renamed "Castel Felice" and was still in use during my years with Sitmar Line in Melbourne and London.
(see Sitmar Line)

British India Steam Navigation Co

BISN's Uganda from the air
The S.S. "Uganda" from a photograph in the 1961 Adlard Coles publication Passenger Liners by Laurence Dunn.

Built in 1952 by Barclay Curle, Glasgow, for the UK to East Africa route she was 14,430 tons gross, twin screw with a speed of 16 knots, although she reached 19.25 knots on trials, and a passenger capacity of 167 First Class and 133 Tourist. She was the 450th vessel built for British India Steam Navigation Co since its formation in 1856.

BISNKampala
The S.S. "Kampala" from a photograph in the 1961 Adlard Coles publication Passenger Liners by Laurence Dunn.

Launched on 11th December 1946 she was built by A. Stephen and Sons, Glasgow for the India to Africa route. She was 10,304 tons gross with a speed of 16 Knots and a passenger capacity of 60 First, 180 Second and over 800 Third Class.

BISN's Kenya
The S.S. "Kenya" from a photograph in the 1961 Adlard Coles publication Passenger Liners by Laurence Dunn.

Built in 1951 by Barclay Curle & Co, Glasgow for the UK to East Africa route. She was 14,464 tons gross with a speed of 16 knots and a passenger capacity of 194 First and 103 Tourist Class.

Postcard reproduction of P and O-BI poster
Reproduction of a P and O and B. I. pre-war poster advertising both lines services. This appears on a P and O postcard in their series of P and O memorabilia.
Devonia Schools ship
Dunera, Schools Ship
These two photographic postcards have recently come into my possession (September 2013) and show, on the left, the s.s. Devonia and on the right, s.s. Dunera both of which are shown in their Schools Ship guises.

S.S. Kenya Menu Cover 5th November 1963
s.s. Kenya Menu cover for Tuesday 5th November, 1963 depicting a water colour of Ullapool. This is No 1 of a series of twelve paintings of Small Harbours of Great Britain by Francis Russell Flint, A.R.W.S., R.O.I.,S.M.A.


Dinner Menu for s.s. Kenya 5th November 1963. "First Class Saloon". Notice the price of a bottle of Red Wine 20 shillings (£1)

Magnolia X Soulangiana
MAGNOLIA X SOULANGIANA
'Lenneana'

s.s. Kenya Menu 6th November 1963

Dinner Menu for s.s. Kenya 6th November 1963. "First Class Saloon". Notice the price of a bottle of Red Wine this night is 11 shillings

B.I.S.N. Uniform Buttons

P and O other Companies - B.I.S.N.Co. Page 2 "S.S. Uganda"
P and O other Companies - B.I.S.N. Co. Page 3 " S.S. Nevasa"
P and O other Companies - B.I.S.N.Co. Page 4
P and O other Companies - Orient Line
P and O other Companies - New Zealand Shipping
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