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Visit to DP&L

HOWE ROTARY VISIT TO DP & L: THE DUNDEE, PERTH & LONDON SHIPPING COMPANY LTD.

 

Members of the Howe of Fife Rotary Club recently enjoyed a visit to the Dundee, Perth & London Shipping Company Ltd. (D P & L).

 

Re-sited in 1915 from 5 Shore Terrace to 26 East Dock Street, originally home to the Dundee and Arbroath Railway Company, to make way for the Caird Hall, shipowners D P & L’s principal business was the “conveyance of goods and passengers between the Tay and London, Glasgow and Liverpool”. As the company moved with times, so did its fleet, changing from being driven by sail to steam, generated first by paddle then screw.   More recently, while the company maintains strong links with shipping and transport, it has since branched out into other areas including specialised recruitment, travel agencies, industrial supplies and the hire of marquees.  

 

Managing Director, Alasdair Chalmers, explained the history of the company, its association with ship-building in Dundee and showed the group of Rotarians some of the company’s memorabilia, demonstrating a long association with the sea. These included three shipbuilders’ models, several marine paintings, as well as a list of passenger fares (for example, a single to London, exclusive of victualling, was 80 shillings return in a first class cabin).

 

Rotarians were particularly impressed by a beautifully carved oak fireplace that dominated the old board room, on which were represented the heraldic symbols of the cities of Dundee, Perth and London. Also of interest was archive film footage of the launch of many of the company’s ships over a number of years.  A real historical record of people as much as the vessels itself, copies have been donated to the McManus Gallery in Dundee and the Scotland on Film Archive.