On this day … 10 May 1890

The Preston Guardian reported the formation of the Preston and West Coast Steamship Company.

The company had been formed by a group of Preston men, who were soon getting down to business. In June, they bought the Great Western paddle steamer from the Great Western Railway Company and straight away launched a twice weekly service between Preston and the Isle of Man. The following month they extended the service to include a mid-week sailing to Glasgow.

Steamship Lovedale formerly The Great Western
The Lovedale at Kyle of Lochalsh in 1897. She was scrapped in 1903: https://www.ambaile.org.uk/asset/27671/

It was a rival operation to the services sailing from piers at Blackpool and Southport, and its formation provides a glimpse into business activities in Preston at this period.

The Great Western’s registered owner was the Preston dentist Nathaniel Miller, who six years later was laying the first brick for his Miller Arcade, and the other key figure was a Mr J. Frame.

This Mr Frame would be the Preston tailor John Frame who had opened his travel agency in the town in 1881, organising rail excursions. By 1884, he had a London base and went on to establish a national network of travel agencies and a coach fleet. The company remained a family affair well into the twentieth century. Its Preston branch will be remembered as the go-to place for rail tickets.

His sailing venture was a short-lived concern with the Great Western being sold off to David MacBrayne in the following April. It went into service in the Hebrides, renamed the Lovedale.


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