Author Topic: William Miller Ltd, Portsea UK  (Read 223 times)

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Offline malj1

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William Miller Ltd, Portsea UK
« on: August 09, 2018, 05:36:35 AM »
William Miller Ltd. was a Royal Navy contractor, from the late 19th to early 20th centuries at Kent Street, Portsea, operating canteen boats that supplied goods to Royal Navy ships in various harbours.


William Miller's steam bakery premises in Kent Street, Portsea. ''' Picture: Barry Cox collection

MILLER (WILLIAM), Ltd., Admiralty Contractors. Head Office: St. George's Square, Portsea, Portsmouth. Established in 1881 by Wm. Miller. Incorporated as a Limited Company in 1898. Canteen Tenants on Men-of-War under the Admiralty. Contractors to H.M. Government (Admiralty). Branches: Gibraltar, Devonport, Portland, Dover, Sheerness, Chatham, Invergordon, Queensferry, Harwich.

The tokens ranging in value from 1d through 6d were all uniface and manufactured from Bone, 33.5mm  ...although the 3d has yet to be seen.
Malcolm
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: William Miller Ltd, Portsea UK
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2018, 11:11:04 AM »
This nice series has me wondering how they were used. I am not sure about canteen boats, but I suspect they were selling foodstuff that wouldn't be supplied on board to crew members of anchored, rather than moored ships. In Dutch: parlevinker.  They would also provide other services, such as carrying letters and ferrying prostitutes. No idea where the tokens come in.

That clashes with the Navy contractor part. A navy contractor would need to get supplies on board, but in that scenario also, there would be no role for tokens.

Peter
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Offline malj1

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Re: William Miller Ltd, Portsea UK
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2018, 11:29:55 AM »
They were "Canteen Tenants on Men-of-War" the necessary space having been found even in the smallest ship.

The British Government recognised it was crucial that seamen of the Royal Navy be provided with a healthy diet and ample rations in order to outfight the French at sea and forestall invasion, and they were willing to pay the price. Half-starved men would not have succeeded in that vital task.

William Miller Ltd. were also bakers, see at left in the image the two men (or three?) in white. A close-up of the sign shows "Steam Bakery" below. I imagined that being a canteen provider a bakery would be of great use to him for supply to the navy.

I imagine they also traded with the sailors, possibly like the steamers I remember from the 1950s which had just a little window where you made purchases of cigarettes and razor blades and similar such items.
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.