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Thames Estuary, River Medway, Kent, Essex and East Anglia Coast, England, U.K.
PSM Syndicate : Royal Sovereign Steamship Co / R S Steamship Co / East Anglian Steamship Co
PS Royal Sovereign was bought by Mr A W Pickard from New Palace Steamers Ltd in 1918, but was almost immediately sold on to Messrs RR and JH Shankland, who were also directors of the company. A second Royal Sovereign Steamship Company was formed and the vessel was operated between London and Margate in 1919.

Messrs Shankland, Pickard and fellow director H de Mattos formed a number of companies, one of which was named Belle Steamers Ltd, which, in 1922, purchased five of the "Belle" steamers from Mr Kingman who had earlier bought them from their original company’s liquidator.

In early 1925 the various vessels owned and operated by the companies registered to the four gentlemen mentioned above were registered in the names of the R.S. Steamship Company (including PS Royal Sovereign) and the East Anglian Steamship Company. The cloudy manoeuvrings of the four owners did not disguise the inevitable financial difficulties associated with steamer owning especially as the General Steam Navigation Company and the post-war New Medway Steam Packet Company provided consolidated opposition. PS Walton Belle was sold to the latter after the 1925 season. Three years later, the East Anglian company and the R.S. company went into receivership and the web of companies involved was finally dissolved in 1932 along with the PSM Syndicate which had been the umbrella company used by the four directors to control their interests.

Clacton Belle and London Belle were scrapped in 1929. Yarmouth Belle went to the New Medway Steam Packet Co and Southend Belle went back to Mr E Kingman. Royal Sovereign was bought by the General Steam Navigation Company. The Belle fleet, tracing its history back to 1888, had been finally dispersed.

Royal Sovereign

Walton Belle
Yarmouth Belle
Southend Belle
Clacton Belle
London Belle

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