Ubiquitous in ever supermarket and corner shop, it is hard to imagine a world without bananas. But it was once so! Britain's love affair with the humble banana is as much the story of Elders & Fyffes, a company set up to import the golden fruit into the United Kingdom. Originally, British imports were of the small Cavendish banana from the Canaries but the British Government was keen to see some trade from the West Indies and in 1901 Elders & Fyffes was formed to import and distribute bananas. The first ships arrived in 1902 and the company grew and expanded. During both world wars, the fleet of Elders & Fyffes served their country as armed merchant cruisers. The ships themselves were a common sight in the ports of Avonmouth, Bristol, Southampton, Portsmouth, Garston, Manchester, Liverpool, Glasgow and Cardiff. Campbell McCutcheon uses his fabulous collection of images of Elders & Fyffes to tell the story of this famous shipping line from its inception to the present day.
Campbell McCutcheon has had a life-long interest in the Olympic-class vessels and naval shipping. He has written extensively on the subject along with some Military History and Bradshaw's Railway titles for Amberley. He lives in Gloucestershire, but he was born within sight and sound of the water and has been interested in ships from a young age.