Geoff Wright's Genealogy Pages


Short history of channel island shipping


Background Information


The table below lists details some of ships involved in providing a regular service between the Channel Islands and the UK mainland over the last 170 or so years.

Over the years two companies fought to try and out do each other, by offering a more luxurious and fast service. These have been GWR (Great Western Railway Company) operation out of Weymouth and the Southern Railway Company formally London and Southern Railway Company operating out of Southampton.

Sadly in later years both companies were taken over by the Railway Executive with the nationalization of the UK railways.

Current the service is operated by a private company Condor out of Poole.

   More on post war shipping      Additional research material

Channel Islands Index


Hint - Using the EDIT - FIND option in your browser to locate the ship or name of interest

Year

Ship

Tonnage

Owners

Port

Comments

1794

Rover

 

G.P.O

Weymouth

Fortnightly service - manned by Navy crew

1794

Earl of Chesterfield

 

G.P.O

Weymouth

Fortnightly service - manned by Navy crew

1794?

Aeolus

 

 

Southampton

Ran in competition to Weymouth service

1794?

Brilliant

 

 

Southampton

Ran in competition to Weymouth service

1794?

Diligence

 

 

Southampton

Ran in competition to Weymouth service

1821

Royal Charlotte

91

Jersey residents

Southampton

Steam yacht. Lost two years later in gale off Cap La Hague

1823

Medina

 

 

Southampton

 

1827

Ivanhoe

 

 

Weymouth

Until 1836

1827

Metor

 

 

Weymouth

Until 1836

1827

Watersprite

 

 

Weymouth

Until 1836

1830s

Lady de Saumarez

 

British & Foreign Steam Navigation Co.

 

 

1830s

Lord Beresford

 

British & Foreign Steam Navigation Co.

 

 

1830s

Ariadne

 

South of England Steam Navigation Co.

Southampton

 

1830s

Atlanta

 

South of England Steam Navigation Co.

Southampton

 

1843

South Western

 

South Western Steam Navigation Co.

Southampton

Iron paddle built by Ditchburn and Mare. Sold in 1863 to Japanese buyers

1843

Transit

 

South Western Steam Navigation Co.

Southampton

Iron paddle built by Ditchburn and Mare

1843

Wonder

 

South Western Steam Navigation Co.

Southampton

Built by Ditchburn & Mare. Driven by atmospheric engines and fastest of its day

1847

Courier

 

South Western Steam Navigation Co.

Southampton

Built by Ditchburn & Mare. Said to have reached 17 knots but broken up around 1900

1847

Dispatch

 

South Western Steam Navigation Co.

Southampton

Built by Ditchburn & Mare. Broken up around 1900

1847

Express

311

South Western Steam Navigation Co.

Southampton

Built by Ditchburn & Mare. Wrecked off Corbiere in September 1859

1855

Alliance

311

South Western Steam Navigation Co.

Jersey - St. Malo - Granville

Built by Ditchburn & Mare. Could manage 13 knots. Went to scrappers in 1900

1856

Havre

350

South Western Steam Navigation Co.

 

Built by Ditchburn & Mare. Lost in Little Russell Channel of Guernsey February 1875

1857

Aquila

264

Weymouth and Channel Islands Steam Packet Co.

Weymouth

 

1857

Cygnus

245

Weymouth and Channel Islands Steam Packet Co.

Weymouth

Built in 1845 in Glasgow

1858

Brighton

286

Weymouth and Channel Islands Steam Packet Co.

Weymouth

Built in 1856. Wrecked in fog of Little Russell Channel in 1887

1862

Normandy

600

London & South Western Railway Co. (formally SWSN Co.)

Southampton

Built by John Ash using iron construction. Collided with streamer Mary on March 17 1869 40 miles SW of the Needles

1864

Brittany

529

London & South Western Railway Co. (formally SWSN Co.)

Southampton

Built by John Ash. Last paddle stream owned by the company. Sold to ship breakers in 1900.

1868

Waverley

 

London & South Western Railway Co.

Southampton

Built in 1864. Wrecked when she hit a rock in Little Russell Channel on May 5 1873.

1867

Caesarea

 

London & South Western Railway Co.

Southampton

Built by Atkins Mansel as a screw steamer. Sunk following a collision with Strathesk June 1884.

1870

Fanny

 

London & South Western Railway Co.

Southampton

Built in Glasgow in 1859. Sold to scrappers in 1890

1871

Wolf

 

London & South Western Railway Co.

Southampton & Cherbourg

Built by R Napier & Sons of Glasgow in 1863. Last paddle stream to be operated by L&SWR. sent to the breakers in 1902

1874

Guernsey

572

London & South Western Railway Co.

Southampton

Wrecked after hitting a rock of Cap La Hague in April 1915

1877

Diana

850

London & South Western Railway Co.

Southampton

Wrecked in 1895

1881

Ella

850

London & South Western Railway Co.

Southampton

Sold to Shipping Federation in 1913

1882

Hilda

850

London & South Western Railway Co.

Southampton

Wrecked of the coast of Czembre St. Malo in a blizzard on November 18 1905.

1885

Laura

641

London & South Western Railway Co.

Southampton

Built by Aitkens & Mansel to replace the Caesarea. Scrapped in 1927

1889

Antelope

609

GWR (purchased Weymouth and Channel Islands Steam Packet Co. in 1888)

Weymouth

Built by Laird Brothers with two 1600hp engines could make 16 knots making this the faster service than L&SWT. Sold in 1914 to Greeks

1889

Gazelle

609

GWR (purchased Weymouth and Channel Islands Steam Packet Co. in 1888)

Weymouth

Built by Laird Brothers with two 1600hp engines could make 16 knots making this the faster service than L&SWT. Sold in 1925

1889

Lynx

609

GWR (purchased Weymouth and Channel Islands Steam Packet Co. in 1888)

Weymouth

Built by Laird Brothers with two 1600hp engines could make 16 knots making this the faster service than L&SWT. Sold in 1925

1889

Dora

820

London & South Western Railway Co.

Southampton

Built by R Napier and first of companies vessels to be fitted with electric light. Sold in 1901 to Isle of Man Steam Packet Co.

1890

Frederica

1056

London & South Western Railway Co.

Southampton

Built by J & G Thomson of Clydebank. 260ft long. Sold to Turkish Government in 1910

1890

Lydia

1056

London & South Western Railway Co.

Southampton

Built by J & G Thomson of Clydebank. 260ft long. Said to have reached 21.5 knots in trails

1890

Stella

1056

London & South Western Railway Co.

Southampton

Built by J & G Thomson of Clydebank. 260ft long

1891

Ibex

 

GWR

Weymouth

Built by Laird Brothers

1897

Reindeer

 

GWR

Weymouth

Built by Laird Brothers. Sold to scrappers in 1928

1897

Roebuck

 

GWR

Weymouth

Built by Laird Brothers. Renamed Roedean & sunk by torpedoed at Scapa Flow in 1915

1898

Vera

 

London & South Western Railway Co.

Southampton

Built by Clydebank Engineering & Shipbuilders. Sold to scrappers in 1933

1900

Alberta

 

London & South Western Railway Co.

Southampton

Built by John Brown & Co. on Clydebank

1910

Caesarea

 

London & South Western Railway Co.

Southampton

Built by Cammell Laird. Sold to Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. in 1923

1910

Sarnia

 

London & South Western Railway Co.

Southampton

Built by Cammell Laird

1911

Hantonia

1560

London & South Western Railway Co.

Southampton

Built by Fairfield Shipbuilding completed April 1912. Broken up June 1952

1911

Normannis

1560

London & South Western Railway Co.

Southampton

Built by Fairfield Shipbuilding

1919

Lorina

 

London & South Western Railway Co.

Southampton

Built by William Denny

1925

St. Helier

1952

GWR

Weymouth

Built by Clydebank Engineering & Shipbuilders. Max. speed of 21 knots

1925

St. Julien

1952

GWR

Weymouth

Built by Clydebank Engineering & Shipbuilders. Max. speed of 21 knots

1925

Roebuck

804

GWR

Weymouth

Built by Swan Hunter as cargo vessels

1925

Sambur

804

GWR

Weymouth

Built by Swan Hunter as cargo vessels

1925

Fratton

756

London & South Western Railway Co. now SR Company

Southampton

Built by W Henderson & Son of Glasgow as cargo vessels but with accommodation for up to 12 passengers. Lost on Normandy beaches

1925

Ringwood

 

London & South Western Railway Co. now SR Company

Southampton

Built by W Henderson & Son of Glasgow as cargo vessels but with accommodation for up to 12 passengers. Additional fitted to carry cattle.

1925

Haslemere

 

London & South Western Railway Co. now SR Company

Southampton

Built by W Henderson & Son of Glasgow as cargo vessels but with accommodation for up to 12 passengers

1929

Autocarrier

822

SR

Southampton

 

1930

St. Patrick

 

GWR

Weymouth

Built by Alexander Stephens & Son for the Fishguard service but used as a summer relief boat on CI service. Lost to emery attack on June 13 1941

1930

Isle of Guernsey

 

SR

Southampton

Built at Dumbarton

1930

Isle of Jersey

 

SR

Southampton

Built at Dumbarton

1932

Isle of Sark

 

SR

Southampton

Built at Dumbarton

1933

Brittany

 

SR

Southampton

 

1947

Falaise

3710

 

Southampton

Built at Dumbarton

1947

Winchester

1149

SR

 

Built by William Denny of Dumbarton. With accommodation for 12 passengers and 216 head of cattle.

I acknowledge details from articles written by H.A. Breton and Kevin le Scelleur
from which some of this information was taken.

Channel Islands Index  Top of Page

 


Additional sources of information

 Channel Islands Merchant Shipping 1940 -1945 by CIOS

 Commodore Shipping The First Half Century 1947 - 1997 by Kevin Le Scelleur ISBN 0-9531466-0-x

 Channel Islands Railway Streams by Kevin Le Scelleur ISBN 0-85059-707-2

 

Channel Islands Index  Top of Page

 

 

Copyright G.Wright