Above is the 12,747gt Ben-my-Chree arriving at Douglas.  She was built in 1988 by Van de Giessen-de-Noord at Kripen

INTER-WAR YEARS

In 1920, the Chairman of the company was C.T.W.Hughes-Games with a Board of six directors living on the island or in the areas around the Mersey. Douglas received passengers, and Ramsey, Castletown, Port St. Mary, Laxey and Peel cargo from a fleet of thirteen vessels, eleven passenger vessels and two small cargo ships. The passengers and cargo were booked by agents in the following ports:-

  • Belfast W.E. Williams and Company on Donegal Quay
  • Blackpool H. A. Deakin of Talbot Chambers
  • Glasgow Rennie and Watson of Robertson Street
  • Greenock William Lindsay and Company of Cathcart Street
  • Liverpool Thomas Orford and Son of Drury Buildings in Water Street
  • Ramsey James Bell of the IOM Steam Packet Office
  • Whitehaven G. Nelson and Sons of Lowther Street

The Liverpool cargo loading berths were in the Coburg Dock, with the two cargo ships using a south east corner berth in this dock. The Pierhead at Liverpool was the main berth of the passenger steamers. The caterers for the galleys of the steamers were Heron and Brearley Ltd. of Douglas, and the Head Office of the company was in the Imperial Buildings in Douglas. The two cargo ships were Cushag of 223 grt built in1908, and Tyrconnel of 276 grt built in 1892, with the eleven passenger steamers including replacements for vessels lost in the war or not returned by the Government:-

  • Douglas (3) of 774 grt with accommodation for 506 passengers.
  • Fenella of 563 grt with accommodation for 504 passengers.
  • King Orry (3) of 1,877 grt with accommodation for 1,600 passengers.
  • Manxman (formerly of Midland Railway) of 2,091grt with accommodation for 2,020 passengers.
  • Mona (4) (ex Hazel) of 1,241 grt with accommodation for 1,241 passengers.
  • Mona’s Isle (4) (ex Onward) of 1,688 grt with accommodation for 1,620 passengers.
  • Mona’s Queen (2) of 1,559 grt with accommodation for 1,465 passengers.
  • Peel Castle of 1,474 grt with accommodation for 1,225 passengers.
  • Snaefell (4) (ex Viper) of 1,712 grt with accommodation for 1,700 passengers.
  • Tynwald (3) of 937 grt with accommodation for 901 passengers.
  • Viking of 1,951 grt with accommodation for 1,951 passengers.

Total passenger complement of this fleet was thus almost 15,000 passengers.

Above : The 2,100grt Ramsay Town was built in 1904 by John Brown at Clydebank as the Antrim for the Midland Railway Co. She joined Steam Packet in 1928. On 5th November 1936 she arrived at Preston to be broken up by T.W.Ward

PhotoTransport

 

Above : The 1,671grt Mona Isle was built in 1905 by Wm. Denny & Bros at Dunbarton as the Onward for South Eastern & Chatham Railway Co. She joined Steam Packet in 1920 and on 21st October 1948 she arrived at Milford Haven to be broken up by T.W.Ward

Above : The 411grt Coniston was built in 1921 by Brown’s Shipbuilding at Hull as the Abington for Cheviot Coasters. In 1924 she joined Ribble Shipping without changing her name before becoming Coniston in 1932. On 27th January 1965 she arrive at Dalmuir to be broken up by W.H. Arnott Young & Co. (C.Reynolds collection)

The passenger ferry Caesarea of 1,512grt and built in 1910 for the London and South West Railway Company was salved and purchased by the company on 27th November 1923 after she had stranded on the Jersey coastline four months earlier. She was renamed Manx Maid and was a triple screw turbine steamer that survived World War II but was broken up at Barrow in 1950. Two further railway passenger steamers were purchased on 11th May 1928 as Duke of Cornwall and the twin funnelled Antrim, and built for Heysham or Fleetwood to Belfast service, and renamed Rushen Castle and Ramsey Town respectively. The twin funnelled Victoria of 1,641grt and built in 1907 was also purchased at this time from the South East and Chatham Railway Company and not renamed, but was converted to oil firng in 1932. In that year of 1932, the company owned 16 vessels with 13 passenger ships and 3 cargo ships. The latter were Conister411/21, Cushag 223/08 and Peveril 798/29 as the first cargo ship specially built by the company and which could also carry 12 passengers. The passenger ships were:-

  • Ben-my-Chree (4)of 2,586 grt and built in1927 by Cammell, Laird
  • King Orry (3) of 1,877 grt and built in 1913by Cammell, Laird
  • Lady of Mann of 3,104 grt and built in 1930by Vickers Armstrong Ltd.
  • Manx Maid of 1,512 grt and built in 1910 by Cammell, Laird
  • Manx man of 2,030 grt and built in 1904 by Vickers
  • Mona (4) of 1,219 grt and built in 1907 by Fairfields
  • Mona’s Isle (5) of 1,688grt and built in 1905 by Denny
  • Peel Castle of 1,474 grt and built in 1894 by Denny
  • Ramsey Town of 2,083 grt and built in 1904by John Brown
  • Rushen Castle of 1,724 grt and built in 1898by Vickers Snaefell (4)of 1,713 grt and built in 1906 by Fairfields
  • Tynwald (3)of 937 grt and built in 1891 by Fairfields
  • Victoria of 1,641 grt and built in 1907 by Denny
  • Viking of 1,957 grt and built in 1905 by Armstrong, Whitworth

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