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North Sea Ferry Services : UK to Netherlands   and local services in East Anglia, UK

Great Eastern Railway
International Services

The Great Eastern became the dominant railway in the Essex and Suffolk areas of the UK and operated tidal river excursions as well as a ferry service from Harwich to Rotterdam and later Hook of Holland and Antwerp. After 1923 became part of the London and North Eastern Railway, British Railways from 1948 and later Sealink Ferries and Stena Line.

Avalon (1864)
Built by J&W Dudgeon at London.
238.8 ft : 670 GRT
Sold for use by Confederate interests in the US Civil War where she became City of Richmond
After the war she was sold to British interests, renamed Agnes Arkle and moved to Brazil
Used on charter by the French company Messageries Imperials to transport passengers from Rio de Janeiro to connect with their passenger liner services in 1865
Under Braxilian ownership in January 1866 she was reported missing off the Brazilian coast

Zealous (1864-1887)
Built by J&W Dudgeon at London.
230 ft : 613 GRT

Oscillating 54 and 54 in x 30 in
Scrapped in 1887

Ravensbury (1865-1870)
Built by J&W Dudgeon at London.
239.8 ft : 686 GRT

Oscillating 54 and 54 in x 30 in


Built by J&W Dudgeon at London.
239.8 ft : 680 GRT.
Oscillating 54 and 54 in x 54 in. Re-engined and reboilered in 1876.
Length increased to 843 when rebuilt in 1890 at Hull by Earle and  re-engined to screw in 1890
Sold for use by Norwegian owners in the Caribbean where wrecked in 1909

Richard Young (1871-1890)
Built by J&W Dudgeon at London.
239.8 ft : 718 GRT

Oscillating 54 and 54 in x 54 in. Reengined to screw in 1890
Renamed Brandon on conversion.
Survived until 1905 at Rotterdam

Claud Hamilton (1875-1897)
Built by John Elder & Co at Govan
251.6 ft : 962 GRT
Oscillating compound 59 and 95 x 63 in
1898 : Owned by the City of London and used as a cattle transporter between Gravesend and Deptford
Scrapped in 1914

Princess of Wales
Built by the London & Glasgow Engineering & Iron Shipbuilding  Co at Govan (ex-Elder & Co)
265.5 ft : 1098 GRT
Oscillating 68 and 68 in x 84 in
Scrapped in 1896

The last paddlers for Great Eastern's Harwich to Rotterdam service were built in 1880. Whilst of similar size, they were from different builders and fitted with completely different engines. The next new-builds (Ipswich and Norwich of 1883) were screw steamers

Above : Lady Tyler. Image in public domain

Lady Tyler (1880-1893)
Built in 1880 by T & W Smith of North Shields (Yard no. 69)
Length :  261 ft (80m).  995  GRT
Engines : 2 x 3-cylinder compound diagonal  33, 44 and 44 in x 60 in  by R & W Hawthorn, Newcastle
Sold in 1893 to Earle's Shipbuilding & Engineering of Hull as a coal transporter
Briefly operated an unsuccessful ferry service between Liverpool and Douglas, Isle of Man in 1895 in opposition to the incumbent operators to Isle of Man Steam Packet Co.
Renamed Artemis in 1897
Sold for use as a coal hulk at Gravesend and survived in this role until 1955

Adelaide (1880-1897)
Built in 1880 by Barrow Shipbuilding Co. (Yard no. 74)
Length :  254.2 ft (80m).  976  GRT
Engines : Oscillating compound 45 and 87 in x 72 in  by builders
Hulked in 1897

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Historical Database