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PS Lorna Doone

Above : Lorna Doone at Swanage in August 1937. Photo by kind courtesy of Tom Lee, from his private collection

Built in 1891 by Napier, Shanks and Bell at Yoker
Engines : Compound diagonal by D Rowan
Dimensions : 220.5 ft x 26 ft
427 Gross Registered Tons (later 410)

Built for Edwards & Robertson's Bristol Channel excursion business.
Passed to John Gunn when the E & R operation was taken over after the 1895 season
Chartered in the summer of 1896 to the Brighton, Worthing and South Coast Steampship Co
John Gunn sold the vessel in March 1898 to the Southampton, Isle of Wight and South of England Royal Mail Steam Packet Co.
Entered service on Easter Monday 11/4/1898 on a cruise from Southampton to Bournemouth and Swanage via the Isle of Wight
Fitted with a new HP cylinder and reboilered after the 1898 season, emerging with two funnels instead of her original one
The new boilers proved unsuccessful and in 1901 a locomotive-type boiler was fitted and she reverted to having one funnel
For the 1907 season she had her main deck plated to the bow and the promenade deck (already full width) carried forward.
Stationed at Bournemouth in 1907 and 1908 when her operators attempted to run a service from this popular resort
Went into war service in August 1914 as a patrol vessel on the Solent, but went to the Dover Patrol as a minesweeper (1915-1919)
Spent World War II initially as a minesweeper, then as an anti-aircraft vessel, finally becoming an accommodation ship on the Clyde
Released from Admiralty service in January 1947 and laid up at Northam pending a decision on her fate
It was decided she was beyond economic repair. On October 14th 1948 she was taken to the Pollock, Brown yard at Northam for scrapping.

Above : In a photo from the mid-1890s believed to be taken by Alexander Hutson and kindly supplied by Jeremy Hutson, Lorna Doone (centre) is heading towards the berth at Ilfracombe pier vacated by PS Ravenswood of the P&A Campbell company (left in the photo). Smaller owner operators on the Bristol Channel had a hard time competing with the recently established Campbell company and whilst Ravenswood was to have a long and successful life on the channel, Lorna Doone was quickly sold on and found success on the south coast
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