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Belfast and Northern Ireland
Belfast & County Down Railway

The company was established in 1846 and developed railways from Belfast to much of what is now Northern Ireland. For the 1893 season,the company ordered PS Slieve Donard from J & G Thomson of Clydebank to connect Belfast and Bangor. In the following year, PS Slieve Bearnagh joined the fleet to strengthen the Bangor service although occasional services went to Larne and Donaghadee. Growth continued when two more paddle steamers were bought from the liquidated Belfast, Bangor and Larne Steamboat Company* (PS Erin and PS Bangor Castle). Slieve Donard was sold in 1899 and Bangor Castle scrapped. PS Erin's Isle joined the fleet in 1912 and replaced Slieve Bearnagh. Erin's Isle was requisitioned by the Royal Navy after her 1915 summer season and never returned, being lost after hitting a mine with the loss of 23 lives in the Thames Estuary in 1919. The company did not resume steamship services after the end of World War I

* - see below

In Erin's Isle, the railway company had a modern excursion steamer and, presumably, high hopes. Only a couple of years after her arrival on Belfast Lough, World War I broke out and, like most excursion paddle steamers, she was called up to serve as a minesweeper. Having survived the war intact she hit a mine in the Thames estuary and was lost along with 23 lives.  

Bangor Castle

Slieve Donard
Slieve Bearnagh

Erin's Isle

Belfast, Bangor and Larne Steamboat Company (1887-1893)

The company was formed in 1887 to purchase the business of Moore Brothers including vessels Erin, Bangor Castle and the new Clandeboye.
Clandeboye was deemed to slow and was sold in early 1889 for use in Denmark
The company was put into administration in 1893 and later liquidated. Their two remaining vessels were taken into the fleet of the Belfast & County Down Railway

Clandeboye (1887-1889)

Built by Workman, Clark & Co (Belfast) in 1887.
226.9 ft : 419 GT. Diagonal engine 44 and 44 in x 66 in by Hutson & Corbett (Glasgow)
Built for the Belfast, Bangor & Larne Steamboat Company as Clandeboye
With DFDS from 1889 to 1900 as Gjedser and then with A/S DS Oresund until 1904
Engine removed and laid up at Hamburg. Renamed Volker in 1913 when she became an accommodation vessel
Used as a storage vessel at Kiel from 1916 until 1928

Abercorn Steamship Company

The company was established by shipowner Samuel Gray to run the former Blackpool-based paddler Greyhound on excursions to Scotland and the Isle of Man as well as local services to Bangor on Belfast Lough. A burst steam pipe during 1924 resulted in fatalities and the ship was sold for use in Turkey

Greyhound (1923-1924)


On Charter on the Lough

Bonnie Doon  (1889)

Victoria (1890)

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