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Eastham Ferry : Eastham Ferry, Pleasure Gardens & Hotel Company

A hotel and pleasure gardens were built at Eastham and developed in the mid-19th century into a major leisure park.  A paddle steamer ferry service had been provided from Liverpool across the Mersey to Eastham by Mr S Smith since 1816 with Princess Charlotte (the first steamship built in Liverpool) and joined in 1824 by the Maria. The service was taken over and developed by the park owners particularly to bring trippers to the attractions at Eastham. Bought out of receivership in 1914 the ships were registered in the name of the New Liverpool-Eastham Ferry & Hotel Company. The ferry service ended in 1929 and by this time the heyday of the entertainments was well past. The park and what remained of the facilities became Eastham Country Park in 1973 and is primarily used for woodland walks and has a cafe and childrens' play area. The old ferry ticket office is now a refreshments kiosk. Some of the foundations of the former amusements, albeit overgrown, can be found in the park


Above : Pearl was one of three sisters delivered by J Jones of Liverpool in 1897/8 which were the final paddle steamers built for Mersey service, one year after the last Seacombe ferries. They were to serve until the closure of the Eastham route in 1929, ten years after the last paddle steamer was withdrawn from the main Woodside service


Princess Charlotte
Maria

Royal Tar
(1846-1850) Built in 1836 by Tod & MacGregor at Glasgow for use in Scotland. 125.7 ft : 142 GRT : Sold for use as a tug at Runcorn
Eastham Fairy
(1861-xxxx)  Built in 1851 by Nathaniel Cox at Chester. 125 ft : 115 GRT
Swiftsure
(1861-1871) Built in Chester.  125 ft : 115 GRT : Engine oscillating 2 cyl 30 and 30 in x 48 in by H M Lawrence & Co
Richmond
(1862-1886) Built in 1850 by Wm Denny & Bros at Dumbarton for Loch Lomond service as Prince Albert. 142.2 ft : 132 GRT : Engine by Caird & Co.
Sprite (1868-1872) 
Built in 1864 by Wm Cowley Miller at Liverpool for the Mersey River Steamboat Co. 126.7 ft : 110 GRT : Engine oscillating 2 cyl 24.25 x 30 in. Sold
Sylph (1870-1880) Built in 1864 by Wm Cowley Miller at Liverpool for the Mersey River Steamboat Co. 126.7 ft : 110 GRT : Engine oscillating 2 cyl 24.25 x 30 in. Sold
Ruby (1897-1929) Built by J Jones & Sons at Liverpool. 130 ft : 240 GRT : Engine Compound diagonal 20 and 38 x 42 in
Pearl  
(1897-1929) Built by J Jones & Sons at Liverpool. 130 ft : 240 GRT : Engine Compound diagonal 20 and 38 x 42 in
Onyx (1897-1913) Built in 1882 by the Thames Ironworks & Shipbuilding, London for the Great Eastern Railway as Norfolk.  140 ft : 114 GRT : Engine 1 cyl Oscillating 30 x 33 in
Sapphire (1898-1929) Built by J Jones & Sons at Liverpool. 130 ft : 240 GRT : Engine Compound diagonal 20 and 38 x 42 in 
Eagle (1898) Built in 1864 by Charles Connell & Co at Glasgow for Capt.William Buchanan, Clyde services . 219.5 ft : 108 GRT : On Manchester Ship Canal 1894-98. Scrapped 1899
Acknowledgements : wirralhistory.uk  

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