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Isle of Man Steam Packet Company 
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company was established in 1830 and remains today, reputed to be the oldest continuously-operating pasenger shipping company in the world. In 1996 it was absorbed into the enormous Sea Containers shipping conglomeration, but since its demise in 2003, a succession of banks. It provides car ferry services to and from the isle of man to north-west England and Ireland. In common with most sea shipping companies, it switched to screw steamers early on for its cargo vessels and quickly adopted turbine propulsion for its passenger ferries in the early twentieth century. Nevertheless, it operated a fleet of large and fast paddle steamers, their last being Mona's Queen which was in service up until 1929



Empress Queen was the last paddle steamer built for the Isle of Man company and the largest paddle steamer built for UK domestic service. Launched in March 1897 by the Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Company at Govan, she was 360.1 feet long and had a GRT of 2140.
Her two engines were three-crank diagonal with HP and two LP cylinders of 68, 92 and 92 inches with a stroke of 84 inches.

Ship

Acquired

Disposed

Builder

Length / GRT

Engines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mona's Isle

1830

1851

 John Wood

116 / 200

Side Lever

 

Mona

1832

1841

 John Wood

 103 / 150

Sold to Liverpool Steam Tug Co

Queen of the Isle

1834

1844

 John Wood

 128 / 350

Side Lever

Sold to Robert Napier & Sons. Converted to a sailing ship and lost off the Falkland Islands

King Orry

1842

1858

 Winram

 

Sold to Greek interests

Ben-my-Chree

1845

1860

 R Napier

 152 / 335

Side Lever

Engine ex-Queen of the Isle. Sold to the Africa Steamship Company. Hulked 1871

Tynwald

1846

1866

 R Napier

 188 / 700

OSC2C

 Cargo only from 1863. Sold to Caird & Co to help pay for new vessels

Mona's Queen

1853

1880

 J & G Thomson

 165 / 397

63 and 60 in

 

Douglas

1858

1862

 R Napier

 206 / 726

Sold to the USA Confederate States for blockade running as "Margaret and Jessie", but attacked, beached and captured and became"Gettysburg" for the Federal side. Scrapped in 1879

Mona's Isle

1860

1882 (1909)

 Tod &  MacGregor

 200 / 341

OSC2C 44 and 48 in

Converted to screw steamer in 1883 and renamed "Ellan Vannin". Lost at sea in 1909

Snaefell

1863

1875

 Caird & Co

 228 / 604

Sold to Zeeland Steamship Company and renamed "Stad Breda". Scrapped in 1888

Douglas

1864

1888

 Caird & Co

 227 / 709

OSC2C 58 and 69 in

 

Tynwald

1866

1888

 Caird & Co

 241 / 697

OSC2C 58 and 72 in

 

King Orry

1871

1912

 R Duncan & Co

 260 / 806

OSC2C 63 and 84 in

Engines by Rankin & Blackmore (Greenock)

Reengined with CD 50 and 92 x 78 in

Ben-my-Chree

1875

1906

 Barrow Shipbldg

 310 / 1031

OSC2C 65 and 90 in

 

Snaefell

1876

1904

 Caird & Co

 251 / 849

OSC2c 63 and 78 in

 

Mona

1878

1883

 Wm. Laird

 200 / 526 (562)

Sunk after a collision in the River Mersey

Mona's Isle

1882

1915

 Caird & Co

 330 / 1564

OSC4C

Scrapped in 1919 after Admiralty service

Mona's Queen

1885

1929

 Barrow Shipbldg

 320 / 1595

OSC4C 50 and 88 x 72 in

 Last paddle steamer on a short sea route 

Queen Victoria

1887

1915

 Fairfield *

 330 1567

CD 61 and 112 x 78 in

ex- IoM, Liverpool & Manchester Steamship Co. Scrapped in 1920 after Admiralty service

Prince of Wales

1887

1915

 Fairfield *

 330 / 1567

CD 61 and 112 x 78 in

ex- IoM, Liverpool & Manchester Steamship Co. Scrapped in 1920 after Admiralty service

Empress Queen

1897

1916

 Fairfield

 360 / 2140

3CCD 68, 92 and 92 x 84 in

Wrecked off the Isle of Wight whilst acting as a troop carrier

Mona

1903

1909

 Fairfield

 324 /1065

CD 59 and 106 x 72 in

Built in 1889 ex- Calais-Douvres on the English Channel then out of Liverpool (1900-03)


*  Note : Operated for one season in opposition to the IOM SP Co for the  Isle of Man, Liverpool & Manchester Steamship Co, an organisation set up by the ship's builders. The ruinous compitition of the 1887 season saw the two steamers bought by the incumbent operators on the route in what was possibly a ploy by the Fairfield company to force their hand to purchase the vessels 

Above : Mona's Queen at Douglas. Remaining in service until 1929, she was by some margin the last operational British short-sea paddle steamer and outlived the last remaining Belgian paddle steamer Princesse Clementine which had served a British ferry port. Image is in the public domain

For more postcard images - please go to Ian Boyle's Simplonpc website : http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/IOMSP1.html


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