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Thames Estuary, River Medway, Kent, Essex and East Anglia Coast, England, U.K.
and services to France and Belgium
New Palace Steamers Ltd
Glasgow shipbuilders Fairfields repossessed three modern steamers from the Victoria Steamboat Association and operated them from 1895 on their earlier Thames services under the name New Palace Steamers Ltd. Services to Clacton / Harwich, Kent and Boulogne in France. Second hand tonnage in the former cross-channel ferry Paris (working in Germany as Flamingo) was chartered to develop the cross-channel business and sailed under the name La Belgique.

Unsurprisingly, losses were incurred and the largest and most expensive vessel, La Marguerite, despite her popularity on the French run, was withdrawn after the 1903 season and transferred to Fairfield’s other subsidiary operating on the North Wales coast, the
Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company.

The outbreak of the First World War at the height of the 1914 season brought a premature reduction in traffic. Koh-i-Noor was sent to Scotland for refitting, but work never started and she remained laid-up throughout the hostilities and was never reactivated. Royal Sovereign was also laid up but sold in 1918 for further use on the Thames as Fairfield closed its operation

Like many major steamer operator companies, New Palace Steamers published  their own post cards - an effective marketing tool if posted home from the many trippers and holidaymakers using their palatial steamers. Although the company was not to survive the First World War and paddler Koh-i-Noor went for scrap, Royal Sovereign went on to have a much longer life on the Thames 
Royal Sovereign
La Marguerite

La Belgique
(on charter for services to Ostend)

Go to Ian Boyle's Simplonpc site for postcard views of these steamers :

Return to:
Victoria Steamboat Association
River Thames Historical