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Side-Wheeled Paddle Steamers
North British Steam Packet Co : Silloth services
was developed as a port to relieve the small quay at Port Carlisle on
the Solway estuary which was prone to silting up. Port carlisle had
been developed by industrialists in Carlisle to export their produce
because the river Eden was not sufficiently navigable to the city.
Originally dug as a canal (with hopes of providing a cross-county link
from Tyneside), the link to the city was converted to a railway and
quickly diverted to Silloth as the new port was established. Efforts
were also made to create a seaside resort at Silloth.
North British Railway were seeking a way to transport goods from their
east of Scotland base to English industrial centres in the west of the
country and forged what became known as the Waverley Line from
Edinburgh to Carlisle via Hawick which opened in the summer of 1862.
Onward transport of goods was impossible because the existing line
south from Carlisle was in the hands of competitors, with the link
north to Glasgow in the hands of their deadly rivals, the Caledonian
Railway. In order to overcome this, in 1861 (and before the Midland
Railway, with whom the North British established an agreement, had
reached Carlisle via their line from Settle via Ribblehead in
1876), the North British obtained powers to run over the Silloth
line and eventually absorbed it into their network. From Silloth it was
possible not only to transport goods to Ireland but to the industrial
north-west of England via existing cargo steamers to Liverpool.
Passengers could also be transported to Liverpool realtively cheaply by
sea. The railway company decided to operate its own steamers, with the
Liverpool and Dublin routes continuing successfully for many years.
retained importance as a small port handling local cargoes and imports
but once railway competition had been removed there was little need for
the Liverpool service nor for passengers to use that route.
A cross-Solway passenger and small packet service was offered from Silloth to Annan and Dumfries.
Built by J Reid & Co, Port Glasgow for the Dublin, Cork & Glasgow Steam Packet Co
123 ft : 474 GRT: later 173.3 ft : 417 GRT
Engines : 2 x side lever, ex-Mercury by Coates & Young of Belfast
1858 : Returned to builders J&G Thomson of Govan in part-payment for a new vessel
1859 : Caithness Steamship Company, Wick
1862 : North British Steam Packet Co : Silloth-Dublin service
1868 : Liverpool owners
1867 : Rigged as a barque with engine removed
1873 : Scrapped
Small paddle steamer for the Silloth to Dumfries and Annan cross-Solway service
Transferred to newly opened Clyde service
Click for details
Built by C Mitchell & Co, Low Walker, Northumberland
220 ft : 519 GRT
Engines : 2 cyl. by R Stephenson & Co of Newcastle.
Built for the Silloth-Dublin route
Returned to engine builders as deemed unsatisfactory
Sold to the Leith & Clyde Steam Navigation Co for use out of Aberdeen as St Magnus
Reengined by J Howden & Co of Glasgow in 1875
Sold for use in Gibraltar in 1904 and renamed Magnus
Scrapped in 1912 at Rotterdam
Built by A&J Inglis, Glasgow
222.2 ft : 592 GRT
1868 : London & South Western Railway Co : Southampton-Channel Islands service
1873 : Wrecked on June 5th, 1873
Prince of Wales (1867)
Built in 1842 by Tod & Macgregor of Glasgow
159.5 ft : 500 GRT
Built for the North Lancashire Steamship Company (based at Fleetwood) which was a subsidiaty of the Preston & Wyre Railway
The P&W became jointly owned by the Lancashire & Yorkshire and the London & North Western Railways
Spent almost all of her life on Irish Sea services between Great Britain and Ireland
Operated on the NB SP's Silloth-Dublin service on charter in 1867