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River Trent
At 298 kilometres long. the River Trent is the third longest river in the United Kingdom, flowing from Staffordshire to the confluence with the River Ouse, forming the Humber, a major estuary leading to the North Sea. The river flows through major conurbations such as Stoke-on-Trent and Nottingham and historically has been navigable for most of its course.

Closer to the Humber, the river flows through lightly populated areas with the small Lincolnshire town of Gainsborough being the major traffic source. Paddle steamers were quick to establish themselves on the Trent alongside more tradtional sailing vessels. Gainsborough shipowner Henry Smith built the small paddler Maria in 1815 to assist in towing his vessels along the river and carrying goods.  Smith continued to build vessels and the Gainsborough United Steam Packet Company its main customer for paddle steamers. Excursions were offered with long day trips to Hull, Graimsby and Cleethorpes included. 

Gainsborough United Steam Packet Company

Albion (1816)  :  72.8 ft
Pelham (1828-1860) : 77.8 ft
Lindsay (1836-xxxx) : 89.8 ft
Pelham (1837-xxxx) : 97 ft

Columbine (1843-1880) : 115.6 ft : 84 GRT.  Engine  by J Penn of London. Subsequently registered at Grimsby until 1906
Harlequin (1848-xxxx) : 116.9 ft : 103 GRT.
Atalanta (1851-1880) : 121 ft : 101 GRT. Engine by J Penn of London. 
Subsequently registered at Grimsby until 1927
Isle of Axholme (1860-1880) : 130 ft : 91 GRT. 
Subsequently registered at Grimsby. At Hull from 1915 until 1920
Scarborough (1866-1880) : 149.8 ft : 142 GRT. Engine Oscillating by J Penn of London.
Subsequently registered at Grimsby. Later at Hull and Newcastle until scrapped in 1922


Simpson, Bell & Co. Gainsborough

New British Queen (1818-1822) 73.4 ft.  Built by William Wray at Burton-upon-Stather

Flower, Bell & Co. Gainsborough

Nottingham (1821-1827)  
Built by William Wray at Burton-upon-Stather. Sold. Survived until 1867, latterly at Gloucester

H Curtis. Gainsborough

Brighton (1857-1871) later in use at London until 1876


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Humber Estuary
Historical Database