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PS Royal Eagle


Royal Eagle of 1932 was the last and in capacity terms the largest paddle steamer built specifically for Thames Estuary excursion sailings and remained the largest such UK vessel throughout her life. She did not match a number of earlier Thames paddlers which had disappeared by 1932, but joined fleet-mate Crested Eagle of 1925 which was longer but of lower tonnage capacity. She provided primarily day trips to Southend and onwards to the Kent coast resorts of Margate and Ramsgate and was marketed as "Lonon's Luxury Liner" with considerably higher fares than her fleet mate Golden Eagle which followed the same run as far as Margate, offering an alternative on-board experience. Her life after World War II was limited as the combined GSN/NMSP fleet had a number of large motor ships including new builds to replace wartime losses and the expensive-to-run Royal Eagle became an anachronism, spending much of her time laid up before being scrapped in 1953. 
Photo in the public domain


Built in 1932 by Cammell Laird at Birkenhead
Engines : Triple expansion, diagonal
Dimensions: 292.1 ft x 36.7 ft
1539 Gross Registered Tons

She was the first Thames paddler built with deckhouses and the only built for the area by Cammell, Laird of Birkenhead
Entered service on the London to Southend, Margate and Ramsgate service
Joined her fleetmates at Sheerness after completing evacuation work from London at the beginning of World War II
Made three trips to Dunkirk at the end of May 1940 for troop evacuation
Spent the remainder of the war as an anti-aircraft vessel
Returned to service in 1946 running from London to Margate
Limited to a few weeks' service to Southend and Clacton in the peak season of 1950 before being laid up
Sold out of the GSN fleet in November 1953 and scrapped

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