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Paddle Steamers past and present
North Sea Ferry Services : UK to Netherlands
Stoomvaart Maatschappij Zeeland (SMZ)
company was established in 1875 and operated from Vlissingen in the
Netherlands to Sheerness in Kent but switched to Queenborough for its
second season. Paddlers maintained the Queenborough link. Prins
Hendrick, built in 1895 was the last of the paddlers to be built. Screw
ships were ordered from 1909 onwards and these more modern vessels were
used on a new run to Folkestone. SMZ eventually went into partnership
with the UK's London and North Eastern Railway and later with British
Railways and shared the Hook of Holland to Harwich service with the
British state-owned company which later became Sealink. In 1989 the
Stena Line bought SMZ and in 1990 acquired Sealink, which had by then
been privatised and owned by Sea Containers.
new company purchased three older steamers. Liverpool-built Stad
Vlissingen and Stad Middelburg had served as blockade runners in the
American Civil War as Southern and Northern. Stad Breda was the former
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company's Snaefell, built by Caird & Co at
Greenock, For new tonnage, SMZ went to the Clyde for its paddle
steamer tonnage from John Elder & Co, which changed its name to
Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co in 1886. New ships were
ordered in batches of three, but after the 1895 sisters, the next
batch, in 1909 and also from the Fairfield yard, were turbine steamers.
This led to a cull of the paddlers, with those remaining in the fleet
taking the day services and the turbines the night runs.
- PS Stad Middleburg (built 1865) - renamed Aurora in 1881 - Sold 1888.
- PS Stad Vlissingen (built 1865) - Lost 1879.
- PS Stad Breda (built 1863) - Broken up 1888.
- PS Prinses Elisabeth (built 1877) - Sold 1898 to Swedish interests.
- PS Prinses Marie (built 1877) - Sold 1898 to German interests.
- PS Prins Hendrik (built 1880) - Sold in 1902 to German interests for breaking up.
- PS Willem Prins Van Orange (built 1883) - Broken up 1909.
- PS Duitschland (built 1886) - renamed Zeeland in 1914 - Broken up 1922.
- PS Engeland (built 1887) - Broken up 1910.
- PS Nederland (built 1887) - Broken up 1910.
- PS Koningin Wilhelmina (built 1895) - Lost in 1916 after hitting a mine.
- PS Koningin Regentes (built 1895) - Torpedoed and lost in 1918.
- PS Prins Hendrick (built 1895) - Broken up in 1922.
For more information, go to Ian Boyle's Simplon Post Cards website
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