A last ditch attempt to save the PS Ryde Isle of Wight paddle steamer ferry

PS Ryde at the Island Harbour Marina on the River Medina between Newport and East Cowes. Photo copyright Kevin Flynn and licensed for reuse under a Creative Commons Licence

I’m saddened to report that another interesting old vessel is in mortal danger – but perhaps there is just a chance that a petition to No 10 (see below) might make a difference.

The PS Ryde was built for the Southern Railway in 1936 and for many years operated the Portsmouth Harbour to Ryde Pierhead route.

Sadly, the petition is very much a last-ditch effort – for some time the PS Ryde Trust has been trying to purchase the vessel for preservation and restoration, but after promising progress negotiations have broken down, and the dismantling planned by the owners has started. The petition is aimed at halting the scrapping.

The petition, which closes on the 2nd March, can be found here: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/PSRyde

A postcard from Torquay, March 1914

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Torquay postcard, dated 1914

The latest addition to Jeff Cole’s wonderful collection – a postcard from 1914

This postcard is a new item in Jeff Cole’s collection. It’s a postcard that was sent on the 5th March 1914 to a Miss J Crookhall, Tasmania. Just months from the outbreak of World War 1, it seems so long ago but now that many people live well into their 80s it’s little more than a lifetime away.

The message reads ‘In this one you can see the little pleasure steamer from Torquay. It is about to go across I think. Best wishes, Eadie.

The boat number in the centre of the photo BM127, which would make sense in a picture of Brixham. If you’d like to see more old photos from the days of sail at Brixham and along the Devon coast, I would recommend this link Old photos of Devon from the Francis Frith Collection – there are some fabulous photographs in these books, and the prices for many of them from ABE very reasonable.

Thanks Jeff!

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UK’s oldest cargo-carrying sea-going steamship is towed away for restoration

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SS Robin, the oldest complete steam ship in the world

SS Robin, the oldest complete steam ship in the world

SS Robin, the oldest complete steam ship in the world

Victorian era steam ship SS Robin, the oldest complete steam
ship in the world, is towed away for restoration

The Victorian steam ship SS Robin, said to be the UK’s oldest complete cargo-carrying seagoing steamship and one of only three National Register of Historic Vessels Grade1/Core Collection ships in London – has left her home berth in Canary Wharf on her way to being restored.

The refit and restoration is the culmination of six years’ work for the SS Robin Trust, and has benefited from a £1.9 million loan from Crossrail, the new east-west railway for the capital. The new line is set to open a station near the SS Robin’s regular moorings next year.

“Volunteers and professionals have been working for months to prepare Robin for this complex journey, the first time she has left her home berth for nearly two decades,” said David Kampfner, project director and co-founder of SS Robin Trust.

I commuted daily to work in this part of London for several years and would see the SS Robin from the window of my train each morning – so I’m particularly pleased that her future seems assured.

PS – The SS Robin Trust has put up some new photos and video of her trip to Lowestoft. She’s to be slipped next week.