Paddle Steamer Picture Gallery


PS Calais-Douvres (I)

Builders: A Leslie & Co, Newcastle 1877

Propulsion type: Paddle, single diagonal 4 cylinder engines.

Owner: The English Channel Steam Ship Co Ltd, London Chatham & Dover Railway

Service dates: 1877- 1886

Tonnage: Gross 1924


This photograph is by AJ (Alexander James) Grossmann of Dover from the album of Mary Ellen Jaunay nee Cawley (1860-1925) and displayed here by courtesy of Graham Jaunay, Adelaide South Australia.

Calais-Douvres (I) was the third of three experimental vessels built to minimise sea sickness for passengers on cross channel services in the late nineteenth century. The others were Castalia and Bessemer and all were somewhat eccentric in design. Calais-Douvres (I) had two separate, parallel hulls joined by wrought iron girders, and was propelled by a large paddle wheel positioned in between the two hulls. Originally to be named Express she was constructed for The English Channel SS Co, but was taken over by the LC&D Railway upon completion. Whilst not unpopular with her passengers, she was slow and lumbering and could manage only 13 knots in her nine years of service. When withdrawn she was laid up at Tilbury for some time, before being sold for use as a coal hulk on the River Thames, where she ended her days.

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