Channel Packets

A postcard history of English Channel ferries since 1900.

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Updated: 28-02-2014

Building on the success of turbine steamer the SECR ordered a further two vessels; Victoria was the first of the two to enter service in April 1907.

After service as a troop carrier during World War I Onward resumed a trouble free cross channel career before being sold to the Isle of Man Steam Packet Co. in 1928. After striking a mine of the mouth of the Mersey in 1940 she was repaired and requisitioned by the Admiralty for service as a troopship. Released in 1946 she served a further 10 years with the Isle of Man company before going for scrap in 1957.

A postcard rich in detail of Victoria arriving at Calais. At the exteme left of the picture, passing down the channel behind Victoria, can be seen a coastal defence submarine with a silhouette similar to that of the Pluviôse class. In the foreground a man is stationed on the quay with a flag, possibly to indicate the relative position of the gangways placed in a gap between the railway wagons. The three baulks of timber are fenders designed to prevent the paddle boxes of paddle steamers from rising up and over the edge of the quay during expectationally high tides. Further down the quay can be seen the Pas de Calais which was involved in the tragic collision and sinking of the Pluviôse in 1910. To the extreme right of the picture can be seen a group of  baggage porters and their trolleys waiting to go into action. 
0417 - An unidentified card postmarked 1917.
An impressively smoky view of Victoria departing Calais.
0434 - A travelled but undated colour printed Levy et Fils card.

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