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This website has no connection with any shipping company, cruise line, boat operator or other commercial organisation
This page is devoted to postcards and photographs of the ferries of the port of Fleetwood, located on the River Wyre in Lancashire.
Sections on this Page:-
  Furness Railway - Services to Barrow-in-Furness
  IOMSPCo - Isle of Man Steam Packet Company
  Knot End Ferry - passenger ferries across the Wyre
  LYR/LNWR - Lancashire & Yorkshire Rly/London & North Western Rly Joint services to Ireland
  Norwest Hovercraft
  P&O Pandoro - Ro-Ro services to Ireland - to be added!
Ships on this Page:-
  Bourne May - Fleetwood-Knott End Ferry
  Duke of Albany - LYR/LNWR Joint: Fleetwood-Belfast
  Duke of Argyll - LYR/LNWR Joint: Fleetwood-Belfast
  Duke of Connaught (2) - LYR/LNWR Joint: Fleetwood-Belfast
  Lady Evelyn - Furness Railway: Fleetwood-Barrow
  Lady Margaret - Furness Railway: Fleetwood-Barrow
  Lady Moyra - Furness Railway: Fleetwood-Barrow
  Lune - LYR/LNWR Joint: Fleetwood-Blackpool/Morecambe
  Lunevale - Fleetwood-Knott End Ferry
  Mona's Queen - IOMSPCo: Fleetwood-Douglas
  Norwest Laird - Norwest Hovercraft: Fleetwood-Douglas
  Philomel - Furness Railway: Fleetwood-Barrow
  Stella Marina - Norwest Hovercraft: Fleetwood-Douglas
  Viking - IOMSPCo: Fleetwood-Douglas
  Viking 66 - Fleetwood-Knott End Ferry
  Wyre Lady - Fleetwood-Knott End Ferry
  Wyresdale - Fleetwood-Knott End Ferry
Associated Pages:-
  North west Piers
  Fleetwood-Knott End Ferries History
  Furness Railway - Fleetwood-Barrow-in-Furness
  IOMSPCo - Isle of Man Steam Packet Company
  North West Excursion Steamers - Steamers of North West England and North Wales
  Ferry Postcards
  Cruise Ship Postcards
  Ocean Liner Postcards
  Simplon Postcards Home Page
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Isle of Man Services
Mona's Queen (2)
(IOMSPCo: 1885-1915)
Complete history of Mona's Queen (2)
H.H.Nickson's series postcard of Mona's Queen (2) departing Fleetwood, showing the lifeboat house and the lower light. Posted 17th November 1909.
Wrench series No.535 postcard of Mona's Queen (2) departing Fleetwood.
Valentine's series postcard of Mona's Queen (2) departing Fleetwood.
Posted 24th July 1911.
Modern Frith's postcard 52171 of Mona's Queen (2) departing Fleetwood.
(IOMSPCo: 1905-1954)
Viking was built in 1905 by Armstrong, Whitworth on the Tyne. She was 350 ft long and 1957 gross tons. Direct drive Parsons turbines drove triple screws which gave a service speed of 22.4 knots, although she is reputed to have been capable of over 24 knots. It was said at the time that only the latest Cunarders were faster. Viking was built in response to the Midland Railway's Manxman (1), used on the Heysham-Douglas route, and was intended to operate from nearby Fleetwood, which she did for most of her career. She held the record from Fleetwood to Douglas, 2 hours 22 minutes, a speed of 23.2 knots. During the First World War, Viking was converted into the seaplane carrier HMS Vindex, and survived the conflict unlike her later fleet mate the Ben-my-Chree (3). Viking was re-purchased by the IOMSPCo after the war, returning to service in 1920. She remained the mainstay of Fleetwood service until 1930, when the Lady of Mann was delivered, working on general duties from then until the Second World War. She built up a high mileage through the war on trooping duties, including participation in the D-Day landings, before returning to IOMSPCo service in June 1945. She finished work appropriately from Fleetwood on 14th August 1954. Two days later she left for Barrow to be broken up by T.M.Ward, after 49 years of service.
Complete history of the Viking
Postcard of Viking leaving Fleetwood, showing condition as delivered with open bridge.
Posted 31st July 1909, from Fleetwood to Norfolk.
Postcard of Viking leaving Fleetwood, showing additional canvas windbreakers.
Postcard of Viking leaving Fleetwood, showing enclosed area ahead of the bridge.
Posted 15th June 1914, from Fleetwood to Glasgow.
Postcard of Viking leaving Fleetwood, showing two extra lifeboats abreast the rear funnel.
Postcard of Viking leaving Fleetwood, showing two extra lifeboats abreast the rear funnel.
Derwent postcard (for W.H.Smith) of Viking at Fleetwood, showing two extra lifeboats abreast the rear funnel. A Fleetwood-Knot End ferry is in the foreground. Posted 5th August 1927.
Modern Frith's postcard of Viking leaving Fleetwood in 1908.
World Ship Society photographic postcard of Viking leaving Fleetwood on her last trip, 14th August 1954.
Two days later she left for Barrow to be broken up by T.M.Ward, after 49 years of service.
Photograph of Viking leaving Fleetwood on her last trip, 14th August 1954.
Photographed by a relation of mine - pity about the horizon!
Two days later she left for Barrow to be broken up by T.M.Ward, after 49 years of service.
Mona (4)

Mona (4) leaving Fleetwood.
Ben-my-Chree (4)
Post-War photographic card of Ben-my-Chree (4), leaving Fleetwood.
Lancs & Yorks/London & North Western Joint
A complete history of this service is available on Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway - Page 1. I have added a few selected postcards below which are taken at Fleetwood.
(LYR/LNWR Joint: 1892-1913 - 253 grt)
The small paddle steamer Lune was delivered in 1892 to operate trips to Blackpool and Morecambe. She was sold in 1913 to Cosens & Co, becoming the Melcombe Regis.
Sankey photograph of Lune arriving at Fleetwood, with the North Euston Hotel in the background.
Duke of Connaught (2)
(LYR/LNWR Joint: 1902-1922 - 1,680 grt)
(LNWR: 1922)
(LMS: 1923-1934)
Duke of Connaught (2) was built for the joint LYR/LNWR Fleetwood-Belfast service in 1902. In 1930 she was transferred to the Hull-Zeebrugge service, replacing Duke of Clarence. The route remained summer-only, with Duke of Connaught (2) returning to Fleetwood each winter. These journeys were marketed as short cruise - scans of a brochure will be added soon. Duke of Connaught (2) was scrapped in 1934.
Photographic postcard of Duke of Connaught (2) at Fleetwood.
Photograph of Duke of Connaught (2) in LMS service at Fleetwood.
Photo: British Railways
Duke of Albany
(LYR/LNWR Joint: 1907-1916 - 2,259 grt)
Duke of Albany was built for the joint LYR/LNWR Fleetwood-Belfast service in 1907, the last of the classic Fleetwood Dukes (the two following ships were turbines). In 1916 she was torpedoed and sunk off Scotland.
Photographic postcard of Duke of Albany at Fleetwood.
Duke of Argyll
(LYR/LNWR Joint: 1909-1922 - 2,052 grt)
(LNWR: 1922)
(LMS: 1923-1927)
Duke of Argyll was built for the joint LYR/LNWR Fleetwood-Belfast service in 1909, the first of a pair of turbines. In 1927 she was transferred to Angleterre-Lorraine-Alsace, and renamed Alsacien for Tilbury-Dunkirk service.
Photographic postcard of Duke of Argyll at Fleetwood.
Photograph of Duke of Argyll in LMS service at Fleetwood.
Photo: British Railways
Furness Railway
The Furness Railway was a relatively minor English company, which founded its early prosperity on the carriage of iron ore. As this traffic declined towards the end of the 19th Century, the Company sought to increase the tourist passenger traffic to the English Lake District, the area in which its trains operated. In 1900 they introduced a passenger ferry service across Morecambe Bay, between Barrow and Fleetwood. There were tram connections onwards from Fleetwood to Blackpool, as shown on the contemporary map below. This service operated successfully, using a total of four paddle steamers, until the outbreak of war in 1914. The service was not revived after the war. The main ships operated were the Lady Evelyn, Lady Margaret, Philomel and Lady Moyra.
More detailed page on the Furness Railway
Lady Evelyn
(Furness Railway: 1900-1914)
The first Barrow-Fleetwood boat was the Lady Evelyn, acquired to inaugurate the service in 1900. She had been built by Scotts of Kinghorn for the service, and was so successful that she was lengthened by 30ft in 1904 to increase passenger accommodation. She remained with the Company until requisitioned by the Admiralty in 1914. After the war, she was sold for Bristol Channel service, eventually becoming the Brighton Belle of P & A Campbell. She was lost at Dunkirk in 1940.
This is an official Furness Railway postcard from Series 20 (one of three in the series).
Lady Margaret
(Furness Railway: 1903-1908)
Due to the success of Lady Evelyn, a second paddle steamer was acquired in 1903 from P&A Campbell. She was the Lady Margaret of 1895, which retained her name in Furness service. She was larger and faster than Lady Evelyn, but was sold to the Admiralty in 1908 for tender duties, and was broken up in 1923. She had a short history with both civilian operators, but references are not clear as to why both should discard her so soon. It is suggested that she was heavy on fuel in Campbell's days (who sold her in preference to the much inferior Bonnie Doon), so maybe Furness also found this to be a problem.
Frith's Series postcard of Lady Margaret, posted on June 22nd, 1908.
The card is tinted to show the Furness colours of grey hull and buff funnel.
Unidentified photographic postcard of Lady Margaret.
H.E.Howorth (Fleetwood) postcard of Lady Margaret.
Art Publishing Co (Glasgow) postcard of Lady Margaret.
(Furness Railway: 1908-1913)
Furness needed a replacement for the Lady Margaret which was sold in 1908. They acquired the elderly General Steam Navigation steamer Philomel, which had been built in 1889. She required considerable expense before entering service, but soon acquired the local nickname "Full-o'-smell". After only two years in service, her boilers needed replacement, which was to cost almost as much as her purchase price. Furness were unable to sell her for further service, and she was scrapped in 1913.
I do not have a contemporary postcard release of the Philomel, but this is a modern Frith's Series postcard, serial number 59940, using a photograph taken in 1908.
Lady Moyra
(Furness Railway: 1910-1914)
The Furness Railway again needed a replacement steamer for the 1910 season, following the boiler problems of Philomel. They planned to buy the magnificent Barry Railway vessel Devonia for £22,750 (Philomel had cost £5250), but the condition of the machinery was deemed unacceptable. Money was authorised to repair the Philomel, until the Devonia's sistership Gwalia was offered at the same price of £22,750. She received a blue hull in Furness service, and the new name Lady Moyra. She operated until she was requisitioned at the start of WW1. After the war, she joined Lady Evelyn/Brighton Belle in the P&A Campbell fleet as the Brighton Queen, and she was also lost at Dunkirk, three days after her fleet mate on 31st May 1940.
This is an official Furness Railway postcard of Lady Moyra from Series 20.
Notice the blue hull in this photo, all others being light grey.
Knott End Ferry
The port of Fleetwood was developed from 1830, and early ferries which ran across the River Wyre were powered by oar and sail. In 1841, the Croft family organised a ferry service, running from the beaches on either side of the river. The first meeting to propose a steam Fleetwood-Knott End ferry service was held in 1851, but is was not until 1892 that the Fleetwood Improvement Commissioners reached agreement with the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway to build a ferry jetty at Fleetwood. Agreement was then made with the local landowner to gain access at Knott End. The Ferry Committee of the Improvement Act District of Fleetwood (predecessors of the Fleetwood Urban District Council - UDC) assumed responsibility for the ferries in 1893, but leased the operation to local operators, initially Newsham & Myerscroft. In 1894, a steam launch Nelson was being used for the ferry. From 1895-98, the Croft family regained control of the ferries.
The Croft family again tendered for the service in 1898, but the decision was taken that the council should run its own ferries, and the steamer Onward, plus sailing vessels Quail and Nymph, were bought from the Crofts. However, members of the Croft family were subsequently appointed as Ferry Manager, Captain, engineer, deck hands and general assistant for the new concern. Onward could carry 117 passengers, and she was soon joined by the Progress, which could carry 140 passengers and was built locally by John Gibson. In July 1901, a further new addition was the Bourne May, also built by John Gibson. Onward was sold for use at Chatham.
In 1925 the famous Wyresdale arrived, which became the primary vessel for over thirty years. The smaller Pilling assisted with off-peak services. Wyresdale was 54 gross tons and 63 feet long, and steam reciprocating machinery powered twin screws. She was built by James Robertson of Fleetwood. In 1935 she was joined by the slightly smaller motor vessel Lunevale (62 feet long, 46 gross tons), and in 1941 the small Caldervale (30 feet, 23 gross tons) replaced the Pilling. Wyresdale suffered a tragic boiler explosion in 1957, and three people were killed. I believed her scrapped at the time, but some years later discovered her again at Glasson Dock. She had been used for excursions at Morecambe, fitted with new diesel engines.
In 1966, the ferry Viking 66 was built by Charles Martin at Rockferry, and she maintained the service for many years. The council chartered local boats when she was not available. For a number of years, Viking 66 was joined by the larger Wyre Lady, which had previously served on the River Clyde. By the mid-1980s, Wyre Lady had gone, and Viking 66 was run by Bird's Sea Fishing, later CAS Birds and Bay Boating Company. Most of their boats were open fishing launches, but 1995 they had the excursion vessel Lady Victoria Belle, which had a cabin and small upper deck. She operated trips on the river and along the coast, rather than the Knott end ferry. The late 1990s and early 2000s were turbulent times for the ferry, with a succession of operators running the service (usually summer only), including Wyre Boat Survives, and Swift Offshore Services (with the Wyre Princess). The service was suspended in 2001, and the local excursion operators appear to have disappeared too. By 2003, the service had restarted with Wyre Waste Management. Discussions continue in 2004 on whether to upgrade the vessels and jetties for an all-year service, or retain a limited summer tourist service.
Fleetwood-Knott End Ferries History
Postcard of Bourne May at Fleetwood ferry jetty at high tide.
Sankey postcard of Knott End slipway, with ferry (Bourne May?).
Postcard of Fleetwood from Knott End, with ferry (Bourne May?) and IOMSPCo steamer Viking at the Railway Pier.
Postcard of Lunevale at Fleetwood.
Postcard of Wyresdale at Fleetwood, in post-war service.
Postcard of Viking 66 and Wyre Lady at Fleetwood.
Norwest Hovercraft
The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Ltd (IOMSP) ceased sailings from Fleetwood in 1961. Services to Belfast had ceased before the war, when the LMS concentrated services on Heysham. Fleetwood railway station and pier were demolished, and part was redeveloped by British Transport Docks Board with a new concrete pier and passenger terminal. These were first used in 1969 by Norwest Hovercraft. Their original intention was to use the sidewall hovercraft Denny Enterprise for services to Douglas and Barrow, although she was unsuited for such open sea work, and was later used for shorter excursions. In her place, the small Norwegian ferry Stella Marina was chartered and ran with some success through the summer of 1969. Her accommodation was attractive and modern compared to the traditional IOMSP vessels. For 1970, Stella Marina was not available, having been sold by her original owners. Norwest purchased the elderly and slow David MacBrayne motorship Lochiel which was noticeably inferior to the IOMSP competition running from nearby Heysham. Whilst was being prepared, the Queen of the Isles of the Isles of Scilly SS Co was chartered. Lochiel entered service as the Norwest Laird, but proved to be too slow and unreliable, and Norwest Hovercraft went into liquidation. In 1971, the IOMSP re-introduced services from Fleetwood.
Norwest Hovercraft History
Stella Marina
Simplon Postcards issue of Stella Marina.
She is on her maiden voyage from Fleetwood to Douglas in 1969, hence the crowds on the beach.
As far as I am aware, this is the only commercial postcard issued of the service.
Photo: © Terry Boyle.
Norwest Laird
Photographic postcard of Norwest Laird.
IOMSPCo - Fleetwood-Knott End Ferries - North West Excursion Steamers - Norwest Hovercraft
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