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Lovely Old Ships

Photographs from the private archives of Gerald Ransley Clarke

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Brake Lightship

The Brake Lightship on station in the Thames Estuary pictured on 20th August 1933


The Moldavia at on the River Thames at Tilbury

Moldavia, Tilbury

The twin screw the 16,556 ton ship of the P&O Line was built in 1921

Moldavia Stern

Moldavia stern

Moldavia Starbourd side

Moldavia pictures from 18th April 1935

PS Royal Eagle

PS Royal Eagle 8th April 1935

PS Royal Eagle, mid 1930's

Royal Eagle pictures from the mid-1930's

MV Queen of the Channel

MV Queen of the Channel about to come alongside Margate Pier on the 27th March 1936

MV Queen of the Channel

A second vessel continued pier hopping excursions well into the mid-1960's leaving the Thames & collect passengers from Southend, Herne Bay, Margate & Deal piers before setting course for the then grim port of Calais

17/12/12 - Enjoyed browsing the photos, but you need correcting on one point the Queen of the Channel you picture was the pre war vessel which was sunk at Dunkirk. It was replaced post war, by a new ship, which is instantly recognisable, as the bow has large metal House Flags of the GSNCo. and New Medway Steamship Co., one above the other. Other new vessels were the Royal Sovereign and the Royal Daffodil. All were taken over by GSNCo. and operated on the Thames, not Medway. ( My father worked pre war as a chef on the Queen of the Channel, returning after the war as Company Agent/ Relief Purser on the Medway Queen ). Dave Coveney

PS Brighton Queen

PS Brighton Queen off Margate 20th August 1933

PS Medway Queen

The PS Medway Queen the 316 ton 180' long vessel was had a speed rating of 15 knots she's pictured off Margate on 10th September 1933

The Medway Queen has been scrapped, sadly the keel wasn't retained by the Preservation Society so should a rebuild using the engine & other components retained go ahead she'd only be a replica

PS Clacton Queen

PS Clacton Queen off Margate on 20th May 1934

The 399 ton 202' long vessel was formerly Southern Railways Duchess of Kent & had top speed rating of 14 knots

SY Cecilia

SY Cecilia off Margate 20th May 1934

Belgium Ferry

A unnamed Belgium Passenger Ferry taken on 10th August 1935 as she made the Ostend - Dover crossing

I believe the Belgian Railway passanger Steamer above is either the Prince Charles, Prince Leopold, Princess Astrid or Princess Josephine Charlotte. They all 'got away' around the time of Dunkirk in 1940 & were converted to Landing Ships for Infantry. My father served aboard the Leopold for 4 years until she was sunk, by a torpedo or a mine, in the English Channel on 29 July 1944. They had been in involved in an advance attack on D Day 7 weeks earlier and had then been engaged on ferrying supplies & troops from the south coast to the Mulberry Harbour.
My father was landed at Portsmouth on the following day on his 28th birthday. Surprisingly, the Leopold was the only one of the 4 that was lost & even she was dubbed the 'Lucky Leopold' for having survived so many 'scrapes' - William Tracy

Southern Railway Cargo Tramp

An un-named Southern Railway's cargo tramp ship on the Folkestone - Boulogne run on 7th July 1935

The unamed Southern Railway cargo tramp ship above is almost certainly either the Tonbridge or the Whitstable, or a sister of these two - William Tracy

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