Crafts on the Severn

The First Steam Boats at Worcester


Category: Severn Crafts
1814 - 'The appearance at Worcester in August 1814, of the first steam boat owned by the Bath & Bristol Canal Co. exited much curiosity'. R.C Gaut, A History of Worcestershire Agriculture and Rural Revolution, p.198

1821 - The SOVEREIGN Steam Packet on the Severn - The Worcester Chronicle of November  1821 carried the following notice: The Sovereign, length about 80 ft. Breadth 20 ft. Built on the Catamaran principle with two hulls 5 ft apart. 'At present in Gloucester Basin, intended for passenger service between Gloucester and Stourport. Six miles per hour against the stream, down twice as fast. Should her size and dimensions and her draught of water allow. (Considerably more than was originally allowed)'. She blew up at Gloucester when tried out! Worcester Chronicle, November 1821.

1846 - The SABRINA Paddle Steamer, was 90 ft long, 14 ft beam 25 ft across the paddle boxes, draws 3 ft when loaded, and has two engines of 12 horse-power each.
'Mr. James Wall purchased a London-built steam vessel to ply between Worcester and Gloucester, and named it Sabrina ... There is an excellent sallon, 16 ft by 12 ft. She draws two and a half feet of water when empty and with a full complement of crew and 300 passengers, she draws 3 ft only'.

' She arrived from Gloucester on Sunday about 2pm. Her arrival at the Bridge was announced by the firing of cannon. This vessel will prove a formidable rival to the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway. The distance between this City and Gloucester is performed in 3 hours, and 4 hours return. It is intended to run between this City and Camp Lock every hour this week between 9 a.m and 7 p.m at a trifling charge (Berrow's Worcester Journal, 25 June, 1846.)


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