Crafts on the Severn

The 'Sabrina' Paddle Steamer 1846.


Category: Severn Crafts
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 saloon, 16ft by 12ft. She draws two and a half ft of water when empty and with a full complement of crew and 300 passengers, she draws three 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' Worcester Journal, 25 June, 1846)

Mr.Wall's iron steamer, the Sabrina, arrived at Worcester Bridge, on Tuesday, where the smoking stranger was welcolmed home by thousands, nine-tenths of whom had never seen a real steam-boat in their lives. During the week, thousands of our fellow townsmen have been enjoying pleasure trips from Worcester up the river to Camp and back, many of which the Sabrina makes daily'.
(From the Worcester Herald, June 27, 1848)


Mr. James Wall, a Worcester Merchant, gave the following evidence to the Severn Navigation Improvement Commision in 1849 :
'I brought a steam vessel here in 1846, but had not then the draft of 6 feet, and abandoned it. On one occasion I had a large party on board and we could not get through Upton Bridge as the water had risen.  We were three weeks before we could get through. On another occasion, I engaged to take a party to Gloucester, we got down to Upton Bridge, but when we got half-way through we found the funnel would not pass, and the water kept rising, and we thought we should be all sunk together, and I was obliged to get 20 to 30 men and a horse to drag her back again, and we were there a week'.


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