Crafts on the Severn

'At the hop-picking season tatterdemalion hordes of pickers came out from the city, and wagons were sent to the 'Well', in front of All Saints Church for a 6.30 am start. From the river one could hear the Severn Steamer, the 'Holt Castle', hooting a warning,
'Crowquill' of the Berrow's Worcester Journal of 5 September, 1931 gave the following details of early steamers on the Severn. 'Until 50 years ago there was only one steamer at Worcester plying up and down the river. Then a second arrived, and in the closing
B.W.J. 20.10.1900. 'A steamer, however short its journey, the moment it leaves its moorings, whether it be Sunday or weekday, may sell intoxicating drink under an Inland Revenue licences.
In the summer of 1912 the passenger steamers on the Severn ran over 34,000 miles and made over 6,000 lockings with passengers on board,
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
An interesting feature, from the shipbuilding point of view, was the fact that she was tiller streered, at least she was in her earlier days, though I think she was later on converted into
'The Severn Steamer which was built in London, and had been plying for some time on the River Severn, it was about 90 ft long by 11 ft beam; and was drawing about 2 ft of water; steams about 10 miles an hour; and was certified to carry 300 passengers.
The SEVERN Steamer will run from Ribbesford to Worcester every Saturday, Wednsday, Thursday and Friday. (Commencing on Sat. next, August 19) leaving Ribbesford every morning at half-past Eight, and Stourport at a quarter to Nine;
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,
The Duchess Doreen was originally named the ' Duchess of York' but her name was changed in the 1920's by her owner at that time, Mrs Bertha Huxter, and named after her daughter, Doreen. She plied the Severn at Worcester in company with the 'Belle' for many
'One of the most alarming steamer accidents which has occured on the Severn in past years took place at Diglis, when a young Birmingham woman travelling in a Stourport steamer lost her life.
The 'Fashion' used by the Worcester City Chamberlain to inspect the Swan Upping at Worcester. Circ 1909
Built of iron at London in 1893 for the London Council . Registered at London No 101979. 81 ft 3 ins long. Breadth 11 ft 6 ins. Depth 6 ft 1 in. She was brought round the coast by Frank Roberts in 1922. She is here moored below the Deanery at Worcester.
Steam propelled pleasure craft on the Severn were converted to diesel about 1960. In 1971 they were taken over by Mitchell & Butler's Brewery and run by their special projects departtment under the name of The Worcester Steamer Company
Ernie North, skipper of the Severn Traveller. He reckoned he carried 20,000 passengers in the Traveller in 1984, and the sister vessel, the Pride of the Midlands did the same. At the height of the season, the Traveller might clock up 3 or 4 trips in a 16
Sovereign  Built 1821. Built on the Catamaran principle with two hulls 5 ft apart. Engines to make 6 m.p.h against the stream. Doubtful if she ever reached Worcester as she blew up.SABRINA  Paddle Steamer built at London c. 1846. 90 ft long, 14 ft beam,
Built at Worcester in 1881 by Mr.Everton in a shed in Hylton Road. She always seemed to sail with a list to one side. She was named after Lady Alwyn Compton, wife of the Dean of Worcester, 1878-86. She was built of wood, Length sixty one and a quarter feet,
The Severn Punt was a direct descendent of the ancient dug out canoe, They were 25 ft long and 3 ft wide. The sides were of oak, but the bottom were larch. Old Salmon fishing punts had one end taken off. Up until recent years a Punt was on show at the Pond
The 'Amo' was the largest pleasure steamer in Stourport. She was built of wood at Windsor in 1892, and rebuilt at Stourport in 1904. Registered at London 1896, No 110195. Length 68 ft 2 ins. Breadth 15 ft 2 ins. Deoth 4ft 5 ins. She was owned (1910-18)
The 'Bonavista'  was owned by Captain Hattom of the Angel, who also owned the 'Lady Steamers'. At that time of 1907, she sailed twice daily from Stourport to Holt Fleet after Whit Monday.
The average tonnage passing Newnham (1849) was 363,000 tons, or about 1,000 tons per day. This was exclusive of 205,000 tons that go by way of the Gloucester and Berkeley Canal, part of which is locked into the river again. Ben Devey, of Stourport, a carrier,
The Navigation Improvement Bill of 1849 mentioned that Brindley had been asked to survey the Severn from Queenhill to Pendock in 1763, but his opinion was never acted upon. Also that Mr. Pickernell, the occupier of Holt Castle, had a waterwheel for supplying
The last Trow under sail was the Alma, built in 1854, which traded as a ketch under 1943, while the Palace of 1837 carried stone from Tintern until about 1939
The Severn is subject to violent changes of level as the flood waters come down from Wales; a rise of 18 ft in 5 hours being known, and heights of 25 ft above average low level is not uncommon, rendering the river unnavigable.
The 'Spry' was built at Chepstow in 1894 by William Hurd. She was registered at Gloucester as a sloop, Official Number 99538, 36 tons net, 46 tons gross, her managing owner being Mr.Davis, Stone Merchant of Chepstow.
Between 1860 and the early years of the present century large numbers of new vessels were built for the salt trade. They were known among the Severn trowmen as 'Wich Barges', the name being an abbreviation of Droitwich.
The relative importance of river trade to places on Severn can be roughly gauged by the number of trading vessels which were owned at various places. A list was compiled in May 1756, and published in the Gentleman's Magazine of 1758, xxviii p.277-8
The whole navigation extended 160 miles, as far upstream as Pool Quay, Welshpool, Montgomeryshire. Severn ports could be reached by vessels of the following burdens:


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