The Perseverance Steamer - Tiller Steered

  • 17 Jan 2012
  • Severn Crafts
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'.... 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 wheel steering. (And from paddles to screw propulsion.) The steersman, generally a gentleman of ample proportions, was placed on the rear of the top deck, across which, he had to walk to steer the vessel round corners. In fact, when the corners was very sharpe he had to push the streering pole right over the side of the boat. I used to be taken on Sunday afternoons when I was about five years of age, as a great treat, to see her come up the river'.
(Berrow's Worcester Journal 10 September, 1931 - Letter from C.H.C Faram, 4 Foregate Street.)

Further info

Many tales were told of the old Perseverance. One told by Jack Preen, of Everton's boatbuilding company and used in Berrow's Worcester Journal of July 7. 1977.
'On one occasion, 50 passengers, including a honeymoon couple, had to spend the night on board after her bows had become wedged in the roots of an overhanging tree. They were taken off next morning by a relief vessel. On another occasion she set off for Pull Court below Upton-on-Severn, packed with a party of 200 school children on an outing. In those days the Severn was not so well dredged as now, and if the river was running low it was not uncommon for the steamers to run aground and have to be pushed off. This happened several times on the journey downstream, and the outing was soon running very much behind time. After going ashore for a hurrried tea, they returned in the gathering dusk. But at Diglis, the vessel struck the stone wall between the lock gates. When they eventually arrived back at the South Quay they found a large crowd, a rumour having spread around that the vessel had sunk with all hands!.'