SHIPPING SERVICES

The S&D shipping fleet operated from Highbridge Wharf. Most of the shipping was used for the transportation of goods between South Wales and Highbridge for onward transportation by rail. Goods included steel rail for use by the S&D and L&SWR, timber and also agricultural and dairy goods from various Somerset and Dorset locations along the S&D lines.
Besides the vessels listed below, the S&D chartered numerous other ships, one of these, the s.s. Terrier was lost with all hands on the 14th of October 1877 on the Swansea to Highbridge service.

Along with other operators, the S&D also operated passenger ferry services from the pier at Burnham to Cardiff. These started on the 3rd of May 1858, being run by a subsidiary company, The Burnham Tidal Harbour Company, sharing offices and officials with the Somerset Central Railway. These services continued until 1888.

In the summer of 1865 a service to Cherbourg was put into operation using the s.s. Albion, on loan from P.L.Henderson of Liverpool. The service continued in 1866, sailing on Mondays & Thursdays at 12:30pm. This connected with the 8:05am from Burnham, arriving in Poole at 12:05pm, with the crossing to Cherbourg taking a further six hours.
In August of the same year the service was suspended as it had been operating at a loss.

In 1933 the Somerset & Dorset's shipping interests were wound up, with the remaining two vessels, the s.s.Julia and s.s.Radstock, being disposed of.
Non railway owned ships carried on using the wharf until it was closed on the 2nd of November 1964. The wharf sidings were finally closed on May the 16th 1965.

Poster Poster advertising an excursion trip on the 'Sherbo', the S&D's largest ship that ran on the Burnham to Cardiff route between 1884 and 1888. Built in 1880, she was 239 tons gross weight and carried cattle and various market produce as well as passengers

.

Click Here for the October 1870
Burnham Tidal Harbour Company timetable

SOMERSET & DORSET SHIPPING FLEET

YEAR
BOUGHT
VESSEL'S
NAME
DESCRIPTION BUILT TONS
(GROSS)
OWNER FATE
1860 Ruby Passenger
Iron Paddler
1854 - Renfrew 155 Burnham Tidal Harbour Co. Run aground at
Burnham in 1860,
repaired & then
sold in 1864
1863 Defiance Passenger
Iron Paddler
1856 - Glasgow 150 Burnham Tidal Harbour Co. Scrap 1871
1864 Heather Bell Passenger
Iron Paddler
1858 - Glasgow 152 Burnham Tidal Harbour Co. Sold 1867
1866 George Reed Passenger
Iron Screw
1866 - Cubitt Town 170 George Reed
for the BTH Co.
Sold 1867
1873 Railway Wood Ketch 1855 -Strood 59 S&D Wrecked at
Cardiff in 1866
1873 Julia Wood Ketch 1863 - Milton, Kent 69 S&D Sold 1904
1873 Richard and Emily Wood Ketch 1862 - Lewes 82 S&D Sank off
Nash Light in
1886
1874 Leopard Iron Screw 1861 - Bristol 67 S&DJR Scrap 1890
1879 Alpha Iron Screw 1877 - Maryhill 82* S&DJR Scrap 1925
1884 Sherbro Passenger
Wood Paddler
1870 - Cowes 239 S&DJR Sold 1888
1904 Julia Steel Screw 1904 - Woolston 197 S&DJR Scrap 1934
1925 Radstock Steel Screw 1925 - Saltney 195 S&DJR Sold 1934

* Note: Alpha was twice lengthened, in 1884 and 1905.
Gross tonnages were 94 and 111 respectively.

SOMERSET & DORSET FERRY SERVICES

VESSELS USED ON THE BURNHAM  - CARDIFF SERVICE

DATES RUN NAME DESCRIPTION BUILT TONS OWNER
1858 - 1860 Taliesin Wood Paddler 1842 158 Cardiff Steam Navigation Co.
1860 - 1863 Ruby Iron Paddler 1854 155 Burnham Tidal Harbour Co.
1863 - 1871 Defiance Iron Paddler 1856 150 Burnham Tidal Harbour Co.
1864 - 1867 Heather Bell Iron Paddler 1858 152 Burnham Tidal Harbour Co.
1866 - 1867 George Reed Iron Screw 1866 170 George Reed (for the BTH Co.)
1871 - 1879 Flora Iron Paddler 1851 119 F.C.Winby / H.Cousins, Cardiff
1879 - 1884 The Lady Mary Iron Paddler 1868 179 John Boyle, Cardiff
1884 - 1888 Sherbro Wood Paddler 1870 239 S&DJR

Other vessels were chartered from time to time whilst the regular ships were being overhauled

VESSEL USED ON THE POOLE - CHERBOURG SERVICE

DATES RUN NAME DESCRIPTION BUILT TONS OWNER
1865 - 1866 Albion Iron Paddler 1860 307 P.L.Henderson, Liverpool

CARGO VESSELS CHARTERED BY THE S&D

DATES RUN NAME BUILT TONS
1875 - 1876 Lincolnshire 1867 88
1876 - 1877 Terrier 1865 91

NOTE: Terrier was lost with all hands on the Swansea to Highbridge run on the 14th of October 1877

 

Copyright © Kevin Clapcott
Most recent revision Friday August 10, 2007