Can you help?
Liam Sherringham has sent me two photos of the remains of a steamer at Drumsna.
I am pretty certain that someone at some time told me something about this vessel, but I’ve lost the information. I think it was said to be a former steam yacht, owned by a family living not too far away and abandoned at the spot, but I am not at all certain about this.
If you are the person who told me about this, I apologise for my lapse and I would be grateful if you could supply the information again. If you are not that person, but know anything about the vessel, do please tell us about it. In either case you can leave a Comment below.
Photo 1 ((c) Liam Sherringham 2017)
Photo 2 ((c) Liam Sherringham 2017)
Posted in Ashore, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Historical matters, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Operations, Shannon, Steamers, Water sports activities, waterways
Tagged Drumsna, Shannon, steam yacht, steamer
In May 1895 the fear induced by the prospect of a passage under Baal’s Bridge, on the Abbey River in Limerick, as revealed in the commercial court in London before Mr Justice Mathew and reported by the Freeman’s Journal of 20 May 1895.
Arthur George Mumford of Colchester, Essex, was described as an agent, but was actually a marine engineer and manufacturer of steam engines. He owned a 25-ton steam yacht called Gipsy, which he decided to sell through Messrs Cox & King, the well-known yachting agents (their 1913 catalogue is here).
The buyer was Ambrose Hall, the man responsible for the statue of Patrick Sarsfield. A former mayor of Limerick, he was an alderman and a “house and land commission agent”; his address was given as Mignon House, Limerick, which I have not so far found.
Hall bought the boat for £500; it was to be delivered to him at Limerick. The original plan was to sail it around the coast of Ireland and up the Shannon estuary, but bad weather in late 1894 caused Cox & King to suggest taking it to Dublin and then down the Grand Canal and the Shannon to Limerick. Hall agreed; the boat left Dublin in January 1895. It reached Killaloe on 19 January and Limerick “a day or two afterwards”, where it was moored in the canal harbour.
Canal harbour, Limerick in March 2007
Hall refused to accept the boat in the canal, saying that it should have been delivered to Limerick dock, a short distance downstream. Mumford and Cox & King sued him and the National Bank.
Ordnance Survey ~1900
Hall, an alderman and a former mayor, who had lived at North Strand, presumably knew the river and its difficulties.
Baal’s Bridge looking upstream towards the canal harbour in the floods of 2009
The navigation arch at Mathew Bridge looking downstream in the floods of 2009
It was contended by the defendant that to get the vessel from the canal into the estuary of the Shannon there was a considerable risk involved. The passage was only a few hundred yards, but it was stated it could only be effected at certain states of the tide when it would be possible to get through Ballsbridge.
The judge sensibly suggested that it should be possible to insure the boat for the journey; the plaintiffs agreed to deliver it; Hall agreed to accept delivery and to pay £15 for the cost of the caretaker who had been looking after the boat since 23 January; the case was settled.
Clearly Ambrose Hall didn’t know Pat Lysaght.
Posted in Built heritage, Charles Wye Williams, Economic activities, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Foreign parts, Forgotten navigations, Industrial heritage, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Natural heritage, Operations, People, Shannon, shannon estuary, Sources, Steamers, Tourism, Water sports activities, waterways
Tagged Abbey River, Ambrose Hall, Baal's Bridge, boats, bridge, canal, Clare, Colchester, Cox & King, Dublin, estuary, floods, flow, Gipsy, Grace, Grand Canal, Ireland, Killaloe, Limerick, lock, Mumford, O'Briensbridge, Operations, Pat Lysaght, quay, Shannon, steam yacht, steamer, vessels, water level, waterways
I am grateful to Liam Kelly for sending me this photo of a steamer on the Shannon. He says that the photo is believed to show a steamer belonging to Lord Granard (Bernard Forbes, 8th Earl of Granard) passing through Lanesborough Bridge in 1900.
Here is a map showing Lanesborough and Castle Forbes.
Lanesborough and Lough Forbes (OSI ~1840)
And here is Castle Forbes shown in relation to Lough Forbes.
Castle Forbes and Lough Forbes (OSI ~1900)
According to a programme reproduced on page 200 of Ruth Delany’s The Shannon Navigation (Lilliput Press, Dublin 2008), Lord Granard (Right Hon the Earl of Granard, KP, GCVO) was Commodore of the 1929 Lough Forbes Regatta, held under the auspices of the North Shannon Yacht Club Flag and the Motor Yacht Club of Ireland. Page 197 of the same work has a photo of a North Shannon Yacht Club regatta on Lough Boderg in 1903; it includes a large steam yacht, but with a white rather than a black hull.
The Fairy Queen
Page 181 of the same work has a photo of a passenger steamer, the Fairy Queen, one of the six operated by the Shannon Development Company, which was set up in 1897: the Fairy Queen and the Shannon Queen worked the confined waters of the Shannon above Athlone. The same photo of the Fairy Queen can be seen here.
To my eye, the steamer in the Lanesborough photo looks rather like the Fairy Queen, although I don’t think I could go so far as to suggest that they are one and the same. They’re shown from different angles and, anyway, similarities between steamers of the same era are to be expected. The reason I comment on the matter is that, while looking into the history of the Fairy Queen, I found that the invaluable Clydebuilt Ships Database had a photo of the 1893 Fairy Queen that served on the Shannon (not to be confused with her 1897 replacement). And, again to my eye, the Fairy Queen in the Scottish photo does not seem to be the same as that in the Irish photo. I would welcome other people’s comments on the matter.
The story is here. There is more on the family’s collection of animals here.
Posted in Ashore, Built heritage, Engineering and construction, Extant waterways, Ireland, Irish inland waterways vessels, Natural heritage, Operations, Shannon, Steamers, Tourism, waterways
Tagged boats, Castle Forbes, Clyde, Earl of Granard, fairy queen, Forbes, Ireland, Lanesboro, Lanesborough, Lord Granard, Lough Forbes, motor yacht, Newtownforbes, Shannon, squirrel, steam yacht, steamer, vessels, waterways