Derek Longly



Derek Longly

Photo:Brighton (1950)

Brighton (1950)

Photo:Maid of Orleans (1949)

Maid of Orleans (1949)

Photo:Lisieux (1952)

Lisieux (1952)

Photo:Cote d'Azur (1951)

Cote d'Azur (1951)

All other photos from Andy Gilbert private collection.

Comparative photos from the 1950's

By Andy Gilbert

Chris Young posted a comment on a photo of the tug Tidworth a while ago, noting that the Newhaven steamer Lisieux in the background was similar to the French Folkestone-Boulogne ship Cote d'Azur.

That's an accurate observation, and in fact Newhaven often received smaller versions of the short sea routes vessels. Here are four photos from my collection showing the similar designs of Lisieux and Cote d'Azur, and also of Brighton (VI) and Maid of Orleans, plus two from Derek Longly's collection, showing Worthing and Canterbury. I've had to flip the Maid of Orleans and Cote d'Azur around to point them in the same direction as their smaller siblings!

The handsome British quartet are typical British Railways vessels from their preferred builders, Denny Bros of Dumbarton and the two sleek French fillies are both from the yards of Forges et Chantiers de la Mediterranee S.A in Le Havre.

It's interesting to note that the Newhaven ships were usually more powerful and faster than their Folkestone or Dover equivalent, because of the longer crossing (and the need to get the mail through on time), and this continued with the 'V' twins and the Chantilly, though the three ships were almost the same size this time.

Things evened out for a while in the 70's and the Senlac was identical to Folkestone's Hengist and Horsa. Then came the 'Newhaven-max' sized vessels like Versailles, Sardinia Vera and the current Transmanche vessels. With no such size restrictions at Dover, their ships have become massive in comparison. My friends up at Dover think Cote d'Albatre is tiny!

In updating this page, I’ve noted Tony Baitup’s comment and so I've double-checked my information. The ships' comparative sizes, speeds and power are shown below. My friends up at Dover tell me that their passenger ships never ran as fast as ours, with the exception of the Belgian service to Oostende, some of them being capable of 27 knots! It’s quite true that in the 60’s, with the arrival of larger car ferries, speeds were cut back to increase on-board spending and reduce fuel costs, but the car ferries also had a different hull shape to the passenger steamers and were inherently slower. However, Townsend introduced slightly faster ships from the Free Enterprise IV onwards. Still not as fast as the passenger steamers, though.

Canterbury – 2910 tons, 8500hp, 21 kts

Worthing – 2288 tons, 14000hp, 24 kts

Maid of Orleans – 3776 tons, 11000hp, 22kts

Brighton – 2875 tons, 14500hp, 25 kts

Cote d’Azur – 4037 tons, hp not known, 21.5 kts

Lisieux – 2943 tons, 16412kw, 25 kts

Chantilly – 3255 tons, 6990kw, 19 kts

Villandry/Valencay – 3433 tons, 9235kw,  21 kts


This page was added by Andy Gilbert on 31/10/2011.
Comments about this page

Just for the record, the Dover vessels could cross in record time, equally as fast as Newhaven and Dieppe vessels. The reason they took the time they did was to get as much revenue from the sale of duty free goods and meals. Many an occasion the Master was asked to slow down so as to get passengers served.

By Tony Baitup
On 29/06/2010

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