For enthusiasts,researchers and modellers of the Great Eastern Railway

LM063: The Ships taken over by British Railways, 1948.

NEW APRIL 2022.  This is an 84-page hard cover book issued by the Railway Executive (British Railways) in October 1948. Its title is 'Steamship Services and Register of Shipping'. It is a very strange book in that there is no clue as to who it was being produced for, but it certainly contains a lot of information.

It starts with a list of the scheduled steamship services of BR at that date, both passenger and freight, with their frequencies. For the passenger services there is a list of their approximate crossing times.

The main part of the book, however, is a register of all the shipping British Railways had inherited from the 'Big Four' companies - an astonishing 420 vessels, though it was acknowledged that some were being transferred to the Docks and Inland Waterways Executive.

The ships allocated to Parkeston Quay included large sea-going ones such as the brand-new Arnhem and the Essex Ferry plus smaller ones like the Brightlingsea, for example. At the other extreme those 420 vessels included a carpenters' punt at Mallaig and an unnamed BR rowing boat at Craigendoran!   You can see the full index to them all HERE.

Lowestoft was the base for an impressive range of boats including three quite elderly dredgers, eight barges (such as the ex-GER Mudlark and Mudsucker) and three towage tugs.

For most ships, including all those mentioned above apart from the punt and the rowing boat, the register provides quite a few details. Thus for the Arnhem, as well as basic dimensions and tonnages we are told that she was built by J. Brown & Co Ltd in 1947; her engines were turbines which ran on oil, producing 16,000 IHP; she could do a speed of 21 knots; when laden she needed 15' 3" depth of water; her BoT certificate allowed for 600 passengers; her restaurant could seat 98; and she had sleeping accommodation for 296 first class and 150 second class passengers.

 The book is displayed as two-page spreads (and indeed the pages are numbered like that - pages 1 to 36 which constitute the register actually occupy 72 pages). Its file is word-searchable and is fully bookmarked. It will be available to download as soon as payment has been made. You go to your account and click on ‘Downloads’. New customers create an account as they place their order.

Pages 44
File Size (MB) 6.6

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