Balmoral and the Bristol Channel

cover illustration
Balmoral and the Bristol Channel

Mike Tedstone

184 pages. 275x215mm. Printed on gloss art paper, casebound with printed board covers.

ISBN13 : 9781903599181

£22.50


contents and extra information for this book »

P. & A. Campbell Ltd of Bristol, registered as a Limited Company in 1893, was destined to not quite make its century as the operator of the celebrated White Funnel Fleet of passenger steamers. As the postwar fleet waned in the 1950s profits dwindled and receivership beckoned. Remarkably, a new company structure was fashioned out of the old, in association with Townsend Ferries. In the 1960s P. & A. Campbell Ltd pioneered passenger-carrying hovercraft operations and branched out into cross-channel coach excursions, in partnership with the Free Enterprise ferries of what later became the European Ferries group, to France and to Belgium. A heritage quartet of motor-vessels – some of which were older than the paddle-steamers they supplanted – went on to keep the P. & A. Campbell Ltd flag flying in the Bristol Channel into the 1970s, and the white funnel appeared in the Irish Sea as well as the south-east of England. Balmoral sustained the passenger link between north Devon and the island of Lundy throughout this time, after many other coastal excursion services around Britain had ended.

The Late Years of P. & A. Campbell Ltd were the 1960s and 1970s until the end came in 1980, by which time a new pattern of excursion-steamer operations with the world’s last seagoing paddler Waverley had started to take shape, and the tragically brief reign of the Prince Ivanhoe. Here is the story of those years when Westward Ho, Balmoral and Devonia kept alive the White Funnel Fleet traditions in the Bristol Channel – and, with St. Trillo, in North Wales - which had begun almost a century before when an earlier Clyde-built paddle-steamer Waverley had come south in 1887, and sailed the ‘Severn Sea’ to link Bristol with South Wales, the beautiful Exmoor Coast, north Devon as well as Pembrokeshire, pioneered by Peter and Alec Campbell.

Balmoral and the Bristol Channel - Sample Images

cover illustration

cover illustration

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Updated : 26 April 2017