Western Belle

built 1935 by Fellows & Co, Great Yarmouth

Designated ensign Designated house flag

300

Registered


Passenger Vessel

Excursion


Maryport


None

Restoration


Yes

Yes


21/05/1996

05/01/2016


Web site

www.ullswater-steamers.co.uk

Gallery


Propulsion

Motor

Diesel


None

None


Dimensions

To be confirmed

To be confirmed


69.97 feet (21.34 metres)

To be confirmed


56.00


History

Built in 1935, WESTERN BELLE is a passenger vessel with the capacity for 193 passengers. She runs a ferry service on the River Dart from Dartmouth to Kingswear and summer services between Dartmouth and Totnes. She also offers river cruises from Dartmouth to Salcombe and from Torquay to Brixham and Babbacombe. Her life with Ullswater 'Steamers' began with a journey from Hampton Court, out into the North Sea and the English Channel. Back up to Liverpool some time later, and then a road trip to Ullswater, she lay in the Maryport Marina for about 18 months and survived a storm in October 2009, which badly damaged most of the vessels in the marina. A few days layer, PYD Worldwide sailed her though the night to Garston Dock where she stayed until the slipway across the river was clear. Captain Ian Metcalfe, owner of the Carmet Tug Company, kindly took her over the rive, using his lifetime of operating knowledge on the Mersey. Mersey Heritage Ship Repai then set about the vessel and over the course of a year, she was complete stripped back and restored including construction of a wheelhouse, funnel and companionway, engine controls and electrics. In October 2010, she was slipped and travelled down to Glenridding Pier for final fit and cosmetics and in November she gained her passenger certificate allowing her to go into service. WESTERN BELLE had her official 'Re-Commissioning' Ceremony on 30 June 2011, and is now in service.

Geoffrey Hamer, Trip Out 1995/6 - A Guide to the Passenger Boat Services of the British Isles (1995) pub: G P Hamer

Subsequent Developments

  1. 8 October 2009 WESTERN BELLE survived the gate failure at Maryport Marina last Saturday, and left Maryport as scheduled shortly after Midnight on the flood tide for Liverpool. Professional Yacht Deliveries World Wide (PYD) successfully delivered her to Garston Dock, Liverpool at 14:00 today. We took delivery and secured the vessel, to await a short voyage across the river to the old MacTay's Shipyard, hopefully by Wednesday 21st October. Mersey Heritage Ship Repair Co. will then carry out the refurbishment to deck level by spring 2010. She will then be transported by road (by J B Rawcliffe & Sons) to Ullswater, Cumbria for final fit out We hope that she will enter service with Ullswater Steamers by Winter 2010/2011 Source: vessel owners.

Key dates

  1. 1935 Built by Fellows & Co., Great Yarmouth
  2. 2007 Purchased by Ullswater 'Steamers' of Kendal, Cumbria
  3. 2009 Survived a storm which badly damaged her whilst at Maryport Marina
  4. 2010 Completely restored including construction of wheelhouse, funnel, companionway, engine controls and electrics 
  5. 2010 Travelled to Glenridding Pier for final fit and gained passenger certificate
  6. 2011 WESTERN BELLE had official 'Re-Commissioning' Ceremony and is now in service

Bibliography

    Built in 1935, WESTERN BELLE is a passenger vessel with the capacity for 193 passengers. She runs a ferry service on the River Dart from Dartmouth to Kingswear and summer services between Dartmouth and Totnes. She also offers river cruises from Dartmouth to Salcombe and from Torquay to Brixham and Babbacombe. Her life with Ullswater 'Steamers' began with a journey from Hampton Court, out into the North Sea and the English Channel. Back up to Liverpool some time later, and then a road trip to Ullswater, she lay in the Maryport Marina for about 18 months and survived a storm in October 2009, which badly damaged most of the vessels in the marina. A few days layer, PYD Worldwide sailed her though the night to Garston Dock where she stayed until the slipway across the river was clear. Captain Ian Metcalfe, owner of the Carmet Tug Company, kindly took her over the rive, using his lifetime of operating knowledge on the Mersey. Mersey Heritage Ship Repai then set about the vessel and over the course of a year, she was complete stripped back and restored including construction of a wheelhouse, funnel and companionway, engine controls and electrics. In October 2010, she was slipped and travelled down to Glenridding Pier for final fit and cosmetics and in November she gained her passenger certificate allowing her to go into service. WESTERN BELLE had her official 'Re-Commissioning' Ceremony on 30 June 2011, and is now in service.

    Geoffrey Hamer, Trip Out 1995/6 - A Guide to the Passenger Boat Services of the British Isles (1995) pub: G P Hamer

Grants

  1. November 2009 A Sustainability Award of ú2500 was awarded to WESTERN BELLE towards the cost of restoration from the Strategic Development Fund of National Historic Ships towards the cost of restoration
If you are the owner of the vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information please contact info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk

parrel:

a rope, chain or iron collar which attaches the yard to the mast but which allows vertical movement