Previous names

  • 1921 - 1921 Britannia
  • 1921 - 1958 Britannia I
  • 1958 - 1982 Thames Britannia
  • 1982 - 2017 Plymouth Princess
  • 2018 Forth Princess
Certificate no 313
Status Registered
a12admin

Details

Function Passenger Vessel
Subfunction Excursion
Location Port Edgar
Vessel type Excursion
Current use Commercial Activity
Available to hire Yes
Available for excursions Yes
Info required No
Web address www.forthtours.com.

Construction

Builder Unknown
Built in 1921
Hull material Wood
Rig None
Number of decks 2
Number of masts
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 2
Primary engine type Diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None

Dimensions

Length: Overall
76.95 feet (23.47 m)
Tonnage: Gross
47.00
Air Draft
To be confirmed
Breadth: Beam
To be confirmed

History

Built in 1921, at Haywards Boatyard, Southend, FORTH PRINCESS was one of two boats constructed to the same patterns the other being the ‘Julia Freak’ for the Southend Motor Navigation Company.  Originally named BRITANNIA, she was owned and operated from Southend beach by brothers Charles & Arthur Myall. 

As BRITANNIA I (presumably to avoid confusion!), the vessel participated in a 1921 regatta in Southend, where the Royal Yacht Britannia also took part, skippered by King George V.  A British Pathe film of this event can be watched here - the then BRITANNIA I comes into shot after seven seconds.

The Myalls added a second boat to their fleet in 1924 named the Southsea Britannia.  They became known as the Little Britannia and the Big Britannia and operated day trips from Southend.

Both boats were requisitioned by the Royal Navy on the 27 May 1940, and BRITANNIA I was listed by NSH, 1949, as “Britannia”.  She was taken to Dunkirk with S/Lt. S.D. Ward, RNVR, in nominal Command, but by her regular Skipper & crew.  She ferried troops to the larger ships offshore. 

BRITANNIA I was retained by the Royal Navy after Dunkirk for service as an inshore minesweeper in London River, (See ADM 208/3-The Red List; 15-09-1940).   She was also listed at Brightlingsea in 1943 as a liberty boat (www.naval-history.net/xDKWW2-4201-40RNShips2Home.htm) along with several other Southsea excursion boats. 

After the war, BRITANNIA I was returned to her owners and continued to operate holiday trips at Southend from 1946 to 1958, when she was sold to the Thames Motorboat Company (now City Cruises) and operated on the River Thames as THAMES BRITANNIA.  In 1982 she was sold to Plymouth Boat Trips and renamed PLYMOUTH PRINCESS.  Substantial alterations were made, and the vessel was rebuilt with an upper deck to look much as she does today.  

In 2018, Forth Boat Tours purchased the vessel and renamed her FORTH PRINCESS.  She is now based in Port Edgar, Edinburgh and regularly undertakes year round sightseeing tours of the river Forth.  She celebrates her 100th birthday in 2021.

 

Sources

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

www.naval-history.net/xDKWW2-4201-40RNShips2Home.htm

www.britishpathe.com/video/the-king-wins

Key dates

  • 1921

    Built as passenger vessel and originally named BRITANNIA.

  • 1921-1940

    Operated from Southend as a passenger vessel by the Myall brothers, as BRITANNIA I.

  • 1940-1945

    Requisitioned by Royal Navy.  Taken to Dunkirk with S/Lt. S.D. Ward, RNVR, in nominal Command, but by her regular Skipper & crew, where she ferried troops to the larger ships offshore.  After Dunkirk, operated as inshore minesweeper in London, and later at Brightlingsea in 1943 as a liberty boat.

  • 1946-1958

    Operating in Southend as passenger vessel.

  • 1958-1982

    As THAMES BRITANNIA, operated as passenger vessel on the Thames.

  • 1982-2017

    As PLYMOUTH PRINCESS, operated as passenger vessel from Plymouth and along the River Tamar, after being re-built by Mashfords.

  • 2018

    Relocated to Port Edgar, Edinburgh and now undertaking sightseeing tours of River Forth 

Own this vessel?

If you are the owner of this vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information, please contact info@nationalhistoricships.org.uk

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