Operator Radcliffe Channel Islands Shipping Co. Ltd.
Builder H.B. Nevins Inc, City Island, New York Comp 1.6.1942
Tonnage 251grt 158nrt
Dimensions 138'6" 24'2" 7'3"
Propulsion Twin screw, 8 cyl oil engines.
Passengers 350 passengers
Built in America as part of the War effort, the vessel was purchased by Mr. W. R. Metcalf when his Radcliffe Channel Islands Shipping Co. Ltd. won the contract to provide the shipping services between Guernsey and Sark. Named RADCLIFFE she arrived in Guernsey on July 22 1949 and took up service the same day. The company got into financial difficulties in December that year, and the vessel made her last call to Sark on December 3 and sailed for Falmouth on December 9.
Mr Metcalf continued in business and renamed the vessel REGENCY BELLE in July the following year and operated her on excursions from Brighton to Worthing and along the coast.
She remained registered in Guernsey, and ownership passed on January 18 1951 to Mr. S. R. Crowe. On August 4 1952 the vessel with 162 passengers grounded off the West Pier at Brighton, and all were trapped and drenched until the tide came in again.
On May 2 1955 the vessel passed to Joint owners with Mr. W. R. Metcalf again being involved, but later in the month she was registered to Torbay Cruising Co. Ltd. ( S. Barber) and operated from Paignton. On December 26 1956 she sank at her mooring at Paignton but was raised with substantial damage, and was repaired by Dorset Lake Shipyard.
In February 1964 she was delivered to Lowestoft for her new owners Marine Salvage & Survey Service Ltd to whom she was registered on April 28 that year. Her Guernsey registry was closed on March 12 1965 on transfer to London and on July 3 that year she sailed from Lowestoft as REGENCY having been converted into a supply vessel for the new oil industry in the North Sea.
The venture could not have been a success as she was sold by the Admiralty Marshall to Overseas & General Brokerage & Finance Co. Ltd. on January 6 1966 and her end came on September 19 1967 when she sank off the Wolf Rock after being gutted by a fire which broke out in the engine room.
Picture : WSSPL 111w 12k
Leaving St. Peter Port In this picture you can make out the light ochre colour between the black hull and white top section.
Picture : Unknown
Approaching Le Maseline Harbour.
Picture : 101w 15k
Alongside in Le Maseline Harbour, Sark.
Owner Radcliffe Channel Islands S.S. Co
Builder H. Robb Ltd., Leith. Completed 11.1935
Tonnage 477grt 184nrt
Dimensions 150.0(rl) 27.7 13.5
Propulsion Single screw, SR, 3cyl 13 " 23" & 38" -
This vessel was completed for the Royal Navy in November 1935 as H.M.S. BASSET, a trawler, and following War service she was sold on September 13 1947 to Mr. W.R. Metcalfe
After conversion into a passenger / cargo vessel she was registered in Guernsey on July 31 1948 as RADFORD, with the owner being William Radcliffe Metcalfe, trading as Radcliffe Channel Islands S.S. Co., of Victoria Street, Alderney. The Managing owner was given as Mr. Metcalfe of Esplanade Quay, Cambridge, Dover, but this was altered on September 14 to Victoria Street, Alderney. The master being Albert Terence Mastin, and the ship was mortgaged to Barclay Bank on August 12.
RADFORD took over the Weymouth, Alderney, Guernsey service from DUNAVON, arriving in Guernsey for the first time on August 2 1948.
The company went into liquidation in December 1949, and RADFORD left Guernsey for the last time on December 7 1949. The ship was registered to Barclays Bank on December 20 1949 with, R.L. Davis of 58 Theobalds Road, W.C.1. being appointed manager.
The ship was laid up at Falmouth, and interestingly John Lawson Metcalfe, (holding no certificate) was appointed master on October 28 1950, and on January 23 1952 there was a Bill of sale by Barclays Bank to Charles Barnett of Chateau Le Toc, Alderney, being entered the into Register 28 January 1952.
The ship’s register was cancelled on 1953 13 August 13 1953, the ship being broken up. This on advice from owners.
Pictue : WSSPL
RADFORD swinging in St. Peter Port Harbour.
Picture : 201w 31.5k
Vessel alongside in Weymouth.
Operator Commodore Cruises Ltd.
Builder Dickie & Sons, Bangor. 1942
Tonnage 1947 101grt 53nrt
1948 120grt 64nrt
Dimensions 1947 112.0(rl) 17.8 7.65
1948 108.4(rl) 17.8 9.5
Propulsion Twin screw, Gray Marine Motor Corp, Detroit. 330 BHP
RED COMMODORE is a unique vessel in Channel Islands shipping history, as her charter for the Guernsey to Sark services in 1947 resulted in the formation of Commodore Shipping which today is known as Condor Ferries.
Built as RMS 537 in 1942 she was registered to at London to Charles Barnett September 4 1947, the owner being the MD of Commodore Cruises Lim.
RED COMMODORE arrived in St. Peter Port on September 9 1947 on charter to Sark Projects Ltd. who were starting a service between Guernsey and the other islands. The company failed, but the owners of RED COMMODORE saw the potential of operating this type of craft on the route, and returned the following year in their old right.
The vessel had departed St. Peter Port on October 29 1947 bound for Newhaven, but returned to Guernsey on July 28 1948 to operate for Commodore Cruises Ltd.
She operated the summer season, and departed back to Newhaven on October 29 1947 and was not seen again.
Due to material alterations the ship was re-
Following her Guernsey service the ship was sold by Bill of Sale dated June 5 1951 to Commodore Cruises Ltd, and then on May 2 1952 she passed to Walter Fletcher CBE MP (co owner of Commodore Cruises Ltd.), and the Register was closed on October 20 1952 upon being broken up.
Picture : WSPL 301w 443k
RED COMMODORE This ship holds a special place in Commodore / Condor history, as it was a result of her charter for the Sark service in 1947 that Commodore Cruises Ltd commenced a year later, and Commodore Shipping Ltd. was set up in 1952. The company was involved in the formation of Condor Ltd in 1964, taking full control in 1983. In 2003 the Commodore Group changed its name to the Condor Group.
Owner A. Collenette.
Builder William. Hepple & Son, Low Walker on Tyne, Newcastle on Tonnage 82grt 20nrt Tyne. 1869
Dimensions 84.3(rl) 18.0 9.4
Propulsion Paddles, 33 HP
Registered in Guernsey on October 7 1869, she arrived in St. Peter Port on October 22 from her builders. Apart from towing sailing vessels in and out of the harbours, RESCUE (I) also undertook excursions within the islands, and is noted as operating one to Jersey on June 6 1870.
It is interesting that details from the Ships Registry states that she remained owned by Abraham Collenette through her time in Guernsey, whereas the Mercantile Naval List gives her owner from 1873 as William Warren Bird, Senior, also of Guernsey.
The ships spent a relative short life of only nine years in Guernsey, being sold in October 1878 to William Brown of Monkwearmouth, Durham, and the ship being registered in Sunderland. He was not the sole owner with 28 shares, others being Robert Lumley Cook, (also a steam tug owner) having 21, John Hazard, (master mariner) having 10, and John Brown, (waterman) having 5.
But this changed in only three months, due to the death on January 24 1879 of William Brown, resulting in his shares passing to Elizabeth Brown. On September 5 1893 John Brown sold his 5 shares to R. L. Cook, and on July 26 1895 all other shares in the vessel passed to him, but a mortgage was held still by Elisabeth Brown. Robert Lumley Cook was shown as trading from 12 James William Street, Sunderland.
The ship did stay long in his ownership as she foundered 4 miles S.E. by E. of the Harbour Light at Sunderland on August 3 1897.
Picture : 303w 209k
RESCUE (I) About to depart St. Peter Port
Owner John T. Laine.
Builder J.T. Eltringham, South Shields. 1878
Tonnage 1878 104grt 10nrt
1888 111grt 0nrt
1890 94grt 10nrt
Dimensions 101.4(rl) 18.0 9.3
Propulsion Paddles, SR, 1cyl 35 " -
Built to replace a vessel of the same name, and at a time that two screw steamers had been built for Guernsey trade in the previous four years, it is surprising that paddles as a method out propulsion was selected. Sailing vessels were still being towed in and out of port, but the excursion trade was starting to build up in the Islands.
Registered in Guernsey on July 9 1878 to John Thomas Laine, the vessel is noted operating a excursion from Greve de Lecq, Jersey to Sark on August 28 1878, and also provided excursions to Sark.
By 1887 she was owned by the Guernsey Towing & Trading Co. which had been formed by Mr. Laine, and by June 1895 the vessel no longer had a passenger certificate.
With a new vessel building she was sold by a Bill of Sale dated May 7 1896 to John Murray of South Shields, though the ship had departed St. Peter Port for South Shields the day before. The press report stating that she was to be used as a trawler. On May 22, 2 shares in the vessel passed to Thomas Murray, and she remained with them until her registry was closed on September 16 1913 having been sold for breaking up at Slikkerveer, Holland.
Picture : 310w 321k
RESCUE (I) Embarking passengers
Picture : 301w 288k
Pictured at the end of the North Pier in Jersey.
Picture : jws 1045
RESCUE (II) seen inside Creux Harbour Sark. Note that there is no landing opening landing in the end of the jetty, something which was built so that once the south pier head was built and vessels no longer entered the harbour, passengers 203w 51.9k
Picture : 321w 98.5k
Moored off Creux Harbour.
Owner Owner Alderney Steam Packet Co. ., (Mgr N.P. le Cocq Barbenson.)
Builder Bow, McLachlan & Co. Ltd., Paisley 1904
Tonnage 224grt 88nrt
Dimensions 130.0(rl) 23.2 11.5
Propulsion Single screw, SR, 3cyl 13" 20" & 30 " -
Purchased by the Alderney Steam Packet Co in April 1927 to replace the paddle steamer HELPER, RIDUNA arrived in St. Peter Port from Appledore at 22:00 hrs on Monday April 29, having left the English port at 18:30 hrs the previous day.
The next day, May 30, she ran three pleasure trips round Herm and Jethou in the evening, each with full load of 200, and the following day made her maiden voyage to Alderney, still with the white hull of her previous owners, and four days later on June 3 she made her first call at Sark.
On October 6 1928 management of the company passed to Peter Thomas Mignot and Edward George Willis, but the company was in difficulties and was placed into liquidation in 1929, with a new company of the same name being registered in Guernsey. It had offices at 39 Pollet Street, with Peter Thomas Mignot being the sole manager, and a bill of sale dated November 18 placed the vessel in the hands of the new company.
This move did not resolve the problems, and less than two years later on February 2 1931 it was announced that the company was to be taken over by the St. Malo & Binic Steam Ship Co. Ltd., but the deal did not include RIDUNA.
She remained for a short period to cover the overhaul of COURIER which she replaced the following day February 2, and maintained the services until making her last trip to Sark on March 9, and to Alderney on March 10/11 1931, the last sailing of the Alderney Steam Packet Co.
On March 31 1931 the ship left St. Peter Port at 20:30 hrs bound for shipbreakers at Plymouth, being officially sold to William Hubert Davies, Freeman's Wharf, Storehouse, Plymouth, by bill of sale dated May 18. Her registry was officially closed on March 26 1932.
The vessel had been built in 1904 as H.M.S. ARGUS with her first crew joining on March 4 1905, and she remained as such until 1916 when she was transferred to the H.M. Coast Guard service as the cutter ARGON.
At the end of the 1914-
In Guernsey, the paddle steamer HELPER was not an ideal vessel for the services to Sark and Alderney. The point was proved on March 31 1927 when she suffered damage to a paddle box and also plating at Sark, the result was that it was decided to replace her with the laid up vessel, and she was acquired by a bill of sale dated April 23 1927.
RIDUNA arriving St. Peter Port in her white livery..
Picture : 487k
Vessel seen at Alderney.
A lovely picture of RIDUNA now with a black hull passing the Cambridge berth.
Note PRINCESS ENA in the background. Date on the back of the post card is
July 19 1928. 338w 214k
Picture : 341w 50.4k
The vessel enters St. Peter Port at speed. 341w 50.4k
Owner Thomas Rose.
Builder F.C. Clarke, West Park, Jersey. 1851
Tonnage 83 3379/3500 burthen tons : 129gr
Dimensions 125.3(rl) 18.0 9.3
The vessel was built at the Jersey shipyard of F. C. Clarke at West Park for the Jersey owner Mr. Thomas Rose.
Appropriately named ROSE the vessel was launched on May 30 1851 and it is stated that the boiler from SUPERB (wrecked on the Minquiers) was installed on June 13, and she made a trial trip to Guernsey on July 21. ROSE then made a trip to Guernsey and Alderney July 30 before entering the trade to Saint Malo the day after.
The service must have run into difficulties 1853, as on December 27 the newspaper stated that “the vessel has been acquired by Jersey & Australian S.N. Co, and should should soon leave for Melbourne.”
In the event this did not take place, as the paper reported on February 3 1854 that “the vessel has been acquired by Jersey Steam Navigation & Towing Association”. The had a new boiler installed in the April, and she took up service to Granville on May 13, with the service being advertised on June 2 under Jersey Steam Packet Co.
The vessel had in fact been sold on May 9 to Giffard Nicholas Le Quesne, Thomas Rose, George Mann and Charles Orange all trustees of the Jersey Steam Packet Company.
On August 26 1856 the vessel was in distress off the Minquiers, and was towed to Jersey by SIR FRANCIS DRAKE.
Two months later on 17 October, it was stated that the greater part of shareholders have with other speculators decided to purchase a swifter vessel, and on May 22 it was stated that the vessel had been sold to Mr. Allen of the Jersey Steam Packet Co.
The vessel arrived in Jersey for the last time on October 4 1861, and was then laid up until being sold on October 10 1862 to Captain John de Caen who had the vessel repaired by Mr. George Innis before sailing for London on October 30 on speculation.
She remained there, still registered in Jersey, and on June 10 1863 she was registered to William Hutchison Thomson, London, and was again sold on December 24 1863 to John Yuill who on that day moved the port of registry to London, and four days later on December 28 she was registered to
Donald Macgregor, of 24 Harrington Square, Regents Park.
The new owner then sent the vessel across the Atlantic Ocean to take part in the American Civil War, but she was too small and slow to make an impression. Still named ROSE she ran aground off Georgetown on June 2 1864 when inbound from Nassau, and was then destroyed by WARSUTTA,
Though some information state that she was captured by the Federals.
Picture : Jersey Heritage Trust collection
P. J. Ouless sketch dated October 30 1858
Picture : Jersey Heritage Trust collection
P. J. Ouless sketch dated June 24 1859
JOY BELL II Guernsey -
Owner Mr Rose.
Builder Lloyds, Albert Yard, Woolston. 1924
Tonnage 60gr 32net 27dw
Dimensions 71.4(rl) 16.0 8.2
Propulsion Twin screw, Gardner & Sons, 4 cyl oil engines, each 48 HP
Passengers 106 pass
This vessel first came to the Channel Islands in 1929 having been acquired in June by Mr. Rose of Cherbourg, who was the agent at the port for the White Star Line. He placed her on the route between Carteret and Gorey. The venture was not a success and ceased after only two years.
The vessel had been built in 1924 as UNITE, for Montagu Aubrey Lloyd. at his yard at Woolston, Southampton, and registered at Southampton on June 6. On April 21 1926 she passed to Lloyds Albert Yard & Motor Packet Services Ltd., and on June 6 1929 her certificate was cancelled upon sale to Mr. Rose of Cherbourg
Following her two years at Carteret she was purchased by Sark Motor Ships of 6 New Street, St.Peter Port., with Manager/owner being Duncan Henderson C.B.G., La Ville Ruissel, Sark.. She was registered in Guernsey on May 29 1931 as JOY BELL II, but she had a short life on the service, being lost on February 24 1933 when she broke from her moorings at Sark and was dashed to pieces.
Picture : 101w 12k
Two post cards of vessel in Carteret.
Picture : G.P.C. Ltd. 305wa 93k
JOY BELL II in Creux Harbour, Sark.
Picture : G.P.C. Ltd 300wa 39k
JOY BELL II nearing Cat Rock.
Picture : Unknown 31owa 122k
JOY BELL II seen here with COURIER (1886) outside Creux Harbour, Sark.
Pictured between May 1931 and February 1933