PS Ryde

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Paddle steamer "Ryde" - geograph.org.uk - 156552.jpg
PS Ryde at Binfield, Isle of Wight, in 2006
Career Civil Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Name: PS Ryde
Owner: Southern Railway (1937–39)
Royal Navy (1939–45)
Southern Railway (1945–47)
British Railways (1948–70)
Island Marina Holdings (−2010)
Operator: Southern Railway (1937–47)
British Railways (1948–70)
Port of registry: United Kingdom Portsmouth (1937–39)
United Kingdom Portsmouth (1939–45)
United Kingdom Portsmouth (1945–70)
Builder: William Denny and Brothers, Dumbarton
Launched: 23 April 1937
In service: 1937
Out of service: 1970–2010
Identification: Code Letters MMKG (1937–39, 1945–79)
ICS Mike.svgICS Mike.svgICS Kilo.svgICS Golf.svg
United Kingdom Official Number 166061 (1937–70)[1]
Fate: Scrapping started, but halted
General characteristics
Tonnage: 603 GRT
237 NRT[1]
Length: 216 ft 0 in (65.84 m)[1]
Beam: 29 ft 1 in (8.86 m)[1]
Draught: 10 ft 0 in (3.05 m)[1]
Installed power: Triple expansion steam engine[1]
Propulsion: Paddle wheels

PS Ryde is a paddle steamer commissioned and run by Southern Railway as a passenger ferry between mainland England and the Isle of Wight from 1937 to 1969. She saw wartime service and later became a nightclub. After many years abandoned on moorings at Island Harbour Marina on the River Medina, scrapping started but was halted. A group is now trying to obtain the vessel for preservation.

History[edit]

PS Ryde 1937 – 1939[edit]

PS Ryde was commissioned by Southern Railway in 1936 as a sister ship for PS Sandown. Costing £46,000 she was built by William Denny and Brothers in Dumbarton on Clydeside. After her launch on 23 April 1937 she replaced the PS Duchess of Norfolk on the Portsmouth to Ryde Pier passenger ferry service.[citation needed]

HMS Ryde 1939 – 1945[edit]

In 1939 PS Ryde and PS Sandown were requisitioned by the Royal Navy. She was renamed as HMS Ryde and initially both were used as Minesweepers in the Dover Straits. After two years Ryde was converted to an anti-aircraft ship and served on the Thames Estuary and at Harwich. In May 1944 she travelled to Portsmouth from where she embarked to the Normandy coast to take part in the naval component of Operation Neptune on D-Day.

PS Ryde 1945 – 1970[edit]

1969 at Portsmouth.

Reverting to her pre-war name on her return to Southern Railway in August 1945 PS Ryde worked on her former route and undertook a variety of chartered trips. However, the nationalised British Railways began to commission more modern motor vessels and in 1969 it was decided to retire her.

Ryde Queen 1970 – 2012[edit]

PS Ryde.

Avoiding the scrap yard PS Ryde was bought by two Isle of Wight entrepreneurs and in September 1970 she began a new career as a nightclub. Renamed as the Ryde Queen she replaced the smaller PS Medway Queen in moorings at Binfield Marina on the River Medina near Newport.[2] In 1977 she caught fire but was repaired. However, by the late 1980s her popularity waned and the nightclub was closed. She remained derelict and abandoned on her mooring gradually deteriorating. In August 2006 her funnel collapsed[3] and she is now possibly beyond repair.[4]

In September 2009 it was announced that enthusiasts were attempting to raise funds to buy the steamer, held by receivers after her former owner, Island Marina Holdings, went into administration. A non-profit company, PS Ryde Trust, wished to restore the vessel to once again be in the condition to sail tourists across the Solent. It was estimated that £7 million would be needed for the restoration, with fundraising needs of £1,000 a month for mooring fees and £600,000 for the move to a dry dock, with the remainder of the funding coming from the National Lottery.[5] In early 2010, work began to dismantle the vessel, beginning with asbestos removal. [6] In 2012, the ship's bridge collapsed and is now beyond repair indefinitely. The PS Ryde Trust failed to negotiate a deal to save the vessel and the PS Ryde is now being scrapped.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "LLOYD'S REGISTER, NAVIRES A VAPEUR ET A MOTEURS". Plimosll Ship Data. Retrieved 7 March 2010. 
  2. ^ "Medway Queen Paddle Steamer". Retrieved 24 February 2008. 
  3. ^ "Historic vessels at Risk". Archived from the original on 2 November 2007. Retrieved 24 February 2008. 
  4. ^ "Paddle Steamer Ryde". Retrieved 24 February 2008. 
  5. ^ "A new lease of life for the old lady of the sea?". Isle of Wight County Press. Retrieved 9 October 2009. 
  6. ^ "Paddle Steamer Ryde Trust". Paddle Steamer Ryde Trust. Retrieved 31 January 2010.