Ps Brittany

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The lengthened Brittany enters Le Havre in the 1890s
An earlier picture of Brittany in St Helier Harbour

The next new London and South Western Railway vessel following the Normandy was the Brittany which was an iron paddle steamer of 525 tons, built for the London South Western Railway by J Ash and Company of Cubitt Town. She had engines developing 250 hp and did 14 knots. Her maiden voyage to Jersey was on 17 November 1864, under Captain Goodridge. Brittany was lengthened in 1883 and was then of 678 tons. She ran many years between Southampton and the Channel Islands but after 1889 she switched to the Le Havre route and was not seen in the islands after 1890.

One unusual voyage on 16 January 1866 resulted in the ship being forced by weather to the east of Jersey, and the passengers were landed in St Catherine's Bay.

Brittany was finally sold in 1900 to T W Ward and broken up at Preston.

Passenger complaints

2 September 1869

Two gentlemen alighting their cab on Victoria pier look to be carrying a heavy burden but have no trunk. The gangway to the London and South Western Steamer Brittany was not yet in place, and on asking their predicament, they replied they had been over just to attend the Trinity races.

"We are loaded with hams, bread, cheeses and of course liquor," replied a bearded gentleman with a heavy London accent.

The other traveller, a taller man of some elegance, looked at the steamer with a scowl:

"The second class cabin was a disgrace on our crossing to Jersey. The coffee was little better than dishwater, sweetened, at a charge of 6d. (£2.27 in today's money). Two ladies asked for a cup of tea. One was sour from curdled milk, they were charged one shilling. (£4.54 in today's money). In England at a small coffeehouse, a pint of tea would cost you 1½d (54p in today's money)".

They commented that on their passage to Jersey, dinner had cost 2s 6d (£11.34 in today's money), and was served with the worst meat, and with total disregard for cleanliness or comfort. The passengers remarked they had looked into the first class cabin and spotted a meal which was up to the standard of a first class hotel. [1]

Notes and references

  1. From Facebook group Maritime Jersey, by Mark Pulley
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