Seaside Brighton 1904

Fishing Smack, Brighton, 1904
From the private collection of Sam Flowers
Paddle Steamer, Brighton, 1904
From the private collection of Sam Flowers

More from the old album

The first photo was labeled “fishing smack”.  Probably hard work working on “SM62”, but how enjoyable it must have been to watch … last seen beyond living memory?

Information welcomed

Particular thanks to Robin Jones for the very interesting 6-part local paddle steamer history on this website.  However, I can’t decide on the name of the paddle steamer of the second photo, or say with certainty the pier landing stage from which it is seen departing.

Your information and comments are welcome.

Comments about this page

  • Another great pair of photos, Sam. Thank you for posting them. The paddle steamer looks not unlike the paddle steamer Waverley, which has been an excursion boat for many, many years and is still sailing. I wonder if this could have been an early iteration?

    By Philip Burnard (01/05/2019)
  • Not wishing to sound too pedantic… but that sailing vessel is not a ‘smack’. I recently reviewed a book about Sussex Coastal Trades which has a glossary and silhouettes of various sailing craft.
    A ‘smack’ is defined as -” an historical term describing small single masted trading or fishing vessels.”
    This craft has two masts, so could be a- “yawl: a small fishing or trading vessel with a small mizzen mast stepped abaft the rudder post. Gaff rigged.”
    The mizzen sail is quite a size so is possibly a ‘ketch’ -“a larger trading or fishing type with much bigger mizzen mast forward of the rudder post compared to the yawl. Gaff rigged.”
    I am only a land-lubber so will bow to greater salt-water wisdom!

    By Geoffrey Mead (01/05/2019)
  • Hello again, Philip. Thanks for your message. After futher study I’m now thinking we may well be looking at P.S. Worthing Belle.
    As the case with them all, of course, this steamer would have visited numerous piers in the South East – not only Worthing Pier – but I happened to view a period photo of the pierhead and landing stage there and the S.W. section seems identical to that shown in this photo. So it may not have been taken at Brighton after all !
    Can someone prove otherwise ? As said before, I stand to be corrected …

    By Sam Flowers (01/05/2019)
  • All detail is much appreciated, Geoffrey.
    Thank you for a clear and interesting reply : I’m pleased to accept the photo depicts a ketch. Sorry for the delay in getting this sent to you.

    By Sam Flowers (19/05/2019)
  • The paddle steamer is P. S. Worthing Belle departing from Worthing Pier. She was built in 1885 by Barclay, Curle & Co. of Glasgow for the North British Steam Packet Co. and originally named Diana Vernon. She was purchased by Captain J. Lee in 1901 for £3000 and was renamed Worthing Belle. She was registered at Shoreham and went into service on 4th April 1901. She was eventually sold to the Turkish administration de Navires a Vapeur Ottomane for services as a ferry on the Bosphorus and was renamed Touzla. She served as a gunboat in the Sea of Marmara during World War 1, then resumed her ferrying service after the war until finally being scrapped in 1926.

    By Robin Jones (25/05/2019)
  • Thank you for your excellent summary of the life of P.S. Worthing Belle, Robin, and for confirming that the view is taken from Worthing Pier. You’ve provided more detail that I had been able to find. A long-lived and varied career, indeed.

    By Sam Flowers (28/05/2019)

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