Roy Thornton CollectionTS Brighton (VI) – Past and Present

TS Duchesse de Bretagne

ex Brighton

Roy Thornton Collection

Brighton – Roy Thornton Collection

Steel twin screw passenger steamer built by William Denny of Dumbarton (Yard No 1428) for The British Transport Commission in 1949

Technical Data

  • Length: 95.0m (overall), 91.388m (between perpendiculars)
  • Breadth of hull: 12.37m
  • Depth: 7.25m
  • Draught: 3.39m
  • Tonnage: 2,875 gross/1,079 net/456 deadweight
  • Engines: 2 x Denny, Pametrada, single reduction geared steam turbines
  • Power: 19,000shp (16,150shp astern)
  • Speed: 16 knots (service) 24 knots (maximum)
  • Capacity: 1,450 passengers (summer)/1,417 passengers (winter)/(20 cars , 1966)
  • Call Sign: GHCN, GGCK.
  • ID Number: 505188
  • Official Number: 165208
  • Registry: Newhaven/UK, St Helier/Jersey


October 7th 1949: Launched at a cost of £637,925 (£215,446 BTC proportion) and the first channel steamer to be fitted with tripod masts.

April 25th 1950: Sea trials were conducted on the Skelmorlie mile reaching 24.5 knots.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

April 30th 1950: Left Dumbarton for Newhaven.

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection (all)

May 4th 1950: The Brighton was delivered to British Railways (Southern Region) / Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Francais (SNCF) and introduced between Newhaven and Dieppe.

Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection (Southampton 19/05/1950)

© the late Henry Maxwell (courtesy of John Hendy)

© the late Henry Maxwell (courtesy of John Hendy)

June 1964: Relegated to relief work and no-passport excursions.

Roy Thornton Collection  Roy Thornton Collection

Roy Thornton Collection

July 1966: Made a pilgrim trip from Folkestone to Boulogne.

Courtesy of Michael Woodland

Courtesy of Michael Woodland

Roy Thornton Collection   Courtesy of John Hendy

Roy Thornton Collection (left) and courtesy of John Hendy (right)

© John Hendy  © John Hendy

© John Hendy

© John Hendy (all)

© William MacDonald  Courtesy of Chris Howell

© William MacDonald (Left) and Courtesy of Chris Howell (Right)

September 18th 1966: Withdrawn following a final trip from Newhaven.

© A G Jones

© A G Jones

© A G Jones  © A G Jones

© A G Jones (Newhaven 14/10/1966)(both)

December 1966: Sold to Mr Cowasjee the owner of Jersey Lines Ltd. , and under the name LA DUCHESSE DE BRETAGNE she sailed to Antwerp for a three months refit and rebuild (drive-on drive-off facility for 25 cars).

April 30th 1967: Left Antwerp after rebuild.

May 15th 1967: Initiated an unsuccessful cross-Channel venture between the Channel Islands and Torquay.

© John Hendy   © John Hendy

© John Hendy (both)

1968: Excursions included Southampton/Torquay and Plymouth to Jersey.

1969: Commenced service between Jersey – St Malo – Torquay – Plymouth – Portsmouth.

1969: Owner went bankrupt and the ship was arrested in Southampton.

July 18th 1969: Sold to Messrs Pounds and towed to lay-up in Tipner Lake, Portsmouth.

1970: No owner could be found so she was sold for scrap.

February 14th 1970: Towed to Bruges Ship-Breakers Co in Ghent, Belgium.

August 6th 1970: Scrapping commenced.

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: John Hendy, Chris Howell, A G Jones, William MacDonald and Michael Woodland for their assistance in producing this feature.

Article © Nigel Thornton and Ray Goodfellow (Dover Ferry Photos Group)

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