British Railways Board (BRB)British Transport Commission (BTC)FerriesPast and PresentSociété Nationale des Chemins de fer Français (SNCF)

TS Brighton (VI) – Past and Present

IMO Number: 5051896

TS Duchesse de Bretagne

ex Brighton (VI)

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.
  • IMO Number: 5051896
  • 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

Brighton – 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  

Brighton – 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

Brighton – Roy Thornton Collection (Southampton 19/05/1950)

© the late Henry Maxwell (courtesy of John Hendy)

Brighton – © the late Henry Maxwell (courtesy of John Hendy)

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

Roy Thornton Collection Roy Thornton Collection  

Brighton – Roy Thornton Collection (Fotoflite & Postcard)

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

Courtesy of Michael Woodland

Brighton – Courtesy of Michael Woodland (Folkestone, July 1966)

Roy Thornton Collection Courtesy of John Hendy  

Brighton – Roy Thornton Collection (Left) and courtesy of John Hendy (Right)

© John Hendy © John Hendy  

© John Hendy

Brighton – © John Hendy (all)

© William MacDonald Courtesy of Chris Howell  

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

September 18th 1966: Withdrawn following a final trip from Newhaven.

© A G Jones

Brighton – © A G Jones

© A G Jones © A G Jones 

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

© William MacDonald

Brighton – © William MacDonald

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 

La Duchess De Bretagne – © John Hendy (both)

Courtesy of Derek Longly

La Duchess De Bretagne – Courtesy of Derek Longly

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, Derek Longly, William MacDonald and Michael Woodland for their assistance in producing this feature.

Special thanks to the late A G Jones

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

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