British Railways Board (BRB)FerriesPast and PresentSouthern Railway

TS Hythe (II) – Past and Present

Official Number: 148613

TS Hythe (II)

Roy Thornton Collection

TS Hythe (II) – Roy Thornton Collection

Steel twin screw steamer, built and engined by D. & W. Henderson, Glasgow, in 1925 (Yard No 706) for the Southern Railway

Technical Data

  • Length on Deck: 69.82m (220.7 ft)
  • Breadth of Hull: 10.24m (33.6 ft)
  • Depth: 4.30m
  • Tonnage: 685 (1925), 988 (1939), 844 (1948) gross/269 (1925), 267 (1939) 306 (1948) net/298 deadweight
  • Engines: Two Self-Reduction 6-cylinder 15”,25”,41”-24”steam turbines
  • Power: 1,850 ihp
  • Speed: 15 knots
  • Capacity: 5 passengers, 30,000 cu ft of cargo space
  • Call Sign: MNKS
  • Registry: London
  • Number in Book (Lloyds Register) 1945-46: 26168
  • Official Number: 148613
  • Sister Ships: Deal (818), Minster (634) Tonbridge (633), Whitstable (707), Fratton (720), Maidstone (II)(729), Haslemere (719) Ringwood (730)


From 1924 to 1928 nine new twin-screw cargo steamers were put into commission on the Dover, Folkestone and Southampton services by the new Company (Southern Railway) ; the above seven were allocated to Dover and Folkestone, the remainder being based at Southampton, though a certain amount of interchanging has occurred from time to time. These ships were all alike though their gross tonnage varied between 680 and 750; they came from Meadowside Yard of Messrs. D & W Henderson, Glasgow, the firm so closely identified with the old Anchor Line. They were handsome ships of their class, each with a single funnel, two masts and cruiser stern. They appear to be credited with a maximum speed of 15 knots.

May 24th 1925: Launched. Based at Dover, but later moved to Folkestone and finally went to Southampton to supplement the cargo services to the Channel Islands during the produce seasons of 1933 and 1934.

TS Hythe (II) – Roy Thornton Collection

February 1940: In collision with French trawler ADINE; slipway repairs at Boulogne lasted two weeks.

June 16th 1940: Sent to Quiberon Bay to evacuate British and French civilians.

June 17th 1940: Plymouth to St Nazaire.

June 19th 1940 – June 28th 1940: Served as military transport and took part in the evacuation of the Channel Islands.

April 29th 1941: Left Southampton for Preston.

May – June 1941: Used as a military store-ship and made regular sailings to Belfast and Londonderry.

1942: Coastal trader in Northern waters including Leith and Orkney.

June 1945: Withdrawn for coastal trading.

August 9th 1945: Returned to owners service, Folkestone – Calais forces mail.

March 4th 1946: First post-war Folkestone – Boulogne cargo service.

June 1948: At Southampton for the summer.

May 1949: Became a permanent member of the Southern Railway fleet, though she went off on relief duties to other ports including Weymouth.

Courtesy of Michael Woodland  

TS Hythe (II) – Roy Thornton Collection (left) and Courtesy of Michael Woodland (right)

August 23rd 1955: Made her last visit to Jersey. Then a spell of relief duty.

January 31st 1956: Delivered at Dover to be broken up by Dover Industries Ltd.

All information is believed to be correct and no responsibility is accepted for errors or omissions. All items included in this article are subject to © copyright. We would like to take this opportunity of thanking: Michael Woodland for his assistance in producing this feature.

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

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