Paddle Steamer Picture Gallery


PS Embassy (ex Duchess of Norfolk)

Builders: D & W Henderson Meadowside Glasgow 1911

Propulsion type: Paddle Compound Diagonal

Owner: London & South Western Railway, London Brighton & South Coast Railway, Cosens & Co Ltd

Service dates: 1911 - 1967

Tonnage: Net 154 Gross 381


Many vistors will remember Embassy of the Cosens fleet as shown here, in this previously unpublished slide of her at Swanage on 17 July 1966. This slide has been kindly loaned to me by Cyril Perrier, who took the photograph. Embassy was not acquired by Cosens until 1937, when she was purchased from the Southern Railway. Built as Duchess of Norfolk, she was the last of a series of Duchesses and was the final vessel built for the London Brighton & South Coast and London & SouthWestern Railway joint fleet. Her builders did a good job as she saw over 55 years of service including two World Wars.

She ran originally between Portsmouth and Ryde on the Isle of Wight. In May 1916 she was requisitioned by the Admiralty for minesweeping duties, a role she repeated in the Second World War. In the Great War she sailed as far as the Mediterranean, returning for reconditioning in July 1920. She maintained the Isle of Wight service from Portsmouth until she was purchased by Cosens in 1937. Cosens gave her an extensive overhaul and her appearance altered considerably. After the Second World War she was converted to oil burning and sailed for Cosens from Weymouth and later Bournemouth, being the final steamer to operate regularly from Bournemouth until her withdrawal for sale to Dutch breakers. She left Weymouth harbour for the last time on 25 May 1967.

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