Paddle Steamer Picture Gallery


DEPV Talisman

Builders: A & J Inglis, Pointhouse 1935

Propulsion type: Diesel Electric Paddle

Owners: London North Eastern Railway, British Transport Commission, Caledonian Steam Packet Co

Service dates: 1935 - 1966

Tonnage: Gross 544


This picture was taken by Tom Deas, who has kindly allowed me to reproduce it here. It shows Talisman leaving Millport Old Pier enroute to Kilchattan Bay at the end of the morning run from Wemyss Bay and Largs. Tom took this picture circa 1964.

Built at a cost of 48,900 Talisman was the world's first diesel electric paddle vessel, having four British Polar diesel engines, connected to electric generators. These engines were not immediately successful and gave the ship considerable trouble, which resulted in her sudden withdrawal at the peak of the 1939 season. With a service speed of 17 knots she was requisitioned by the Admiralty as HMS Aristocrat, serving as an anti aircraft ship and in other roles until her reconditioning after the war. For a press cutting upon her return to service in 1946 click here. Her engines continued to give trouble and she was re engined in 1954 but this affected her service speed which fell to 12 knots. She remained popular, with a passenger capacity of over 1250 and had Decca radar fitted in late 1958. She continued in summer service until her withdrawal in 1966, after which some sailings which she would have undertaken were full, resulting in restricted sailing tickets. Perhaps she was withdrawn too soon?

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