Builders: Gourlay Bros Dundee 1898
Propulsion type: Paddle, compound diagonal two cylinder
Owners: General Steam Navigation Co Ltd
Service dates: 1898 - 1928
Tonnage: Net 273 Gross 647
This photograph is a WE Groom original and has never been published before. It shows the PS Eagle (thinner funnel and on the right) with PS Golden Eagle (left) at Greenwich and was clearly taken when Ted Groom was on another paddle steamer, almost certainly a Belle steamer. It is reproduced her by kind permission of Victoria Groom, Ted's grand daughter.
In design, Eagle was not unlike the Belle Steamer fleet ships, with whom she was in competition. Her peace time career was spent on the London-Southend-Margate-Ramsgate-Deal and Dover service. During the First World War, she saw service as a minesweeper, returning to the GSN Co Thames fleet in 1920. In that year, my father had his first trip on her and indeed his first trip on a paddle steamer. He was, however, only a few months old and in a basket and he tells me he cannot remember anything of the trip!
He can, however, remember travelling on the coal fired Eagle as a child and hearing through one of her ventilators the stokers banging on their shovels and calling "Don't forget the stokers!", a request for pennies to be dropped down to them - a practice not generally approved of by the Company!
Eagle's saloon windows were rectangular and of generous size although, as can be seen when compared to Golden Eagle, she had a rather narrow funnel. Originally, she was fitted with a main mast which was later removed. With Captain Knight as her master, she had her name on the bows, in gilt riband and she sported a gold line around her hull. Her paddle boxes were white with the Company's crest in the centre. She was sold in 1929 to shipbreakers in Holland, where her hull was resold and converted into a landing stage on the River Maas.
Thames Steamers Index
Back to Contents Page