The Princess Alice
|The Princess Alice. © NMM|
The paddle steamer Princess Alice was launched at Greenock in 1865.
Originally known as the Bute, she served on the Wemyss-Arran route for a year.
In 1866 she was bought by the Watermans Steam Packet Company (later the London Steamboat Co).
Renamed the Princess Alice, she served on the Thames excursion routes for 12 years.
Her last journey
|A formal group at the Rosherville Gardens, Northfleet. © NMM|
On 3 September 1878, the Princess Alice made the routine trip from Swan Pier near London Bridge to Gravesend and Sheerness.
She carried hundreds of Londoners, many of whom were visiting Rosherville Gardens in Gravesend.
By 7.40 in the evening, she had completed most of the return journey. She had passed Tripcock Point and turned into Galleons Reach. She was not far from the North Woolwich Pier, where many passengers were to leave the vessel. Precisely at this time, the Bywell Castle was steaming towards her.
|The North Woolwich Pier today. © NMM|
The Bywell Castle
The Bywell Castle was a far larger vessel. She was a steam collier of 890 tons.
|The Bywell Castle. © NMM|
She had just been repainted at Millwall Dry Dock, and was returning to Newcastle to pick up a cargo of coal destined for Alexandria in Egypt.