Paddle Steamer Ryde
I remember this paddle steamer in service when I was a child off
the Ryde Pierhead. Then later aged 16 it was turned into a disco
where I bopped a few nights away.
The Ryde is currently in a very poor state, and is reaching a time where it may be too late to save her. She needs as much support as she can get at the moment, . The website is to make people aware of the fate that may await her and also to bring back fond memories that people may have of her.
Commissioned by the Southern Railway in 1936 to replace the elderly Duchess of Norfolk on the company's Portsmouth to Ryde service, the Ryde was built by the renowned Clydeside shipbuilder William Denny & Bros of Dumbarton at a cost of £46,000.
Like her elder sister, Sandown, she would be powered by triple expansion engines and her design would present a modern yet graceful profile, drawing on decades' experience of Solent paddlers. Launched on St George's Day 1937, Ryde was soon undergoing her sea trials in the Firth of Clyde, achieving 14½ knots over the Skelmorlie measured mile.
With the trials behind her, she now made the long voyage south, through the Irish Sea and around Land's End to her new home on the Solent. But after barely two years in service and with Europe again menaced by war, the new ship was requisitioned by the Royal Navy along with Sandown and converted into a minesweeper.