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Paddle Steamer Frenchman

Mike Wilson, Local Author and Historian

Very early last century, a popular paddle steamer in Bridlington was Frenchman. She was built in 1892 as Couquet in South Shields by J. P. Reynoldson for H. Andrews of Newcastle. In 1899 she was owned by United Towing Co. of Hull and renamed Frenchman.

From 1899 she began service in Bridlington as a pleasure craft. Some time after, permission was given to exhibit a board on the North Pier which displayed the sailing times for Frenchman. However, the board was banned on Sundays.

In 1906 she was so popular that she was lengthened to accommodate more holidaymakers.

Captain Spence was in charge of the vessel on 22nd July, 1921, when she visited the town. She later returned to Hull on 7th October.

In 1927 she left the town and returned to Hull.

Eventually, the superstructure was removed from the Frenchman and the hull was used as a dumb barge and coal hulk by United Towing at Church Lane Staith on the River Hull. She was later towed to New Holland and scrapped in 1963.

The Frenchman awaits its cargo of tourists eager to see the majesty of Flamborough and its cliffs.

The Frenchman is going astern out of the harbour while another paddle steamer, Scarborough, is tied up alongside North Pier.