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Flamborian leaves Bridlington, 1998

Mike Wilson, Local Author and Historian

In June 1998, Flamborian sailed from Bridlington harbour for the final time. The photograph shows her on her penultimate voyage. After the following trip, I was the last fare-paying passenger to leave her decks.

During the 1960's, Boys' Own was structurally altered, being refitted by Trevor Silverwood. She was then renamed Flamborian. Her original engines were replaced by twin Gardner 6LXs at 116hp each. She had a riveted steel hull with cruiser stern and straight stem with an overall length of 21.5m. She had a beam of 5.2m, with 1.4m draught. Her fuel consumption was about six gallons per hour. Her gross tonnage was 52.22 with a registered tonnage of 27.17.

Des Connelly purchased Flamborian in 1970 from Trevor Silverwood. He passed on captaincy of the Flamborian to his son Julian after an accident. Over the 1986/87 winter, at both Scarborough and Grimsby, the vessel had an extensive refit, at both Scarborough and Grimsby. Des Connelly remained a frequent visitor at the harbour until his death in 1993 when Julian took over control of the business. Sadly he too passed away in 1995 and his wife, Andrea, briefly took charge, with help from the crew and others in the seafaring community.

Flamborian cruised with up to 160 passengers to Flamborough Head, viewing the shipping lanes, the cliffs, and the seabird colony at Bempton. There was a bar and toilets on board, and during cruises a running commentary was given by the skipper.

On Sunday, 21st June, 1998, Flamborian sailed out of Bridlington harbour into the bay for the last time. She had been bought by Croson Ltd and the Bournemouth, Poole and Swanage Steam Packet Company at Swanage in Dorset. There she was to be renamed Swanage Queen.

Flamborian went south to be operated along the Dorset coastline with the hope that any profit made from her working could be ploughed back into her restoration. She deputised on all the services normally operated by the Dorset Belles including a cruise to Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight. Since then lack of funds and motivation left the Flamborian sitting on the market for many months.

Flamborian eventually made a six-hour journey from Weymouth to Exmouth on 18th January, 2004. Her 44-year-old engines started first time and she then sailed the fifty miles to her new home. It was planned that she would re-enter service in 2006 with Stuart Line Cruises.

When built, she could carry 172 passengers and was powered by twin 88hp Kelvin diesel engines, which at 750rpm gave her a speed of ten knots. Her registered tonnage was registered at 25.2 The skipper was then J. R. Newby and the engineer was Mr W. Newby.

The bvessel underwent Board of Trade trials in the Humber and was tested three times over a measured mile, twice against the tide and once with it. The average speed was ten knots.

At present, December 2014, she is used as a houseboat on the river Seine near Paris.