Wooden paddle steamer Flambeau, built Robert Duncan, Greenock, 1840
180 grt, 80 nrt, 139 x 19 x 10 ft; 80hp engines
Initially provided services in the Clyde to Arran and Rothesay, then excursions and towing from Liverpool, 1843 on.
From 1847, registered Liverpool, owned S. Howes; later owners Samuel Howes, John Crippin, Samuel Fryer.
Sank 19 December 1847, after collision in River Mersey with Woodside
ferry WIRRAL, off Canning Dock, while
seeking a tow. The Inquiry held that the master of WIRRAL was at fault
for not keeping a proper lookout from the bridge between the
Wirral was an iron paddle steamer built Lairds 1846, owned Birkenhead Commissioners, 192grt, 111nrt, 109 x 21 x 11 ft, 60hp
Register closed 1851 when described as "lost", also reported as broken up in 1851.
[from Liverpool Mercantile Gazette and Myers's Weekly Advertiser - Monday 11
For SALE, The fine fast going Steamer FLAMBEAU. - From improvements recently made in the machinery, her speed has been increased, and she is in first rate order. Apply to Caird & Co., Greenock, 21st April, 1842.
[from North Wales Chronicle - Tuesday 18 July 1843]:
NORTH WALES STEAM PACKET TCOMPANY wishes to inform the Public at large that they have placed on the LIVERPOOL and MENAI BRIDGE STATION, that splendid new and powerful three-masted Steam Packet THE FLAMBEAU, Superior to any that has ever yet been on this station. She will leave George's Pierhead at Half-past 10 every Morning, and return from the Menai Bridge at 4 o'clock in the afternoon of each day. The Flambeau made her first trip from George's Pierhead, Livernool, on Saturday the First of July, beating the Erin-go-bragh 1 hour and 25 minutes, both starting same time.
P.S. - The Company has also to inform the Public that the Flambeau is a remarkably steady boat at sea, steers well, and braves the ocean in that gallant style that she is ranked amongst the first class of steam yachts England ever yet produced. The Flambeau (which is returning same day) completed her passage in 3 hours and 30 minutes. Also she is fitted in a most superior manner for the accommodation of the public.
[from Liverpool Albion - Monday 28 August 1843]:
STEAMER FLAMBEAU. We, the undersigned were Cabin Passengers on board the steam-ship FLAMBEAU, commanded by Captain Kemp, from Liverpool to Bangor, on Thursday, the 24th instant, and we hereby bear testimony to the superior sailing qualities of the ship, she being amongst the swiftest of her class, and having less motion than any boat we have ever known. ... Some later letters question the safety level aboard a tug used for excursions.
[excerpt from Liverpool Mercury - Friday 25 June 1847]:
CHEAP TRIP TO MENAI BRIDGE. The splendid fast-sailing Steamer FLAMBEAU, of 90-horse power, Well-known on the Bangor Station, Samuel Fryer, Commander, Will leave the GEORGE'S PIERHEAD on SUNDAY MORNING, the 4th July next, at Eight o'clock, and proceed to the MENAI BRIDGE, calling off BEAUMARIS and BANGOR to land passengers; remaining there sufficient time to see the surrounding beauties of the vicinity of Menai Bridge; and returning to Liverpool the same day, in time for the last train to Manchester; thus affording to persons residing out of Liverpool a delightful sea voyage, and convenient return home the same day. The Flambeau performs the voyage to Beaumaris, on an average, in four hours and a quarter, (weather permitting).
From Liverpool Standard. January 2, 1848.
THE LATE COLLISION IN THE RIVER MERSEY. - The most active efforts have been used by the owners of the Flambeau to raise her, but so far without success. During the operations on Sunday, one of the chains under the steamer snapped, and her stern part dropped suddenly (quite a dead weight) into the bed of the river, thereby causing a jerk upon the bow and fore part, which immediately separated those parts of the vessel from the other, from the bow to the paddle beams, a length of about 30 feet. That effort was therefore fruitless, and the destruction of the vessel seemed inevitable. The fore deck, part of the bow, the cabin stools and tables, bulkheads, etc., were soon floating in the river, and were picked up and secured. The owners now consider it doubtful whether the vessel will ever be raised. She is lying on the outside of Pluckington Bank, opposite the Albert Dock, in a depth of four fathoms at low water, and is fast filling with sand and mud. We learn that, today at low water, a diver is going down to take a survey of her present position, and see if there be any further chance of raising her; and if not, to ascertain whether it is likely she may be a permanent obstruction to the navigation of the river if she remains as at present. Should she be abandoned by the owners, we have heard it intimated that it is probable the corporation will endeavour to remove her by blowing her up. The value of the vessel is estimated £3,000, and the cost already incurred in the endeavour to raise her at between £300 and 400. It is said that the cause of the accident is likely to furnish materials for the lawyers.
From Liverpool Standard and General Commercial Advertiser - Tuesday 14 November 1848
THE STEAMER WIRRALL. - This Woodside steamer was brought to auction on Friday, by order of the High Court of Admiralty for running down the "Flambeau" - and was sold for £3,250. But the ratepayers of Birkenhead will be glad to learn that she has been purchased by Messrs I. H. Hind and Co., with the view of hiring her to the Birkenhead Commissioners, at a reasonable rate per diem, until the commissioners are in a position to reimburse to them the bare purchase money, when the boat will again become township property. She was almost a new, and a very favourite boat, and had cost nearly £7,000.