Welcome to the ABA! Bell Talk Forums Large Bells Bell from the Empress Queen

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    • #10620
      Anonymous
      Inactive

      Peter asks:

      I recently returned from Greece with a 12″ ship’s bell. I assume it is brass and the name “Emperess Queen” is engraved in an arch on the bell. First, is there any way to track the history of the bell? Second, is this a valuable bell? and lastly, how do you hang such a heavy bell? The bell has a bar across the top with the ends slightly bent downward. In the center of the bar there is a bolt/pin which allows the bell to swing (I assume to compensate for when the ship rocks so it doesnt engage the string pulled dapper. The bar does not appear to be brass.

      Response #1

      Dear Peter, I did an Internet Search and found the following information and a photo of the wreckage. I’d still like a picture of the bell when you figure out how to download it. Carolyn
      http://www.forelands.demon.co.uk/Empress.html
      The Empress Queen The Empress Queen was launched in 1897 for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Limited and was at 372ft long, with a gross tonnage of 2140 the biggest cross-channel paddle steamer in British waters. Her mighty triple-expansion engine could carry her 2000 passengers at over 21 knots. She was a record breaker, crossing from Liverpool Rock to Douglas Head (on the Isle of Man) in 2 hours 57 minutes. The Empress Queen was taken into Government service in 1915 as a troop ship, but ran aground, in fog, on Bembridge Ledge at the beginning of February 1916. The Bembridge Lifeboat Queen Victoria made a series of dangerous and difficult rescue attempts. On the third trip the lifeboat collided with the ledge and was damaged, however she made a fourth trip and in all rescued all 110 men on board along with the ship’s cat and dog. The lifeboat Coxswain John Holbrook was awarded the RNLI Silver Medal. Part of the Empress Queen’s superstructure can be seen clearly at low tide. Paddle Steamer Resources by Tramscape http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/tramways/EmpressQueen.htm
      TS Empress Queen Launched on February 29th, 1940 by Ailsa Shipbuilding at Troon?Engines : Turbine?Dimensions : 269.5 ft x 37.5 ft?1781 Gross Registered Tonnes Campbell’s largest vessel and only Turbine steamer, ordered to improve their competitiveness on the routes to France from the South Coast?Served during the war as a troopship, particularly between Stranraer and Larne?From 1947-50 she was put on the south coast inter-resort service for which she was too large and found to be poorly manoevrable?Moved to Torquay on the South Devon coast in 1951 for longer cruises, especially to the Channel Islands?These routes were not sufficiently profitable and Empress Queen was sold to Greek owners in 1955 leaving Bristol on April 3rd?Reengined with diesels and names MV Phillipos, she served for many years for the Kavounides cruise fleet. Return to: P and A Campbell?P and A Campbell – Sussex Operations?P and A Campbell – South Devon Operations?British Steamer Index http://www.simplonpc.co.uk/IOM_EmpQueen.html Empress Queen This page is devoted to postcards and photographs of the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company (IOMSPCo) paddle steamer Empress Queen. A.W.Moore wrote in 1904:- The Empress Queen is said to be the largest and swiftest paddle steamer in existence. She has only surpassed the Prince of Wales’s record of two hours and fifty-nine minutes between the “Rock” and Douglas by two minutes, but she is, on an average, some twelve minutes faster between Liverpool and Douglas than that steamer. She has accommodation for no less than 2,000 passengers. She is more than three times as long as the first steamer – the Mona’s Isle (1) – owned by the Company, and the proportion of her tonnage and indicated horse-power is as eleven to one and thirteen to one, respectively. Empress Queen (1897-1916) IOMSPCo official postcard of Empress Queen at Douglas. Posted August 5th, 1913 from Liverpool to Ramsey, IOM. http://freespace.virgin.net/tom.lee/emprqueenimg.htm TS Empress Queen Builders: Ailsa Shipbuilding Company Troon 1940 Propulsion type: Twin screw geared turbines by Harland & Wolff Owners: P & A Campbell Ltd Service dates: 1940 – 1951 Tonnage: Gross 1781 Comments: Empress Queen was Campbell’s first twin screw turbine and represented a major change in design for the company. She was a good looking and powerful ship and was designed for the cross channel trade to France. In the event she was not to enter pleasure services until 1947, after seeing war service as Queen Eagle. Even after the Second World War she was not to visit the French ports, due to the restrictions still in force, and she was tried in a number of other roles. She was really too big for some of the smaller piers and she had difficulty in the River Avon, where she needed the assistance of tugs to help her navigate the river. She left the Avon almost immediately and started service from Brighton in July 1947. She was later tried out of Torquay (to Guernsey), but in 1955 after a period of being laid up, Campbell’s decided to sell her abroad. When the cross channel trade was resumed it was too late for her as she was operating out of Piraeus as “Philippos”, and cross channel trips were undertaken by Glen Gower. This picture comes from a series of three pictures of her I have from a family album and has on the reverse “1958 Newhaven”, although this must be incorrect as she is recorded as being in Greece at that time. The pictures are more likely to have been taken in 1947/1950 when she was operating on the South Coast. http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/fulltext/mf1923/p13.htm

      Peter’s Reply:

      Wow, I keep saying wow. I kept reading the article you sent and at first thought the rendering was the same boat as the picture but noted that there were in fact different ships. Then I realized that the photos is of the a much later boat, the TS Empress Queen…..I am not sure what TS stands for but it is not on my bell….does that mean it rules that ship out? Through the century there must of been many Empress Queens?
      Now my curiosity is spiked …..I will take a picture today and get one of my computer geek friends to down load it for us…..And the old man wanted to sell me the more expensive shining new bell and couldn’t understand why I liked the old crusting bell i found under an oxen yoke and a ton of antiquated horse drawn plows….also probably worth something. later, Peter

      Ok it is most likely the TS Empress Queen…..for it was ultimately sold to Greek owners reengined and renamed and that is probably when the bell was removed….My guess it was done right there in the ship building town of Galaxidi (My grandmother’s home town) just below Delphi. TS Empress Queen Launched on February 29th, 1940 by Ailsa Shipbuilding at Troon Engines : Turbine Dimensions : 269.5 ft x 37.5 ft 1781 Gross Registered Tonnes Campbell’s largest vessel and only Turbine steamer, ordered to improve their competitiveness on the routes to France from the South Coast Served during the war as a troopship, particularly between Stranraer and Larne From 1947-50 she was put on the south coast inter-resort service for which she was too large and found to be poorly manoevrable Moved to Torquay on the South Devon coast in 1951 for longer cruises, especially to the Channel Islands These routes were not sufficiently profitable and Empress Queen was sold to Greek owners in 1955 leaving Bristol on April 3rd Reengined with diesels and names MV Phillipos, she served for many years for the Kavounides cruise fleet.

    • #13171
      neily101
      Participant

      Dear Peter
      My grandfather Ronald Hiller was the chief engineer on the TS Empress Queen through her life in the UK. If you are every thinking about selling the bell, I would love an opportunity to purchase the bell on behalf of my family. I know this is a long shot but hopefully you will get to read this.
      Many thanks
      Neil

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