MV Western Belle

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Career (UK) Red Ensign (UK)
Name: MV Western Belle
  • River Tamar (1935)
  • River Dart (1985)
  • River Thames (2000)
  • Laid Up (2005)
  • Builder: Fellows, Great Yarmouth
    Launched: 1935
    Sponsored by: Miss Molly Thorne
    Status: Laid up in Maryport, Cumbria; awaiting refit
    General characteristics
    Type: Twin-Screw Motor Vessel
    Tonnage: 56.24gt
    Length: 69.9 feet (21.3 m) LOA
    Beam: 15.3 feet (4.7 m)
    Draught: 5.4 feet (1.6 m)
    Decks: 2
    Propulsion: Diesel
    Capacity: 147 Passengers.[1]

    The MV Western Belle is a twinscrew passenger vessel, presently laid up at Maryport, Cumbria, UK. She is owned by Ullswater Transit and Navigation Company (The Ullswater Steamers). It is understood that she is awaiting refit, but it is not known what her intended route will be. [2]


    Built in 1935 by Fellows & Co of Great Yarmouth in East Anglia for Millbrook Steamboat & Trading Co Ltd. She was used principally on excursion services from Plymouth, and also on the Plymouth - Millbrook ferry. Her excursion routes were varied, covering the whole of the River Tamar, to the River Yealm, and coastal cruises as far as Looe in Cornwall. During the Second World War she continued to run the Millbrook ferry, and was very busy carrying people from the city to the countryside each night, to avoid the Blitz. In 1955 she was briefly charter to British Railways for use on their Dartmouth - Kingswear Passenger Ferry, afterwards she resumed service from Plymouth. In 1985 The Millbrook company, by this point owned by Dart Pleasure Craft Ltd of Dartmouth, abandoned its services in Plymouth, mainly due to competition with Plymouth Boat Cruises, and the MV Western Belle was transferred to the River Dart. [3]. She operated on all of the 'River Link' services of Dart Pleasure craft, including Dartmouth-Totnes, the Dartmouth-Kingswear Ferry and circular cruises from Dartmouth.

    In 2000 Dart Pleasure Craft took over G.H. Riddalls and Sons, their main competitor on River Dart services. With the increase in size of the fleet, the MV Western Belle was surplus to requirements and she was sold to Chris Cruises of Hampton Court on the River Thames, where she was used for charters [1]. In 2008, she was sold to Ullswater Transit and Navigation Company and laid up at Maryport in Cumbria. It should be noted that the MV Totnes Castle was also bought by this operator. She was transported overland to Ullswater, and became the MV Lady Wakefield in 2007 [4]

    External links


    1. 1.0 1.1 Hammar GP. Trip Out 2005/06, Self-Published, 2005
    2. Irish Sea Shipping News,, July 27, 2008 Update
    3. Kittridge,A. Steamers & Ferries of the River Tamar & Three Towns District, Twelveheads Press, 2003
    4., Ullswater Steamer website, Referenced 2009