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Dover: Lock and Key of the Kingdom

The Calais-Douvres

The ‘Calais-Douvres’ was a modified version of the ‘Castalia’,  having two complete hulls and far more powerful engines. She  arrived at Dover on 5 May 1878 and had her first trial run from  Dover to Calais on 9 May. Her first working trip with passengers  was on 29 May but on return to Dover she burst two cylinders in her engines and was driven against the Admiralty Pier,  damaging her starboard bow. She was repaired locally and after  trials in mid-July was put back into regular service on 29 July. The ‘Dover Express’ reported in February 1879:   “The running between Dover and Calais of the ‘Calais Douvres’  during the past season appears to have justified expectation.  She performed the trip with great regularity making good and  quick passages. There was a great increase in comfort and  considerable reduction in the incidence of seasickness. During the season, upwards of 55,000 passengers crossed in  her, or an average of 715 per day, a number which on many  occasions would have involved the necessity of running two of  the ordinary mail boats.” Using some 40 tons of coal a day she was expensive to operate  and found it difficult to maintain the demanding schedules of  the mail ships. She was finally withdrawn in 1888.  
The 'Calais-Douvres' in the Tidal Dock. The 'Calais-Douvres' at the Admiralty Pier.  The photograph above came onto the site as a result of a query from Australia. It comes from the album of Mary Ellen Jaunay nee Cawley (1860 - 1925) held by Graham Jaunay of Adelaide, South Australia. The 'Calais-Douvres' at the outside berth of the Admiralty Pier c.1885. Back to Ferries and Shipping Index