Dispatch

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Dispatch off La Moye
Dispatch 1848
Dispatch at Granville
Dispatch 1849

In 1847 the New South Western Steam Navigation Company was formed. It bought out the South Western Steam Packet Company's ships and property for £56,623 also the South of England Steam Packet's ships and property for £29,000 and in part cost of three new ships Express, Dispatch and Courier, £42,870. This company was loaned £50,000 by the London and South Western Railway Company.

This new company renewed the 5 year mail contract for £4,000 in April, 1848. 1851 saw the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company sued by the South Eastern Railway Company for owning ships contrary to law, so afterwards the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company chartered ships from a Mr Maples who had a cargo service operating from Littlehampton to the Channel Islands and from Newhaven to Dieppe. These ships were chartered for eleven years until the Act of Parliament, of 1862, allowing the railway companies to own and operate ships.

The sister ship to the Courier, Dispatch made her maiden voyage to Jersey on 2 May 1848.She was a similar vessel, an iron paddle steamer, with two funnels and a clipper bow. Her first trip was from Poole, which was then a newly made packet station. Dispatch continued from Jersey to St Malo and then returned to Poole but was later transferred to the Southampton station.

She was commanded by the well-known Captain George Babot.

In 1853 a major refit saw her provided with new boilers, and being repainted in new South Western Steam Navigation Company colours. Another refit six years later saw the addition of an aft saloon, and two years further down the line saw major changes to the paddles, boilers and steam supply. This resulted in her returning to service in 1861 with a measured speed of 13.2 knots.

However, newer and larger ships were introducted by competitors on the Channel Island routes and Dispatch was moved from one service to another before being withdrawn from service in 1888.

In her early years Dispatch was pictured with two funnels, but at some point, probably before 1872, the fore funnel was removed.

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