Ss Brittany

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ss Brittany


Brittany at Granville in the late 1940s

As life returned to normal after the German Occupation of the Channel Islands and Jersey families began to venture back to the Continent with their cars, it was on the Brittany that they would travel

Off Sark

The third vessel to bear the name, this was a twin-screw turbine steamer built in 1933 by Denny Brothers of Dumbarton. She had a 1,522 gross tonnage and was 294 feet long and 39 feet beam. Her engines developed 240 hp, giving her a speed of 16 knots. She carried 850 passengers, which provided plenty of room for day trippers to St Malo.

Brittany was built at a cost of £83,018, originally for the Southern Railway Jersey-France service, and she also served on the Alderney, Cherbourg and Sark routes. She operated mostly in summer, being laid up over winter while the direct service from England to St Malo was routed via Jersey.

The service to St Malo, abandoned by Southern Railway in 1919, had been restarted in 1932 by the Vera after the construction of a new lock in St Malo, and Brittany operated on the route until 1939.

She was withdrawn from service on the outbreak of the Second World War, but returned to the islands to take part in the evacuation up to 21 June 1940, before joining the Royal Navy. She she was used as a transport and saw service at Dunkirk, before heading south, round the Cape of Good Hope and into the Mediterranean via Bombay and the Suez Canal.

After the war she resumed the Jersey-St Malo route from June 1946, but was called on to operate various services because of the lack of vessels in the British Railways fleet after nationalisation in 1948. The ship operated a number of excursions, including a weekly summer service from Jersey to Sark.

St Malo had been so severely damaged by bombing during the war that it was not until 1956 that excursions to France were resumed. By 1963 her owners decided to sell her, claiming that the ship and the St Malo route had never made a profit, but other vessels operated the service for two further years.

Brittany was sold to Finland and renamed Alandsparjan.

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