From the MEWS archive

Anthony Mount

This fascinating model was shown at a Brighton exhibition.

PS Slieve Donard was a United Kingdom passenger paddle steamer that in different periods of her history was also called PS Albion and HMS Albyn. Albion is the name she bore the longest and may be the one by which she is better known in England. Slieve Donard was her original name and the one by which she will be best known on the island of Ireland.

J&G Thomson launched Slieve Donard in 1893 for the Belfast and County Down Railway (B&CDR). In 1900 she joined P&A Campbell's White Funnel Fleet of pleasure steamers and was renamed Albion. From 1915 she served with the Royal Navy as HMS Albyn. She was bombed in 1917 and scrapped in 1921.

J&G Thomson of Clydebank built the ship for the B&CDR for more than £18,000. Thomson's fitted her out with a capacity for a combined total of 1,065 passengers and crew. The B&CDR named her Slieve Donard after the highest peak in the Mourne Mountains in County Down.

Slieve Donard entered service on 20 June 1893; her regular route was between Belfast and Bangor, for which the scheduled journey time was 55 minutes.

In 1899 the B&CDR sold Slieve Donard for £12,500 to Captain Alexander Campbell, co-founder of the P&A Campbell pleasure steamer company. The Campbells renamed her Albion and added her to their White Funnel Fleet. In 1915 the Admiralty requisitioned Albion, renamed her HMS Albyn and had her converted into a minesweeper. With the Royal Navy she was stationed at Dover and in 1917 was bombed and set on fire by enemy action.

After the First World War she was scrapped in 1921 but P&A Campbell had her engines salvaged. Ailsa Shipbuilding Company of Troon installed them in PS Glen Gower, which they built for P&A Campbell and launched in 1922.

Photos from the MEWS archive.