MAIN SECTIONS >  Home  Gloucester Docks  Sharpness Docks  G&S Canal  Vessels  People  Studies
 VESSELS PAGES >  Index  For Overhaul  Museum Boats  Ships  Barges  Service Craft  Pleasure Craft

Gloucester Docks &
the Sharpness Canal


Motor Cruiser Risga

For more about Service Craft, see Bucket DredgersSuction Dredger, Fire-float Salamander, SL Sabrina,  Steam Packets

Between 1942 and 1964, Risga was used for an annual inspection of the Gloucester & Sharpness Canal and for entertaining current and potential users of the canal. In the cabin was a long table where a meal was served during the trip.

     Risga was built in 1925 as a gentleman’s motor yacht with twin engines and a schooner rig, initially based on the west coast of Scotland. In 1938, she was bought by the Clyde Pilotage Authority, presumably for ferrying pilots between shore and ship. In 1942, she was purchased by the Dock Co (Sharpness Docks & Gloucester & Birmingham Navigation Co) to replace the steam launch Sabrina that had not performed well in a recent Military & Civil Defence Exercise. Her skipper was Jesse Hooper, an old sailing ship man who always wore a cap with a bit of ‘scrambled egg’ on it as decoration.

     Following nationalisation of the Dock Co in 1948, Risga continued to entertain clients of the local management of the British Transport Commission. Her skipper then was Bill Best, who was bridgeman at Llanthony Bridge and spent much time keeping the boat in immaculate condition. After her time in Gloucester, Risga has had several private owners, and since 2005 has been undergoing a major restoration on the Chichester Harbour side of Hayling Island, near Portsmouth. To see recent progress of this work, visit YouTube and search for Risga-diaries.

     This page was inspired by a request from the present owner for any information or photographs of Risga at Gloucester, soon followed fortuitously by memories and a photo (top) submitted by a friend of the Best family now living in Canada! The other photo is from Charlie Wallace, and additional information came from a minute book of the Dock Co (TNA RAIL 864/40 m6118), from Lloyds Registers and from other memories.

Return to Top Menu   Copyright Hugh Conway-Jones 2009   Contact