Interior views

By Stephen Morris

Further to the previous photos taken on a visit to Falaise during her winter lay-up, these are some additional pictures taken of the interior. 

Perhaps the engine room views capture something of the difference with a steam turbine engined ship to the modern diesel engine. 

I hope this may bring back memories of cross-channel journeys for many in our first converted car ferry on the Newhaven-Dieppe route.

Photo:The view from the swing bridge

The view from the swing bridge

Photo:Oil-fired boilers for the steam turbines

Oil-fired boilers for the steam turbines

Photo:Engine room controls

Engine room controls



Photo:The galley

The galley

Photo:Forward seating area

Forward seating area

Photo:Aircraft style seating - port side

Aircraft style seating - port side

Photo:Propellor shaft

Propellor shaft

Photo:Car deck with ramp to upper level

Car deck with ramp to upper level

This page was added by Stephen Morris on 16/09/2016.
Comments about this page

Thanks for putting these great pictures on the site.  So few people ever took interior, or engine room views on the steamers. It is a real pleasure to have these to look through, bringing back as they do so many memories of what these older ships had to offer compared to the modern day motor driven ferries. 

By Derek Longly
On 18/09/2016

For all my years in the town and my connections with the harbour, I only sailed on Falaise once - though I got a 'guided tour' when she first arrived. Can't remember that much about that visit, I was only 6.

But the crossing I made was unforgettable, coming back empty to Newhaven from Dieppe in a F10 to F11 NW storm and slamming our way across! I loved every second of this (my friend didn't!) and spent a lot of time on the bridge watching the ship whack her way through the seas. But I did have a good walk around the ship (they said I could go anywhere, so I did) and spent some time in the engine room with my older brother Barry - I think he was 2nd or 3rd engineer at the time. So I remember the cramped conditions, with all those pipes, gauges and dials. He let me operate the main controls when we arrived off Newhaven, going from ahead to astern. (Quite why the 'old man' came in stern first in that weather I have no idea, it must have moderated on our side of the Channel. I was looking forward to watching Meeching swing us in the harbour. Senlac's engine room was so different!

As for the dining area, I was the only diner - my friend had bailed out of lunch - so I had VIP treatment from the stewards - and managed to eat the two sirloin steaks that had been prepared for us. I don't know if steak was on the normal menu, but it sure helped having my Dad as skipper of the Meeching and my friend's Dad as Port Manager!

So once again, your photos bring back plenty of memories, please keep them coming! 

By Andy Gilbert
On 21/09/2016

Thanks Stephen for posting the photos.  Never went on Falaise but was able to see her from my bedroom window (Saxon Road), when she went up to the Marine Worshops.  

By Alec Paddy
On 23/09/2016

Fantastic photos of my old ship. I spent 9 years working in the engine and boiler rooms. It is hard to imagine that photo 9 of the car deck is where all the passenger cabins were before conversion. When you took these photos the ship was off service, so is that the ships ghost in photo 7 outside the pursers office port side looking forward. I knew this ship did have many strange things going on whilst I was aboard her is this the answer to all our problems we had.

This was the only time we went to the marine workshops bow first, going upriver with the flood tide we were going to fast and were having a problem to stop, we stopped just as the bow touched the old swing bridge. 

By Mick Cutler
On 30/09/2016

I never went onboard the Falaise, but I recall seeing her moored up, seemingly for ages, before she was sold and taken away. We had some great ships like her and the Lord Warden (Rumour abounded that she was going to be sunk with a number of other ships to raise the Titanic by strapping them to the wreck and pumping them full of air). All nonsense as the location of the Titanic hadn't been established back then. I once went into the engine room of the Senlac, as Ian Courtney, one of the engineers lived close to my parents and he said I could pop down. The engineers were replacing a damaged piston. They had it upside down and it was full of the contents of a whole crate of Methylated spirit, which they lit to warm it up enough to put the gudgeon pin in. They played cards whilst it warmed up, I seem to recall.

By Keith Johnson
On 30/09/2016

I have a photo of Falaise berthing up at the Marine Shops on that occasion, Mick. Meeching was on refit and the relief tug that time was the tiny London river 'tosher' tug Kitava. She wouldn't have been much help in stopping Falaise!

By Andy Gilbert
On 01/10/2016

Thanks for all the comments about these photos, taken along time ago! Just to answer Mick's comment about the figure in picture 7. No need to worry, it was a friend of mine you can see seated who came with me on the sightseeing visit, Peter Ashdown (his brother Brian was on the lifeboat crew). I have a few more Falaise pictures to look out, maybe a part 3?

By Stephen Morris
On 04/10/2016

Oh my goodness...such memories of my worst ever ferry crossing [to date]..I have written about it before..It was 1969, late August, most likely, in the school holidays.

The harbour at Dieppe was very attractive..I seem to remember the ferries being alongside the old Quay, and when a ship is moving up and down in the harbour, you just know it will be a lively crossing.

''Oh look, white horses!'' said mum, as the waves were cresting in the distance.

As the 'chocks' were put under vehicle wheels, dad said ''we are in for a rough crossing''

The Saloons had a horrid mustard coloured yellowy green carpet, stained with old vomit..poor cleaners,..who on earth thought it would be a good idea to put carpets in a public ferry?? Impossible to keep clean, especially as passengers 'in extremis' just puke anywhere. :/

The Falaise rolled and heaved and I began to feel headachey, mum had disappeared to the ladies, where she stayed for the duration of the crossing.

A female passenger was lying prostrate on the floor in the Ladies, desperately seasick according to mum..poor woman.

I asked dad ''how long til we land?'' he looked at his watch and said ''we have been at sea one and a half hours...so two and  half to go''...It couldn't be possible! It felt we had been at sea for hours at least.
Dad sent me off to but some biscuits..the kind chap at the cafe[?] said ''don't eat them til you get home dear, they'll only come up again''..I took him at his word.

I wanted fresh air, to escape from the tobacco smoke..but the decks were closed..all we had was a sort of large open 'window' in the side of the ship, and passengers crowded at this place, desperate for fresh air. ..A seasick man pushed us kids out of the way, saying ''unless you want sick in your hood, let me pass to the front''.

The journey was miserable, and never have I been so glad as to see the dear familiar cliffs of England approach..so near yet so far.

These photographs really do bring back memories of those holidays..thanks :)



By Catherine M
On 08/07/2017

I found a 'flyer' leaflet at an antiques fair  for ''Falaise'', advertising cruises, mentioning ''Week-end cruises by 'S.S.Falaise'  to Havre, along the Seine to Rouen, also to the Channel Islands, St Malo {for Dinard} Dieppe and Cherbourg
From £9 9s 0d. Inclusive.
British Railways
It has a green tinted image of Falaise on a breezy day with billowy cumulus clouds and a brisk sea.

Some info about accommodation and pricing, and  about stabilisers {really? Did she have  a 'Denny Brown Stabiliser' ''an effective anti rolling device''?..Would dread to feel how she would have been without them... Little ships on the Channel are like corks, Size 310 ft , 3,710 tons, engines 8,500hp.
She is the largest cross channel steamer operating from Southampton, and the first Post War Steamer to be delivered for service to and from France and the Channel Islands.
I can photograph the flyer, If you'd like.

She did indeed have Denny Brown stabilisers and they did really help, but they're really to stop the rolling (side to side) motion. If you are running into a sea or away from it, the up and down motion is called pitching, and the stabilisers don't help much, if at all. Worst of all is a sea on one of the aft quarters which produces a corkscrewing motion - very unpleasant! 

Falaise's gross tonnage was reduced to 2416 when converted to a car ferry.

You can create your own page for the flyer or you can email the photo to one of the Editors to create a page for you.

Andy - Editor

By Catherine M
On 26/06/2019

If you're already a registered user of this site, please login using the form on the left-hand side of this page.