Published: September 13, 2010
Historic Balmoral passes Burnham-On-Sea during sail-by

The historic 50 year-old ship Balmoral glided past Burnham-On-Sea on its annual trip to pick up passengers this morning (Monday, September 13th).

The Balmoral was on a trip up the River Parrett to Dunball, near Bridgwater, to collect several hundred passengers booked on an excursion around the Bristol Channel.

It was met in Burnham by the Harbour Master and docked in Dunball before setting sail a few minutes later with the passengers onboard.

The ship saied by Burnham last September, but cancelled its visit in 2008 due to bad weather. It is the oldest and largest ship to sail by Burnham each year.

The Balmoral was built in Southampton in 1949 and operated under the Southampton Red Funnel Fleet for 20 years. She then moved to the Bristol Channel where she became the last member of P&A Campbell's famous White Funnel Fleet. When operations ceased in 1980, the Balmoral moved to Dundee to become a floating restaurant, and there she stood, gradually falling into disrepair until she was rescued by the friends and supporters.

She returned to service in 1986 and to this day operates her main summer season in the Bristol Channel, offering day excursions to various coastal resorts, as well as making visits to other ports and piers throughout the UK in the spring and autumn.

In Winter 2002, the Balmoral was fitted with new engines, thanks in part to a £750,000 contribution from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The Balmoral can accommodate up to 750 passengers and has a restaurant onboard plus two licensed bars, a heated observation lounge and shop.

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