100th Anniversary

Isles of Scilly Steamship Group

As part of our year of celebrations to mark the Steamship Group’s 100th anniversary in 2020, we are showcasing the Isles of Scilly Steamship groups 100-year history with a week of celebrations. These events were due to be held in June 2020, however due to COVID-19 we’ve had to postpone. We aim to hold the week long event later in the year should the situation improve and we look forward to celebrating our 100th year with an end of season party. Please keep checking this page for confirmation of dates and times. In the meantime find out more about the company’s history and the people who have made the company what it is today.

Our History - #IOSmemories

Penzance Dry Dock

Mickey Murley

Growing up in New Street, Penzance, Mickey Murley couldn’t have known he’d spend 44 years working just yards away at the Dry Dock. But although his work is close to home, it’s certainly never boring.…

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Ken Simpson

St. Mary's Airport

Native Scillonian Ken Simpson grew up dreaming of a job in transport. Now he has been part the St. Mary’s airport team longer than anyone else, he tells us what’s changed over the years.

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A memoir

Daphne Eileen Chudleigh

Daphne Chudleigh was the Isles of Scilly Steamship Groups company Secretary for 35 years, she made a great contribution to the group, notably writing ‘Bridge over Lyonesse’, dating 70 years of Steamship history. Today, we look back at her brilliant achievements and time with the company.

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Scillonian in winter

Master, Peter Crawford

Scillonian’s Master Pete Crawford has been with the company for 38 years and is the longest-serving officer in the company. In this behind the scenes series, we’ve caught up Pete to find out about life aboard Scillonian III in the winter months.

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Anniversary memorabilia

Artist Sue Lewington

Sue is producing a very special, limited edition illustrated book, in commemoration of our anniversary. The book will be available later in the year, if you would like a copy please register your interest below.

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Register Interest

Dedicated crew members

Long standing service from the beginning

There are many people who have made the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group what it is today and as part of our 100-year anniversary we’ve reflected on some of those figures. In our next series, we look back to the early days of our first ship ‘Penninis’ and at the life of loyal crew member Jack Townsend and proud Scotsman, Captain McAlister.

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Captain of Scillonian

Captain Joseph Reseigh

Captain Reseigh was the fourth generation of a family deeply rooted in west Cornwall. He gained a great deal of experience in the Royal Navy and aboard the first Steamship vessel ‘Peninnis’, before being appointed Mate on the Scillonian in 1925…

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IOS Events

Gig Racing

As part of our Isles of Scilly Memories series, this week as we approach the weekend that would have been the World Pilot Gig Championships; we are going to look back at previous championships and reminisce those #IOSmemories…

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Founding Director

Frederick Robert Ward, MBE, JP

We’ve found out about the life of one of the founding directors, F R Ward, the first Chairman and unpaid Managing Director. He was succeeded by his son, Rodney Ward, as Chairman, then later his grandson Barneslie Ward, and great grandsons Terry Ward and Andrew May…

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Inter-Island Launches

Cap’n Bob Ellis

Robert Ellis or Cap’n Bob as he was generally referred to, was born on the island of St. Martin’s and was at first a farmer on that island. He left the land to work for Banfield’s on the inter-island launch, then taken on as Captain of the Steamship Co launch in 1920, for which he was paid at the rate of £3 a week…

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Our Heritage

A Scillonian Century

We will be celebrating our 100-year anniversary, that’s 100 years of providing a lifeline service to the Isles of Scilly. From the early days of an adapted fishing protection vessel making the crossing between Penzance and St Mary’s to the development of three Scillonian’s…

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Gibson family

A picture of the past

For more than 100 years, Gibson family photographers have documented life on Scilly, as well as recording the steady growth of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company. Find out how the Group’s rich history has formed a key part of the Gibson family’s famous photographic archive…

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Scented Narcissi

A history of flower farming

Scented Narcissi from Scilly have cheered up many a home for generations with their early spring colour and beautiful scents. In 1879 an enterprising islander sent a box of wild narcissi to Convent Garden market, the buyers were so impressed…

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Passenger Ferries

The sail of the century

Day tripping, holiday making or essential lifeline, the Scillonian’s been ploughing the water from mainland to island for nearly a century. The islands first lifeline came in 1845 with the Lyonesse- a sailing cutter to carry mail and cargo…

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100 year exhibition

On St. Mary’s, there’ll be a week-long exhibition at the Wesleyan Chapel showcasing the Isles of Scilly Steamship groups 100-year history featuring displays, memorabilia and a look back at the last 100 years (date TBC).


Special play

Drama Express

Drama Express in collaboration with the Five Islands School will be performing a special play telling the story of the Steamship Group – dates & times tbc.

Sue Lewington

Artistic workshops

Artist Sue Lewington who is creating a very special Steamship Group illustrated book will be holding a series of workshops on St. Mary’s – dates & times tbc.

Wildlife Walks

Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust

Wildlife walks with the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust will include Fantastic Beasts and where we find them. Dates and times for these events are to be confirmed.

Community Event

Party on Holgate's Green

The grand finale will be held at Holgates Green. There’ll be an outdoor event with live music featuring local bands and closing with the popular Steam Band, a bar and BBQ and the night will finish with a spectacular 7-minute firework display over the harbour. This is a free event and open to all visitors and residents on the Isles of Scilly – date & time tbc.