- Salters Steamers
Salters Steamers, formerly known as Salter Bros, is an old family firm based around
boatingon the River Thames, originally established in 1858. The company runs passenger services in summer along the whole length of the River Thames between Oxfordand Staines. They also hire boats from Oxford (at Folly Bridge), Reading, Henley-on-Thamesand Windsor. In Oxford in particular, punts are available.
The firm was established when John and Stephen Salter took over Isaac King's boat building firm based at Folly Bridge in Oxford. They built many of the beautiful
Oxford University barges at Christ Church Meadow, used over many years as a base for the various colleges for the sport of rowing. These have now all been replaced by boat houses.
On the death of John Salter, the firm passed to his three sons (John, James and George) and become known as Salter Bros, building boats. In
1888, the company started a steam boatservice between Oxford and Kingston upon Thames, using the boat "Alaska", previously bought in 1883.
Alaska was built in 1883 as a private vessel but was purchased in 1886 by Salters who used her from 1887 to start their Oxford to Kingston return service. Alaska is still operating today under the management of Thames Steamers Limited.
The service between Oxford and Kingston operated until the 1960s. The entire journey took three days. When the through service became uneconomic the company concentrated on local services between Folly Bridge, Oxford and
Abingdon, Reading and Henley, Marlow and Windsor and Windsor and Staines. More recently, Salters passenger services have been reintroduced between Abingdon, Wallingfordand Reading, and between Henley and Marlow. Through journeys are therefore again possible, with changes of boats. The journey between Oxford and Staines takes 4 days.
* Hibbert, C. (ed) (1988) "The Encyclopaedia of Oxford", Macmillan ISBN 0 333 48614 5
* [http://www.salterssteamers.co.uk/ Salters Steamers]
* [http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/salterssteamers/company.htm Company history]
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