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The ferry run by the North and South Shields Ferry Company began service in 1829. However; steamers had been carrying passengers on the Tyne since 1818 [Ref: Lewenhak, Sheila. Steamships and Shipbuilders of the Industrial Revolution]. The use of the future tense (e.g. "Then away to St Steven's, and get a Steam Act" and "But we ne'er need delay, if we a had Steam Ferry") suggests that the song predates the establishment of the ferry.

 

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