Thanks Clive, once again I was thinking laterally instead of directly - I pictured 'steam reserve' as being reserve boilers
The Steam reserves as of June 2 1888
Division of the Medway Steam Reserve are complete, and crews have been allotted for a most powerful fleet, comprising two first-class battle-ships, two first-class cruisers, three second-class cruisers, two third-class cruisers, and two gun-vessels, together with a large flotilla of torpedo boats. The following is a list of the ships of war in the Medway ready to hoist the pennant as soon as the order is given for the mobilisation scheme to be carried out: The Benbow (12 guns), first-class battleship, 10,000 tons, 11,500 horse-power, speed attained 161 knots; the Rodney (10), first-class armour-plated battleship, 9700 tons, 11,500 horse power, speed attained 17 knots; the Warspite (10), first-class armour- plated cruiser, 8500 tons, 10,000 horse-power; the Northampton (12), first-class armour-plated cruiser, 763U tons, 6010 horse-power; -the, Mersey (12), second-class protected cruiser, 3550 tons, 6000 horse- power; the Severn (12), second-class protected cruiser, 3550 tons, 6000 horse-power; the Arethusa (10), second-class protected cruiser, 3750 tons, 5500 horse-power; the Mohawk (6), third-class torpedo cruiser, 1630 tons, 3500 horse-power; the Tartar (6), third-class torpedo cruiser, 1630 tons, 3500 horse- power the Grasshopper (1), first-class torpedo gun- vessel, 450 tons, 3000 horse-power; and the Slaney (3), iron gunboat, 363 tons, 370 horse-power. All these vessels, with the exception of the Northampton and Slaney, are of recent construction, and have never been out of English waters. Two of them, the Rodney and Benbow are among the most formidable warships afloat, the Rodney carrying four 69-ton breech loading guns in her barbettes and the Benbow two 110-ton breech loading guns. These vessels are plated with armour 18in. in thickness. The Grasshopper has a record of 19 knots per hour . The cruisers Mersey and Severn have attained a speed of 18 knots per hour at their steam trials; and the Arethusa, Warsplte, Mohawk, and Tartar, are capable of steaming 17 knots per hour. The Northampton and Slaney are much slower, having speeds of only 13-2 and 91 knots respectively. The total number of guns carried by these vessels is 94, ranging in calibre from the 110-ton guns of the Benbow to the 64- pounder guns of the Slaney. The aggregate tonnage of the fleet is 52,75j3 and horse-power 66,940. All the ships are armed with breech loading guns excepting the Northampton and Slaney, which are mounted with muzzle-loaders. The fleet is also equipped with three-pounder and six-pounder quick firing guns (of which 77 are carried), and Nordenfelt and Gardner machine guns, and the Slaney is the only ship not fitted with a torpedo armament. The cost of these vessels is about four millions sterling, and it is unquestionably the most formidable reserve fleet that has ever existed in the Medway.
Cardigan Observer 2/6/1888