8th March 1961 Monarch’s Bell

Supporting the preservation and operation of paddle steamers Waverley and Kingswear Castle

8th March 1961 Monarch’s Bell

On the afternoon of Wednesday 8th March 1961 the bell from Cosens’s first Monarch, built in 1888, was presented by Charles Kaile, a director and former general manager of Cosens, to the PSPS. It was accepted on behalf of the society by Captain Louis Thomas, who had often sailed on the ship as a boy, on the deck of Embassy laid up for the winter outside their workshop in the Weymouth Backwater.

Cutting from Dorset Evening Echo, 9 March 1961.

The press report states that the bell “will be used at the society’s meetings to call members to order.”

Monarch’s bell in situ on her fo’c’stle, June 1926.

Get out your magnifying glass and you will see the bell in its original position at the aft end of the Monarch’s fo’c’stle just above clanging height and so mounted suitably high and so out of reach of inquisitive children.

Charles Kaile (centre in hat) presenting Monarch’s bell to PSPS aboard Embassy.

Others in the group who attended that afternoon to witness the presentation are from left to right: my Dad Winston Megoran, R E West, Sidney Davis (Company Secretary of Cosens), ?, Charles Kaile, Capt Thomas (Chairman of the Wessex Branch), Mrs Stephanie McGurk (daughter of Capt Thomas), Peter Ellis, Donald Jones, Victor Gray and Russell Horwood.

It was a nice gesture from Cosens following close on the heels of the campaigning the PSPS had undertaken in the previous January to try to save the second Monarch. In the end the PSPS had not been able to save the ship but stretching out the hand of friendship Cosens had given us the bell of her predecessor. This now resides in the PSPS collection.