Author: Frank Snart

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

Special Notice – MV Balmoral

The Balmoral Support Group have arranged the following public meeting in Southampton. Saturday 2nd November 2013 at 11.00. The venue is the Holiday Inn, Southampton SO15 1HJ. This meeting will precede the Wessex & Dart branch, Paddle Steamer Preservation Society meeting that follows at 14.00. Members of the group will outline their future vision for…
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Paddle Steamer Waverley South Coast Sailings

South Coast sailings from 6th until 26th September 2013. For full details of all sailings visit  Phone 0845 130 4647 SOUTHAMPTON DEPARTURE POINT: Sail from Southampton Docks. Sept 7, 8,13,14 &15 sailing from 104 berth, dock gate 10, Western docks. Sept 20, 21 & 22 sailing from 49 berth, Eastern docks. Car Parking normally available – charges…
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Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle’s first public sailing from Totnes

On Sunday 16th June Wessex Branch members and friend travelled by coach from Bournemouth and Dorchester to board PS Kingswear Castle for her first public sailing from Totnes since her return home from the Medway. Kingswear Castle approaching Totnes Steamer Quay View from Kingswear Castle approaching Totnes Chris Wood Chairman of the Wessex Branch presenting…
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PS Monarch Charter

The small Paddle Steamer Monarch is due to enter service in May this year offering cruises along the river Frome from Wareham Quay. Monarch was built in 1984 and has seen service in Kent and on the Medina in the Isle of Wight. Extensive refurbishments have been carried out which involved her sponsons and paddle…
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Paddle Steamer Ryde

The sad sight of PS Ryde taken on Saturday 2nd March 2013  

Paddle Steamer Monarch Refit

The following pictures of P S Monarch show the work being undertaken to return the steamer to servicesailing from Wareham   The boiler is due back within the next month from being overhauled and repaired with new tubes fitted. The engine is currently being modified so as the main drive shaft also drives the Water…
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Kingswear Castle Refit

Visit the following link for details of PS Kingswear Castle’s refit

PS Kingswear Castle returns to Totnes

On Thursday 7th Febuary Kingswear Castle steamed up the River Dart from Dartmouth to Totnes on a trial run. This was her first call at Totnes since 1965. Since her last visit Steamer Quay has been widened so there is now a reduced turning space to allow KC to cant before heading back down river…
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Balmoral and P & O 175th Anniversary 3rd July 2012

Views of the P & O liners taken from MV Balmoral during a special cruise from Portsmouth to view the seven liners in Southampton Docks and later in the day to view the ships sailing. MV Balmoral alongside at Portsmouth awaiting passengers Adonia Azur and Shieldhall   Ventura Aurora Oriana Oceana Arcadia  

MV Balmoral early July 2012 South Coast Visit

 MV Balmoral alongside Swanage Pier  MV Balmoral departing Swanage on Monday 2nd July 2012 Alongside Yarmouth Pier Wednesday 4th July    MV Balmoral departing Yarmouth Isle of Wight for Portsmouth on Wedneday 4th July


The Monarch has been rescued by two Wareham based enthusiasts. Plans are in hand to move her to Wareham where a full programme of restoration and improvements are planned before the steamer commences operations based at Wareham Quay. Both skilled and unskilled volunteers are urgently required, if you are or you know anyone who is…
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Waverley South Coast

PS Waverley approaching Swanage Bay PS Waverley alongside Swanage Pier PS Waverley alongside at Southampton PS Waverley alongside at Southampton Crew of PS Waverley at Weymouth on 21st September 2011 All photographs by Chris Phillips Swanage

Balmoral’s visit to the South Coast

Balmoral made a short visit to the south coast sailing from Swanage and Weymouth along the Dorset Coast on Monday 8th August 2011 MV Balmoral alongside Swanage Pier MV Balmoral departing Weymouth Photographs by C. Phillips Swanage Paddle Steamer Waverley South Coast Sailings from the 2nd until 22nd September 2011  for full details go to…
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PSPS – RED FUNNEL 150 Model Exhibition

SOME OF THE MODELS EXHIBITED AT EAST COWES TOWN HALL ON Saturday 5th March PS Lord Elgin – model built by Donald Jones   PS Gracie Fields – model built by Derek Warman     PS Bournemouth Queen – model built by Donald Jones    PS Bournemouth Queen – model…
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Winter scenes at Swanage Pier

 Winter scene looking over Swanage Pier  Winter scene on Swanage Pier We look forward to the warmer days and the return of Paddle Steamer Waverley to the South Coast and Swanage Pier during September.

Hollycombe – PS Caledonia’s engine

Hollycombe Steam in the Country working steam museum home of PS Caledonia’s engine PS Caledonia’s engine is housed in a purpose built building at present it is not open to the public. Volunteers are required to clean and prepare the engine for display and steaming and this would be an ideal project for the Wessex…
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Queen Elizabeth

On Tuesday 12th October P.S.Waverley operated a special cruise from Ryde, Portsmouth and Southampton to escort the new Cunard Liner our of Southampton at the start of her Maiden Voyage. Queen Elizabeth alongside Southampton Ocean Terminal with the preserved Tug Tender Calshot                                  Waverley follows Queen Elizabeth down Southampton Water.   Queen Elizabeth viewed…
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Wessex Branch presentation to Purser Jim

After 23 seasons on the Waverley Purser Jim is retiring at the end of the season, on the final south coast sailing of the season the Wessex Branch presented him with a card and cheque and wished him a long and happy retirement. We will all miss Jim friendly face onboard in the coming seasons.                                                                                  Peter Lamb making…
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Presentation to the Don’s

A presentation was made onboard Waverley on  Wednesday 22nd September to mark the retirement the two Don’s, Don Drayton and Don Thompson. For many years they have organised the daily raffles for the Wessex Branch onboard Waverley and Balmoral on the south coast raising many thousands of pounds.                                                                             Peter Tambling, Don Thompson and Don…
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Waverley commemorates the 70th anniversary of Dunkirk

On Wednesday 8th September in the Western Solent paddle steamer Waverley stopped to commemorate the part played by her predecessor HMS Waverley during Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of Allied Forces from the beaches of Dunkirk 70 years ago. The present Waverley was built in 1947 to replace HMS Waverley which was lost at Dunkirk. One of our…
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Waverley departing Swanage on 9th September 2010

Views of Paddle Steamer Waverley departing from Swanage Pier on Thursday 9th September 2010 Photographs by Chris Phillips of Swanage

Wessex Branch Display and Publicity Unit

Visit the display of Paddle Steamer models including PS Waverley and PS Freshwater  plus a large display of paddle steamer photographs and handbills Full details of Waverley and Balmoral’s sailings in all areas available also Great Dorset Steam Fair information and advance ticket sales July 23rd, 24th & 25th – Netley Marsh Steam & Craft…
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Welcome to the Wessex Branch Blog

Greetings from the Wessex Branch of the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society.