PS Kingswear Castle to be purchased by Society – The River Dart Steamboat Co. have accepted our low offer because of “sentiment and the fact that the old vessel is the last of the line”. The Society has at last got the opportunity to accomplish the prime objective of purchasing and preserving a passenger paddle steamer. Once the purchase is complete the vessel will be chartered to the owners of the Medway Queen and will be moved to the Medina on the Isle of Wight. This could be the beginning of a new lease of life for the Society – as ship owners – please therefore give what help you can.
PS Queen of the South – left the River Medway early last month under tow and is now lying in the Surrey Commercial Docks where work is well in hand, carrying out repairs to the boiler, and fitting protection to the paddle wheels.
Scottish notes – Rain, winds, and heavy seas resulted in very poor traffic on the Clyde over the Easter weekend. Three of Caledonia’s seven runs were cancelled, and Waverley took 29 passengers to the Kyles of Bute. Since then Caledonia has spent several days on the Holy Loch run. On one occasion, while rounding a buoy near the submarine depot ship, she stopped her engines for navigational reasons and immediately two US tugs raced towards her asking if assistance was required! All this time no work has been done on the Talisman, and it appears that she will not be sailing again.
White Funnel notes – Westward Ho commenced her sailings on March 23rd. The pattern of sailings this year indicates a further swing in favour of Swansea and Ilfracombe as opposed to Cardiff/Bristol and Weston. For the first time the Cardiff – Weston service is not maintained on a daily basis.
A salty tale – Announcement made over the P/A system of MV Westward Ho on arrival at Ilfracombe on Easter Monday: “The tides in the Bristol Channel are the highest experienced for the last fifty years. Consequently we regret that there is insufficient water for the vessel to berth. The vessel will cruise outside the harbour until the tide has risen sufficiently to enable us to get in”.
Weymouth – At the time of writing Embassy remains tied up at her normal winter berth, but instead of the usual bustle of overhaul activities she remains deserted and unkempt, although even now she looks in far better condition than Princess Elizabeth berthed just ahead.
Six Rhine paddlers remain – The 1967 season will see only six of the great white paddle steamers of the Cologne-Dusseldorf Rhine Steamship Co. in operation. The peak season service between Dusseldorf, Cologne, Koblenz and Mainz is between July and September when they are all likely to be fully occupied. Another famous European lake will be without a paddle steamer this year – Lake Constance, following the withdrawal of the last surviving steamer, the Swiss Rhein of 1906.