Wessex Branch report – This year’s visit by Waverley was far from uneventful. An extended spell of gale force winds wreaked havoc with the first week of sailings. It is a tribute to the perseverance of the Captain that the ship never missed a day due to the weather. During the first weekend large numbers of passengers boarded at Swanage, due largely to the Branch presence at the Great Dorset Steam Fayre. Elsewhere poor publicity resulted in fewer passengers than there should have been. However our raffle team still raised a substantial sum and a cheque for £5,000 was handed over to the Restoration and Preservation fund. Our programme of Winter meetings is well underway. On 5th March we will take a cruise aboard Hotspur IV followed by lunch on Shieldhall.
The world of entertainment – You may remember trips of yesteryear when ships had their own musicians, carried a ship’s Band or even had a concert party. Ships have often featured in the world of leisure and entertainment. Full length films such as the musical “Showboat” and popular songs such as ‘Cruising Down the River’ and ‘The Song of the Clyde’ evoke the atmosphere.
Even Gilbert and Sullivan managed a reference in “The Sorcerer”:
Mr. Wells: Hate me! I drop my H’s–have through life!
Lady Sangazure: Love me! I’ll drop them too
Mr. Wells: Hate me! I always eat peas with a knife!
Lady Sangazure: Love me! I’ll eat like you
Mr. Wells: Hate me! I spend the day at Rosherville!
Lady Sangazure: Love me! that joy I’ll share!
Mr. Wells: Hate me! I often roll down One Tree Hill!
Lady Sangazure: Love me! I’ll join you there!
Quiz time: Where is One Tree Hill and what is Rosherville? Answers: Next edition.
Letters to the Editor
Paddle Steamers? “…May I suggest that your editorial content should concentrate solely on paddle steamers plus Balmoral. It is sad to see so much space used on subjects that have nothing to do with PSPS.”
“Congratulations all Round! I feel must write to you on behalf of my wife and myself. Having had the privilege to travel on all three vessels of the PSPS ﬂeet this year, we have been so impressed by the standard of turnout. I do believe that no sailing was lost through mechanical fault, what a marvellous achievement. To the crews our thanks, the catering was most excellent. We shall savour our memories this coming Winter, looking forward to 1994. If next year can match 1993, what a treat! I know it must sound a bit over the top, but these few words seem so inadequate for all the effort put in, but please take this letter as our heartfelt thanks to one and all.”
Bristol Channel Raffles “As you are aware from the autumn issue of Paddle Wheels, reference was made to the record sum of £11,000 (subsequently increased to £13,000) which has been raised from the sale of rafﬂe tickets during the 1993 sailing season. The target set was in the region of £10,000 so the actual total was well in excess of this figure. The Secretary of the Bristol Channel Branch very kindly congratulated us in the last Branch newsletter, for which we are deeply appreciative. We, in turn, would also like to take this opportunity for thanking our loyal helpers for generously devoting their time and energies in enabling us to reach our goal and beyond. We would particularly mention Elizabeth, John, Muriel and Harold, who were responsible for rafﬂe ticket selling, including the distribution of prizes on sailings from Porthcawl and Swansea. We must not overlook Sally (Minehead) in our message of thanks for she, too, undertook responsibility for selling rafﬂe tickets from her side of the Channel and also provided all the rafﬂe prizes on two occasions. Without the untiring efforts of our diligent band of helpers and, of course, all our passengers who responded so admirably to our pleas for help, the raising of such a magnificent total of £13,000, could not have been achieved.”
And 50 years ago… PS Consul awaits scrapping at Southampton; Isle of Wight members got to work on KC and the benefit already shows; PS Ryde spends four days in London decked out as Gilbey’s Floating Gin Palace. Read more…