Jack Rowles

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

Jack Rowles

It’s with great sadness that I report the sudden death of Mr Jack Rowles on Saturday 10th March.

Many older members of the Bristol Channel Branch of PSPS will remember Jack as P & A Campbell’s last permanent Chief Engineer aboard the two ‘Queens’.

Originally, Jack had intended following his father, an ex P & A Campbell master into the Bristol Pilot Service.  Unfortunately he failed part of the eyesight test, and joined Campbells as an apprentice engineer at their Underfall Yard works in Bristol.  His work included maintenance duties on all the ships, starting in 1938.

On completion of his apprenticeship Jack was drafted into the Royal Navy, specialising in New Build Landing Craft, based for a while at Lamlash on the Isle of Arran.

At the end of military service Jack rejoined Campbells in 1948, as second engineer on RAVENSWOOD, followed by several seasons aboard GLEN USK, but it will always be with the CARDIFF QUEEN he will be mostly associated.  For several years Jack was second engineer with Alec Campbell as Chief Engineer and after finding Mr Campbell dead in Cardiff Queens engine-room in 1959 Jack was promoted to Chief Engineer.

In 1967, with the demise of Campbells and their two remaining paddlers, Jack ‘swallowed the anchor’ and took up a position with Coates Cider, a local company that ensured that he could spend more time with wife Margaret and three sons, John, Robert and Andrew.  Until his death, Jack had enjoyed good health, enjoying dancing with Margaret, gardening and playing crib for a local team.

He will be sadly missed by his friends ashore and those who had the pleasure of sailing with him.

Robin Wall