Spring 1961

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

Spring 1961

Caledonia leaving Dunoon.|DB Watkins

Steadily increasing membership of the Society which had almost reached the 100 mark and the favourable publicity that it had received in most sections of the press were referred to by Mr Victor Gray at the Annual General Meeting in December 1960. Turning to progress made in the last 12 months, the speaker recalled the first AGM when 13 members braved a stiff downpour to visit Portsmouth Dockyard to look over the paddle tugs Swarthy and Sprite. As a complete contrast, members had enjoyed an evening cruise on the warm summer evening of September 10th when the veteran paddler Consul had been chartered.

Bristol Branch – The 30th October had been one of the milestones in 1960 when after an enthusiastic meeting, the Bristol Branch had been formed.

Caledonia still in commission – December saw the Caledonia of 1934 still in commission as the standby steamer. During the Autumn she has acted as tender to the Cunard liners Carinthia and Sylvania and the Canadian Pacific Empress of Britain and Empress of England.

Campbell fleet now three – In December it was reported that the last of the pre – Great War steamers, Glen Usk was on the slip at the Penarth Shiprepairing Co. According to reports she remained there for several weeks undergoing general repairs. Next season, Cardiff Queen (1947) will be in reserve and Bristol Queen will recommission after a year lay up.

Medway Queen’s season – Sun Pier closure affected passenger figures for the last remaining paddle steamer on the Thames Estuary but Medway Queen had a good season though final figures were below the 66,000 passengers carried in 1959. The only pier from which Medway Queen can now embark passengers is Strood Pier. Since Sun Pier closed owing to its dangerous condition various rumours have circulated in the Medway Towns as to its future. It is thought unlikely that it will ever be rebuilt as it has been estimated that more than £30,000 would be needed to make it serviceable.

Monarch leaving Swanage, 8th August 1959.

Monarch to be scrapped – Cosens of Weymouth decided to scrap the paddle steamer Monarch. Immediately it was heard that Monarch was to be disposed of, vigorous action was taken. The Swanage Chamber of Trade, the Bournemouth Citizens Alliance and several councillors were informed and a good deal of correspondence and publicity has resulted in the press.