Autumn 1966

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

Autumn 1966

From the Chairman – It is very disappointing for all concerned that the Queen of the South has not been got into service and it is hoped that she will complete repairs and commence running before long. A preliminary inspection of Kingswear Castle shows that (although by no means fully sound) she is in fair condition for a vessel of her age.

Medway Queen Club – The Club was opened on 14th May by Cdr. Graves, her wartime First Lieutenant. The ship has been tastefully and skillfully transformed into her new role and none of her essential features have been destroyed. The saloons and bars are distinctly more comfortable than in Thames cruising days and fitted carpets alongside the engine room are certainly a novelty.

Cosens & Co. – The appearance of the Embassy has been altered by the addition of a mainmast. The lounge has been re-upholstered and looks very smart. The ship is well turned out and up to a high standard. The Society’s charter failed to reach its objective in taking the paddler to Ventnor. The winds were high enough for the Master to decide to sail south of the Island first and cancel the trip out of Ventnor. We plodded on surrounded by rain on all quarters and passed the Balmoral heading for Shanklin. We cruised leisurely through the Solent to Yarmouth. After an hour ashore we set out into warm sunshine, reaching Bournemouth 20 minutes early. All in all a good sea trip despite the weather.

White Funnel notes – A novel feature of this season’s sailings is that of having a ship at Ilfracombe for a few days at a time, thus being available for morning and evening cruises. The use of three ships throughout the peak season results in an improved service for all ports.

Scottish notesCaledonia had an altercation at Largs with a self-hire motor boat. The boat got in her way and was sucked into the starboard wheel. The two occupants were lucky to escape with bruises and ducking. The boat was reduced to matchwood. It is easy to appreciate why one skipper used to keep a box of old potatoes on the bridge, as missiles to keep motor boats at a distance! Waverley had a serious breakdown on June 19th and was laid up for a week, Talisman deputising for her. Her small cafeteria has been closed down and moved to one side of the dining room while meals are served on the other. Rumours are again rife that Talisman is to be withdrawn, but so they said as long ago as 1952. She has been a wee bit unlucky with engine trouble.

BL Nairn – The Tay paddle ferry BL Nairn is being offered for sale and will be available after the opening of the new Tay Road Bridge on August 18th. Built in 1921 she is equipped for carrying cars with passenger accommodation aft. A singular feature is a small post office on the port side of the engine room.