Summer 1968

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

Summer 1968

Society’s future – and you! – The Vice President and Chairman write “Little has occurred to indicate that the bulk of the Society appreciates the difficulties, costs and responsibilities involved in the operation of any vessel, no matter how small. There was much prejudice and opposition within the Society to the idea of static preservation in the case of the Medway Queen. We have purchased the Kingswear Castle and she is now on a long term charter. She was the smallest steamer available and yet in all probability the largest and perhaps the only one the Society could possibly hope to own and manage – let alone operate. The Kingswear Castle represents the Society’s bright future around which all aspects of our activities can revolve. If she sails again, it will be a fantastic achievement for who does it”.

Society membership – During the first quarter of 1968, 17 new members joined and there were 17 resignations and lapses. It is proving difficult to get much above the 400 mark.

Bristol Channel Branch – On March 23rd the first meeting that the Society has ever held in Wales took place in Cardiff. About 15 members turned up to see the Branch Secretary showing some colour transparencies under the title of “Winter Cruising around the Coasts of Britain”.

Cleddau Queen loses her paddles – After 11 years service on the Neyland ferry, between Hobb’s Point jetty and Neyland Pier, the PS Cleddau Queen is undergoing an extensive refit, during which her steam engines and paddles will be replaced. As the Bristol Queen and Cardiff Queen have been sold and Cleddau Queen converted, there are no longer any paddlers operating between the Solent and the Clyde on the west coast of Britain for carrying passengers.

Lincoln Castle leaving Hull.

The Humber paddlers – Although popular with enthusiasts, the hourly Sunday afternoon cruises by the Lincoln Castle have not been supported by the citizens of Hull and will not operate in July and August this year. There will still be some opportunities to go cruising on the Humber for Lincoln Castle has several charters coming up. During Easter weekend Lincoln Castle was off service for painting and the ferry run was in the hands of the two older ships Tattershall Castle and Wingfield Castle. Low tides during the middle of the day necessitated the cancellation of two sailings in each direction and after the vessels had spent the low water period at opposite piers. The service was resumed with special simultaneous departures from either side. Car traffic is now getting beyond the capacity of the steamers at peak sailings. Said Tattershall Castle’s skipper “We really need a vessel to carry 50 cars and 500 passengers, rather than 20 cars and 1,000 passengers”.

Scottish news – Although Waverley would appear to have had a lengthy overhaul I don’t think it is in any way a sign that she will be around for many years to come (writes Walter Bowie). One noticeable thing about Waverley is that there is a new ticket office with a steel outer shell which is painted white and replaced the wooden one.