Spring 1969

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

Spring 1969

Society AGM report – It was I think, the Kingswear Castle and her future which dominated our thoughts. Mr Knight summed up our hopes for 1969 when he spoke of “increased activity by all hands”. With the expected raising of steam this year members will justly toast a successful second decade of Society existence.

Points from the post

  • Even the motor vessels at Portsmouth… are better than nothing and what is wanted is to retain some decent fast craft which will enable us to get on to the sea…
  • Pre-war, people gave a service, took pride in their jobs, and worked hard to make their industry pay its way. Fortunately in the Society we have such men and this is why I believe the PSPS will become an example of courage and endeavour. I trust (we) will not look to other means of propulsion but enjoy the thump of paddle wheels and the hiss of escaping steam from those reviled reciprocating engines.
  • The bleatings of the anti motor vessel brigade have reduced my interest in the Society to nil – I feel I don’t want to go near a PSPS meeting now. I joined to assist in the preservation of PS Medway Queen as a worthy forerunner of the modern ship I was sailing in frequently. Apart from the personal affront to a favourite ship, I dislike the backward outlook. To those who like coal burning ships… go and shovel the stuff when the ship is rolling. To those who think a ship is spoiled by the addition of a wheelhouse – keep watch on an open bridge for just 20 minutes in lousy weather.
  • The present “Greyhound of the Bristol Channel”, MV Westward Ho, even when running like a sewing machine, is only capable of a paltry 13.5 knots. Some progress!
  • I say the modern diesel ship is better than anything and I would like to see the Society become the Pleasure Ship Preservation Society. I would like to see the industry expand, with mass produced, modernised versions of the MV Royal Sovereign as like each other as London buses.
  • To say that families can no longer afford sea trips is ridiculous. There is no reason why operators should not invest in new vessels. Some ten ships are currently being built for British coastal services. Admittedly these are mostly car ferries, but there is no reason why excursion ships cannot be built.
  • I know that many will disagree, but I would consider the Jeannie [Deans] to be the fastest post-war paddler in the UK – including Campbell’s Bristol Queen. Although she rarely exceeded 15 knots in service, she was capable of speeds approaching 19 knots. Her absence from the Clyde after 1964 was regretted by many.

Hull Corporation Pier.

The Humber ferries – Early in November Humber Hovercraft Services commenced its hovercraft service between Grimsby and Hull Corporation Pier. Obviously its effects, with a flat return fare, are being closely studied by British Rail. In December Tattershall Castle was in the news, grounding with 500 passengers on board when only 150 yards from Corporation Pier. She was re-floated with no apparent harm when the tide turned an hour later!