Winter 1970

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

Winter 1970

The big challenge – The PSPS Central Committee has decided that the Society should take over direct responsibility for Kingswear Castle. Amicable agreement has been reached with the charterer and it is proposed that the vessel be towed from the Medina to the River Medway where a berth has been found. The decision to shoulder the tremendous task of restoring Kingswear Castle coincided with the beginning of the greatest preservation effort so far seen in Switzerland – to prevent the Lake Lucerne steamer Wilhelm Tell from being withdrawn.

The Royal Route retraced – PS Waverley sailed proudly up the Clyde on September 25th in readiness for the Society’s first Scottish charter the following day. Waverley’s hull was immaculate as she had been on the slipway a few weeks previously and the opportunity was taken to paint the hull. A total of 459 passengers boarded at Glasgow and over 100 at Gourock. The car ferry Glen Sannox was overtaken near Toward and Charlie Harkins’ Kit-Kat band was playing with gusto. Heading up the Kyles of Bute, chief engineer Mr William Summers increased speed to 15 knots, moving the regulator a couple of notches to the delight of those watching. At last the rain went off as Waverley rounded Ardlamont Point. We arrived on time at Tarbert but had to lie-off as Maid of Cumbrae was at the pier. At Ardrishaig we were half an hour late and the cruise in Loch Fyne was trimmed to about 20 minutes each way. With three whistle blasts from Captain MacSween as a farewell to Ardrishaig we set sail for Millport. Calls were made at Dunoon and Gourock before Waverley paddled over to Craigendoran in total darkness.

The Humber ferriesLincoln Castle was on special duty on September 25th when she met the Swedish liner Kungsholm in the Humber and ferried about 500 passengers to Grimsby and then to Immingham in connection with the tercentenery celebrations of the Pilgrim Fathers’ sailing to America. The Hull – New Holland service has been operated as a purely passenger ferry while extensive repairs are made to the pontoon at Hull Corporation Pier. The pontoon, installed in the 1930’s was removed with some difficulty for dry docking. A reduced passenger service continued using two vessels and nearby Minerva Pier.

Oriental look on the Humber? There is something vaguely eastern about the Hull Corporation Pier pontoon as it is towed away, roof an all, for dry Oriental look on the Humber? There is something vaguely eastern about the Hull Corporation Pier pontoon as it is towed away, roof and all for dry docking and repairs in September 1970.

PS Ryde – The steamer was towed from her mooring in Portsmouth Harbour on September 16th to the Medway Queen Centre. Now she is to become a restaurant and accommodation ship – with swimming pool! At the moment the Ryde is moored off Binfield.

PS Old Caledonia – was still lying at the Dalmuir yard of Arnott Young and Co in mid-October. The condition of the ship is fair inside and the engines are well greased. The decks are becoming rather bad but her boiler is said to be in good condition and capable of further service.