Summer 1972

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

Summer 1972

A sketch by FC Hambleton, La Marguerite at Margate returning from her last trip of the 1894 season. Note the old tug India in the foreground, at that time making coastal pleasure excursions.

Fitting resting place for the bell of La Marguerite – The ships bell of the Thames’ largest and most popular paddle steamer La Marguerite has come to its final resting place in one of the City churches. La Marguerite, built in 1894 was primarily employed on the day continental trips from Tilbury to Calais, Bologne and Ostend but in 1904 was acquired by the Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Co. In 1914 the vessel was taken over by the Admiralty as troop transport and carried over to France units of the London Regiment. When La Marguerite was broken up the Liverpool company decided to present the bell to the successors of the 6th City of London Regiment. The presentation took place on 10th March 1927. The bell was mounted and became incorporated into the life of the regiment, being sounded at 7pm and 6am. However when the regiment was amalgamated with another unit the bell seems to have faded from sight. Recent enquiries have brought it to light through contact with the 6(V) Queens Regiment who confirm that “The bell at present forms part of the War Memorial to the 6th City of London Rifles and is situated in St. Sepulchre’s Church, Holborn. The bell is held very dear to the hearts of the survivors of the regiment who assemble to hear the bell rung once a year in September”.

Bristol Channel – Quite a flutter was caused on January 25th when it was reported that Weston Pier, owned by P & A Campbell was up for sale. Mr Smith-Cox said there had been a large number of enquiries. He added “The pier was purchased for the purpose of operating a steamship service and it is not our business to operate piers and entertainment centres”. A selling price of around £100,000 has been suggested.The Balmoral sailed to Penzance in early January for overhaul by Holman’s.

East Anglia – The star attraction is the 83 year old coal fired steamer Queen of the Broads, with sailings from Great Yarmouth. It is a pity that her owners do not advertise the fact that she is the last steam powered passenger vessel in service in Southern England.

Firth of ClydeWaverley sailed on January 27th from Princes Dock, Glasgow to Gourock. She is undergoing a major survey on Lamonts slip at Port Glasgow. She is due to sail at Easter and is understood to have a very full programme of charters for 1972.

Paddle tug to open as floating museum – Having spent over two years lying at anchor in the River Tees downstream from the Transporter Bridge at Middlesbrough, the John H Amos (built Paisley, 1931) was towed upstream to Stockton Quay on December 10th. The Quay, now disused has been landscaped and laid out with lawns, etc. A former crew member has been engaged as caretaker and has already started to tidy up the ship. The engines, two very fine sets of compound diagonal machinery, will have to be renovated and the damaged starboard paddlebox will be repaired. The John H Amos is an impressive sight. She is much more massively built than PT Reliant (now at the National Maritime Museum), being closely related to the old Admiralty steam paddle tugs.