Paddling to Goole – Over 480 passengers participated in what must be rated as the Society’s most successful and spectacular Humber charter on June 10th. Leaving New Holland at 11.45am, Lincoln Castle, with the Society flag at her mainmast and the BR houseflag at her foremast, looked very attractive as she approached Hull Corporation Pier. Wingfield Castle, departing from Hull offered that very rare photographic opportunity these days of two paddle steamers passing each other. Lincoln Castle was soon under way on her historic trip – the first time since before the war that a Humber ferry has sailed up to Goole. Immense interest was aroused by local press coverage. The banks of the river were lined by cheering sightseers. We arrived at Goole at 3pm. to be welcomed by hundreds of people including the local band! Then back towards New Holland, where we disembarked half our complement. Proceeding across to Hull we were held off the pier for a short while by Wingfield Castle, but nobody complained about that, as she left the pier with the sun glinting on her and making yet another excellent photograph.
Joint Thames charter – May 26th was the first charter of the 1973 season. MV Swanage Queen left Greenwich at 9.30 for this PSPS/CCA/WSS sailing to Tilbury and Rochester and back. As the Medway was reached, passengers were treated to the spectacle of racing sailing barges as this was the day of the Thames and Medway Sailing Barge Match. Rochester was reached on time and the vessel made fast at Ship Pier. Many passengers took the special bus and visited Kingswear Castle at Borstal. Swanage Queen was very smartly turned out in blue and white colours.
Maid of the Loch – The Maid was slipped at the end of April at Balloch and entered service on 12th May on charter. While passing through the Luss Narrows on the way to Tarbet with about 60 passengers aboard she ran aground. She was towed off after about 21/4 hours by the combined efforts of three launches from Balloch. As there appeared to be no structural damage she continued with her cruise.
Paddler to steam after six years – The paddle tug John H Amos, acquired by the Teeside Museums Authority, is to return to steam for the first time since 1967. By the end of March the boilers had been retubed, steam generators, auxiliaries and winches repaired, main engines cleaned and large sections of paddle boxes replaced. ICI sent a group of apprentices to work on the project and a full time marine engineer has been engaged. The overhaul of the paddler’s engines has been carried out at her berth in Stockton. In late spring she was due to be drydocked for underwater survey.
Gallant band’s work – The second progress report on the restoration of Society Steamer PS Kingswear Castle. The grit-blasting was not without problems as the team were unable to reach the hull near the keel. This required a return visit, but eventually the hull was blasted and and one ferro-plumbate coat got straight on after. Clearing the surrounding area of grit occupied working parties on March 25th, April 1st and 7th – one estimate was two tons of the stuff! Since grit-blasting most of the work has been painting and repainting the hull and sponsons. The hull is now black again. Grit-blasting revealed several weak spots in the plates. These were inspected by ultrasonic testing and will be repaired by welding. With working parties often 12 strong work on saloon panelling, bridge companionways, and in the engine room has started.