Attention to Interior

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

From Paddle Wheels No. 58

Caulking of the main decks is now nearly complete and has been achieved with not a little prolonged effort three sessions lasting until 8.30 and 9.30pm, the two most recent sorties being finished under electric light. This must have looked like a veritable witches’ tea party with steaming cauldrons and ladles plus frantic scurrying up and down the deck seams amid loud mutterings. Thanks to Alan Peake, Sheila Durling, Mike Collins, Mike and John Spring and many others we have achieved much on the decks through appalling “fine” season.

The forward saloon and galley is looking splendid. Very little varnishing has been done this year due to the inclement weather and the need to deploy the available volunteers on deck work. Most woodwork needing to be varnished is sheeted over and must be tackled next year. The rate of progress on Kingswear Castle is improving with average working party attendance a little stronger but more volunteers are still needed so all who can are asked to turn up to swell the teams.

Winter working: Until further notice Sunday working will be discontinued except by arrangement for intensive working or where experienced volunteers desire to proceed with a particular project. LJB

The engine room team continue their work:

Restoration Log Book – Sunday 27 October 1974

  • Feed and bilge pumps replaced and coupled to engine bell crank.
  • Brass C/O valve on feed pump refurbished and replaced.
  • Steel floor plate below HP con rod lifted, cleaned and replaced (good access to bilges below engine).
  • HP valve gear and ecc rods removed for refurbishment at Stevenage.
  • The HP junk ring has been found under the engine!

From Paddle Wheels No. 58

Since the last report the circulating pump has been stripped down, except for the water end valve chest still to be inspected, and despite some rust showing at cover joints the internal condition is first class. Both pump rods at the steam gland end have suffered a 85-thou diametrical wear over 41 years of regular use and will probably be made good with reduced neck bushes. Dave Rees deserves credit for the fine work he is doing here as do lan Watson and Doug Woodward on the engine. The circulating pump is American (Worthington).

From Paddle Wheels No. 59

Boiler cleaning is still proceeding on the interior surfaces with the exterior having been thoroughly painted with a good heat resisting aluminium paint. Preparations should be well on the way for hydraulic test and inspection by the time this is printed. The aim is to press ahead with all speed now to get the boiler under steam followed by machinery operation, which should help to raise enthusiasm.

 |John Spring

Advancement is going well on the machinery, with the low pressure valve gear being overhauled away from the ship. The circulating pump is now virtually completed and the good man doing the job will be leaning heavily on the writer any time now for the re-machined pump rods and new gland bushes, so that all can be boxed up. A light but strong steel workbench is now installed aboard and will supplement the small corner bench.

We are very grateful to Mr. Harry Brookbanks for coming up from Exmouth for nearly a week in early November which enabled the boiler to be painted, the forward deckhead to be started, the final interior-protective caulking, and other important work to be done, and he thoroughly enjoyed himself. If anyone else owns a caravan or would like to live aboard Kingswear Castle (rent free) and fancies a few days,indulging in a holiday of gentle exercise on a pleasant Kentish river then they only need to drop me a line.

From Paddle Wheels No. 59

The last official work day for 1974 was December 7th and after a day’s work had been turned in, a very happy gathering enjoyed a buffet party in the forward saloon complete with hanging decorations and some most interesting and unusual model steam marine engines and boiler plant taken along by Mike Collins. He provided suitable entertainment however, in taking flashlight pictures in the saloon and on deck which, strangely enough, have turned out all right and clearly show Mrs. Pritchard’s woolly hats! (Compiler’s note – these pictures have not been traced)

Party time!|Lawrie Beal

Two of our stalwart ladies decided that it was just not good enough “knocking off” two and a half weeks before Christmas but went down and did some work on December 15. Very important, they took along a friend. Welcome aboard Margaret! We also welcome Neil Tenwick, John Foat, and Peter Bowden to the “dirty brigade” and look forward to meeting many more members aboard throughout the year.

Christmas gathering.|Lawrie Beal