Funds Urgently Required

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

A special appeal was launched in Paddle Wheels to raise £3,500 for materials:

Timber, steel, paint and other materials£1,700
Mooring and Slipping fees£500
Excess of expenditure over income 1975/6£850
Allowance for inflation and other items£450

In Their Own Words – From Paddle Wheels No. 65/66, Margaret Russell

Medway Queen Open Day 1976: On Saturday July 3rd a group of people, were propelled by a common aim – to travel to the Medway Bridge Marina. Some were going for the first time. Some were going to walk on a deck already very familiar. All were willing to travel distances to support the Society’s Open Day aboard KC. Nick Knight had arranged to open his shed at the Marina in order to steam his coal-fired launch, Salamander so that it could be on view. KC would not have such a good ‘home’ if it were not for his good offices and enthusiasm. The part he plays as the Ship Manager started by making available the fitters’ hut at his yard, without which any work on KC, then in a very sorry state after ten years of disuse and neglect could not have started at all. It became a place for those early-day workers to plan from, rest in, clean up in and refresh themselves.

Such is the progress that all such activities are now carried on quite comfortably in the forward saloon. Lawrie Beal made an early start so he could manage a few jobs before folk started to arrive. Patrick Taylor came by train from Broadstairs, Dave Abraham from Sutton, Surrey. Dave had arranged to bring down two working models to display. Sheila Durling was busily preparing food at her home in Sittingbourne – transport was finally resolved by a detour from Gravesend to her home in order to pick her up. Pat and June Bushell deserve special mention as two of the longest serving supporters.

About 30-35 people crossed the gangplank. Can it be that there are so few in our society who really care about the restoration of KC? Those who came were in the main familiar faces – folk one would expect to come. It is interesting that members of the Kent Industrial Archaeology Society were present. We have to thank them for introducing Mr. Frank Tullett, who leads groups of willing lads of the Wildernesse School down to work on KC.

Restoration Log Book – Sunday 25 July 1976

The water tap at the head of the gangplank is vulnerable to busy little fingers – we were flooded today and the culprit chased. Would suggest the handle is modified to be operated by a key to prevent large water bills and swamping the vessel when unattended.

Restoration Log Book – Saturday 18 September 1976

The Murex engine driven welding generator was started for the first time after months of work. Aiden Ridge from Buckingham joined the team, and proved himself to be a highly competent woodworker, and so work he started on repairing the awning spars.

Restoration Log Book – Saturday 18 September 1976

Surprise, surprise – it goes!

Restoration Log Book – Sunday 26 September 1976

Engine room (Ian Watson noted progress) – Cleaned up HP Piston spreader ring, fitted HP rings, died junk ring studs, fitted junk ring and split pin nuts. (Note: “died” means run a die over the existing threads to clean them). Fitted cyl cover temporarily- will have to be removed to drill out old piston ring split pin – need a right angled drill attachment for this. Repaired electric drill switch.

In the Bigger Picture

At the other end of the country PS Waverley was still dominating the PSPS headlines, stretching PSPS resources, but at the same time boosting membership. Hence the special KC appeal to put money in a specific ‘KC pot’. During this earlier restoration period funding was direct from PSPS. The owning company (later to become the Kingswear Castle Trust) was not being used to control finances, but this would change later on.