Megoran’s Musings

John Megoran recalls the heyday and decline paddle steamers, particularly the Weymouth based paddle steamers that he grew up with. He did not know then that he would go on to help restore, manage and be principal captain of Kingswear Castle for nearly 30 years.
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On this day 126 years ago

2nd December 1895:
Dover

On Monday 2nd December 1895 the paddle steamer Dover was launched from the yard of Denny of Dumbarton on the Clyde. She and her sister Calais, also on the stocks in the

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81 years ago

1st December 1940:
Her Majesty

On Saturday 1st December 1940 Red Funnel’s paddle steamer Her Majesty was sunk in a German bombing raid on Southampton. It was a devastating air attack which did much damage

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86 years ago

29th November 1935:
Talisman

On Friday 29th November 1935 Talisman was, as usual that winter, scheduled to run the LNER ferry services connecting the north bank of the Clyde at Craigendoran to the Holy Loch,

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70 years ago

28th November 1951:
Lorna Doone

On Wednesday 28th November 1951 Lorna Doone was slipped at Southampton for survey. She had been built as HMS Atherstone in 1916 as one of thirty-two paddle steamers specially commissioned during

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52 years ago

24th November 1969:
Eppleton Hall

On Monday 24th November 1969, Eppleton Hall was on her first day out after leaving Mindello in the Cape Verde Islands on her voyage across the Atlantic to Georgetown Guyana.

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50 years ago

23rd November 1971:
Caledonia

Caledonia closed her operational Clyde career by filling in on the Gourock to Tarbet mail service between 1st and 8th October 1969. She was then laid up in Rothesay Dock

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60 years ago

21st November 1961:
Alumchine

With the introduction of the paddle steamer Cleddau Queen in 1956 for the short Pembroke/Neyland ferry service, the paddle steamer Alumchine, of 1923, became second vessel on the route spending much of her subsequent

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118 years ago

20th November 1903:
Cleethorpes

Around lunchtime on Wednesday 20th November 1903 the paddle steamer Cleethorpes left the yard of her builder, Gourlay Brothers, in Dundee for the 241 nautical mile run down the east coast in

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52 years ago

18th November 1969:
Eppleton Hall

On Tuesday 18th November 1969 Eppleton Hall was alongside at Mindello in the Cape Verde Islands on her voyage from Newcastle, which she had left in September, to San Francisco. She had

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55 years ago

17th November 1966:
Talisman

Talisman’s last day in passenger carrying service was Thursday 17th November 1966 when she relieved the Maid of Skelmorlie on the Holy Loch run. By 1966 the large numbers of holiday making passengers

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59 years ago

15th November 1962:
Sandown

On Thursday 15th November 1962 Sandown left Weymouth for Portsmouth under her own steam after completion of overhaul work on her engine and boiler by Cosens & Co. She had

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59 years ago

10th September 1962:
Consul

1962 was not a good summer for weather. Mr Lloyd-Worth, who had the contract for providing the catering aboard Consul alongside his other role as a publican in Easton on

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