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 22 years ago

3rd March 2001:
Kingswear Castle

On Saturday 3rd March 2001 Kingswear Castle took a stand at the South East England Tourist Board Travel Trade Fair at Brighton. There were usually three or four of of

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91 years ago

2nd March 1932:
Royal Eagle

By Wednesday 2nd March 1932 Royal Eagle had been in the fitting out basin at the Mersey shipyard of Cammell Laird for just one week having been launched the previous Wednesday.

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62 years ago

1st March 1961:
Monarch

Having planned to leave Weymouth at the end of January poor weather delayed her departure for a whole month to Wednesday 1st March 1961 when she finally got away under

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55 years ago

28th February 1968:
Cardiff Queen

On Wednesday 28th February 1968 work was in hand aboard Cardiff Queen to prepare her for the tow from Barry to Newport the following day. Withdrawn in September 1966, P &

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66 years ago

27th February 1957:
Dextrous

On Wednesday 27th February 1957, Dextrous, built at Yarrows yard at Scotstoun on the Clyde for the Royal Maritime Auxiliary Service, set off bound for Portsmouth. The following year she

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74 years ago

26th February 1949:
Lucy Ashton

By Saturday 26th February 1949 Lucy Ashton was now laid up with her boiler blown down in Bowling Harbour. Her passenger certificate had expired on Thursday 17th February. Surplus to

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73 years ago

24th February 1950:
Monarch

After passing through the Town Bridge to berth alongside the Pleasure Pier at the harbour mouth, Monarch left Weymouth under tow on Thursday 23rd February 1950 for a voyage along

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75 years ago

23rd February 1948:
Lucy Ashton

On Monday 23rd February 1948 Lucy Ashton became the first of the former LNER fleet to have her red, white and black funnel painted buff with a black top to conform

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58 years ago

22nd February 1965:
Caledonia

By Monday 22nd February 1965 Caledonia was on the slipway at Lamont’s Shipyard at Port Glasgow for her annual Board of Trade survey and refit. 1964 was the last season

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82 years ago

21st February 1941:
HMS Aristocrat

On Friday 21st February 1941 HMS Aristocrat, the former Clyde paddler Talisman, was given a thorough inspection by Captain E C Cordeaux RN, Senior Officer Thames Local Defence Flotilla, at Sheerness.

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73 years ago

20th February 1950:
Aberdare

On Monday 20th February 1950 the 150ft long paddle steamer Aberdare, built for the United Africa Company, was launched at the shipyard of William Denny of Dumbarton on the Clyde. Aberdare

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57 years ago

19th February 1966:
Vecta

After a refit by Cosens, Vecta left Weymouth around 10am on Thursday 17th February 1966 bound for Cardiff where she arrived around 8am on Saturday 19th. It had been a windy

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73 years ago

18th February 1950:
Monarch

By Saturday 18th February 1950 the news was out that Cosens’s first and twin funnelled Monarch had been sold for scrap. On Tuesday 22nd February she was towed from the

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57 years ago

17th February 1966:
Vecta

On Thursday 17th February 1966 Vecta left Weymouth around 10am for the passage down the Dorset, Devon and Cornish Coasts to Lands End and then on up the Bristol Channel to Cardiff

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45 years ago

13th February 1978:
Lincoln Castle

On Monday 13th February 1978 Lincoln Castle made her last voyage under her own steam. She had been in use on the Hull/New Holland ferry service during the previous weekend starting

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187 years ago

9th February 1836:
Flamer

On 9th February 1836 the Jersey Argus printed a letter from a passenger recounting his recent experience of sailing on the steam packet paddle steamer Flamer on a voyage from

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62 years ago

6th February 1961:
Monarch

On Monday 6th February 1961 the tug Salvonia, which had come to Weymouth to tow Monarch to the breaker’s yard in Cork, set off without her. Salvonia had been there for nearly

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59 years ago

5th February 1964:
Balmoral

On Thursday 5th February 1964 work commenced on the refit of Red Funnel’s Balmoral berthed outside the workshops of Cosens & Co in Weymouth. She had arrived the previous day

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58 years ago

4th February 1965:
Consul

On Thursday 4th February 1965 Consul left Weymouth around 9.30am for her last voyage in steam across Lyme Bay to Dartmouth. In this picture you can see her master Captain Defrates,

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59 years ago

2nd February 1964:
Medway Queen

On Sunday 2nd February 1964 Medway Queen was alongside in the Nelson Dock at Rotherhithe having been towed there on Wednesday 29th January from the Medway under the command of

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70 years ago

1st February 1953:
Victoria

This picture, provided by Peter Ford, was taken of Victoria in the Southampton scrapyard on Sunday 1st February 1953, just over a week after her arrival under her own steam

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62 years ago

31st January 1961:
Monarch

On Tuesday 31st January 1961 Monarch, boarded up for her voyage to the scrapyard in Ireland, was towed away from her berth in the Weymouth Backwater, through the Town Bridge

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