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 92 years ago

4th December 1930:

By Thursday 4th December 1930 Cosens’s Alexandra was on the sales list. In November she had been hauled out of the water onto Cosens’s own slipway at Weymouth for survey. She

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54 years ago

3rd December 1968:

On Tuesday 3rd December 1968 Balmoral made her last voyage for Red Funnel from the Royal Pier Southampton round the corner to lay up on the River Itchen at Northam

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127 years ago

2nd December 1895:

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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82 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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87 years ago

29th November 1935:

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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71 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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85 years ago

23rd November 1937:
Corfe Castle

On 23rd November the Board of the Southampton, Isle of Wight and South of England Royal Mail Steam Packet Company (otherwise known as Red Funnel) met in Southampton and decided

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51 years ago

23rd November 1971:

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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61 years ago

21st November 1961:

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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119 years ago

20th November 1903:

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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56 years ago

17th November 1966:

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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60 years ago

15th November 1962:

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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60 years ago

13th November 1962:
Bristol Queen

Bristol Queen arrived in Weymouth around 8am on Tuesday 13th November 1962 in calm conditions for attention to her engine and boiler by Cosens & Co. having left Barry around

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59 years ago

11th November 1963:

On Monday 11th November 1963 Caledonia came close to being blown ashore on the rocks in Millport Bay. She had spent the previous night stormbound at Millport. The weather moderated

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