With bunkers, fresh water and food topped up Jeanie Deans set off from Holyhead on the morning of 10th November 1965 on her voyage from the Clyde to the Medway with the next port of call to be Falmouth where she would need to bunker again.
The voyage south went well until half way down Cardigan Bay. Chief Engineer Arthur Blue recalls “There came a very loud and alarming noise of something loose around the starboard paddle, so we stopped the engine and opened the door to have a look while the ship rolled gently in the swell. It turned out that a trunnion had fractured at the eye and the float was now hanging loose from the other end only prevented from flailing everything to bits by still having the radius rod attached.”
“Well, you can go quite well with a float missing so my mate and I climbed into the box to clear things away and if possible salvage the float for further use. Faces at the door watched us doing this job and were highly entertained when the wheel took a slow half-turn and we climbed like monkeys to escape a bath. Though we had indeed ensured that the throttle was shut, the drains open and the gear in mid position we of course had forgotten to put the turning gear in. Anyway, we did manage to release the float and even recover it on deck using the lifeboat falls and also removed the radius rod. It was a good job it wasn’t the driving one.”
With the float and its radius arm removed all was well. The engine was started and off the Jeanie Deans went in relatively calm seas southwards for Lands End and Falmouth.
To be continued.
Kingswear Castle returned to service in 2023 after the first part of a major rebuild which is designed to set her up for the next 25 years running on the River Dart. The Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle Trust is now fund raising for the second phase of the rebuild. You can read more about the rebuilds and how you can help if you can here.
This article was first published on 10th November 2020.