Having arrived from her builders in Dundee in November, Cleethorpes made her debut on the Hull/New Holland ferry roster on Saturday 12th December 1903 taking the 2.20pm sailing out of New Holland.
Apart from service in the First World War between 1916 and 1919, during which she visited the Mediterranean and sailed as far east as Port Said, Cleethorpes continued on the same Hull/New Holland route until the arrival of Tattershall Castle and Wingfield Castle in 1934 when she was withdrawn.
However that was not the end of her as she was snapped up for further service by the Redcliffe Shipping Company for service on the Firth of Forth from Leith under the name Cruising Queen and given a grey hull and all yellow funnel.
Geoffrey Grimshaw records in his book “British Pleasure Steamers 1920 – 1939” that she was advertised as the “splendid saloon steamer specially selected for this service” and that she became known locally as the Boozing Queen which sort of encapsulates the market her new owners were targeting.
She only had one season at this before she was replaced by her old Humber running mate Brocklesby which was renamed Highland Queen and given a crimson funnel with a black top. She too lasted for only one season.
Both Cleethorpes and Brockelsby were then scrapped the one having had a career of thirty-two years and the other twenty-four years. That’s like scrapping paddle steamers today built in 1988 and 1996 respectively.
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 12th December 2020.