On Friday 13th September 1963 Consul was on the way from the Sussex Coast to London to undertake a charter for “A Week’s Frolic” to the paddle steamer loving Don Rose. At around 12 noon the following day a small group of enthusiasts gathered on Greenwich Pier to await her arrival
Trips were advertised between 17th and 22nd September including from Tower Pier, Greenwich, Gravesend, Southend and Herne Bay but not all ran as scheduled with fog and breakdowns causing some cancellations.
After all the troubles that season Captain Defrates refused to steam Consul back to Weymouth at the end of the week saying that she needed a tug so she remained tied up on buoys off Deptford until 7th October when Captain Holleyoak, who had soent the season as master of Princess Elizabeth at Weymouth came up to take her back home.
As if to prove Captain Defrates’s point, Consul caught fire on the way back and had to put into Dover for repairs. She arrived in Weymouth for winter lay-up on 10th October.
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 13th September 2021.