Princess Elizabeth’s sailings on the previous day, 14th September 1960, had been cancelled due to the weather but she was in steam and had shifted ship from her usual berth at Haldon Pier across to Princess Pier to make way for the Weymouth mailboat St. Helier which came down to make her last day trip of the season from Torquay to Guernsey. In fact this was St. Helier’s last trip in public service as she was withdrawn after that and, with her sister St. Julien, sold for scrap. They were replaced at Weymouth by the new Caesarea in November 1960 by the Sarnia in June 1961.
Shortly after 9am on 15th September, Princess Elizabeth shifted ship back to Haldon Pier in preparation for her last trip of the season to Lyme Regis scheduled for departure at 10.45am. There was some debate as to whether or not the trip would run, as it was still quite windy, but in the end she got away shortly after 11am.
Off Lyme Regis there was still a fair swell running. It was not considered safe to attempt to enter the harbour so Princess Elizabeth turned around and gave her passengers a non-landing cruise to off Lyme Regis instead of the one and a half hours ashore that had been hoped for. She arrived back at Torquay about half an hour early at 5.30pm.
During the following week Princess Elizabeth continued to run morning cruises around Torbay and non-landing afternoon cruises to Dartmouth (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) or along the Devon coast to off Exmouth and Sidmouth (Wednesday and Friday) although all the sailings on Sunday 18th were cancelled due to the weather. Her last public sailing for 1960 was the afternoon cruise on Wednesday 21st September.
The following day the Lizzy left Torquay at 2.20pm to lay-up for the winter at Philip’s Yard at Dartmouth where she arrived at 4pm.
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 15th September 2021.