Embassy was rostered to make her last trips of the 1953 season from Bournemouth on Thursday 1st October.
She was due away from her overnight berth alongside Poole Quay at 8.30am for the run down Poole Harbour, down the Swashway and across Poole Bay for Bournemouth Pier (9.30am). You will see that the steamer notice advertises either a day trip to Totland Bay or a trip Round the Isle of Wight although the small print makes clear that the Round the Island bit was by motor coach rather than on Embassy.
She was due away from Bournemouth (10am) for Totland Bay (11.30am) and then back to Bournemouth (1pm). She then lay alongside until leaving Bournemouth once again (2.15pm) for Totland Bay (3.45pm – 5pm) giving passengers about one hour ashore before returning to Bournemouth (6.30pm) and then on to Poole (7.30pm).
The following morning she was away from Poole for the run along the Dorset Coast to lay up for the winter in the Weymouth Backwater.
As the largest vessel in the Cosens’ fleet, and therefore the one with the highest operating costs in terms of fuel and wages, Emperor of India was first to finish at Bournemouth in 1953 with her last day in service scheduled for Friday 11th September running the same schedule as Embassy on 1st October with the double run from Bournemouth to Totland Bay.
On this day, 11th September, Embassy was rostered for a 10.45am departure from Bournemouth for a “Coasting Trip to Lulworth Cove” on which she transferred her Lulworth Cove passengers to Consul at Swanage (11.30am) and collected Consul’s passengers from Weymouth to take them on to Totland Bay direct.
Monarch’s last day in service for the 1953 season was scheduled to be Friday 25th September on which she was rostered to be away from Poole Quay (9.15am) for Bournemouth (10.15am – 10.45am) before making her first run of the day to Swanage (11.30am) and then back to Bournemouth (12.15pm). She then lay over alongside the pier before making two more round trips to Swanage at 2.30pm and 4.15pm before setting off for her final run from Bournemouth (6pm) for Swanage (7.15pm) and Poole (8.15pm).
On this day, 25th September, Embassy was scheduled for the same double run from Bournemouth to Totland Bay as on 1st October.
The following morning Monarch set off to lay up in the Weymouth Backwater where she joined Emperor of India.
So by Saturday 2nd October 1953 all of Cosens’s five remaining paddle steamers Emperor of India, Monarch, Embassy, Consul and Empress were all safely tucked away for the winter at Weymouth.
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 1st October 2020.