On hearing the news that Cosens were to sell their Monarch the newly formed PSPS swung into action straight away to try to save her with founding father of the Society Professor Alan Robinson penning a letter to the Bournemouth Echo which was published in their edition on Saturday 21st January 1961.
It reflected the mood of enthusiasts at the time including my nine year old self. When I heard the news of Monarch’s impending demise I just could not believe it. I loved the Monarch. I loved her sort of old fashioned ambience with alleyways outside her aft saloon. I loved her lovely engine room illuminated from on high by a full size skylight. I just couldn’t believe that anyone could be wicked enough to sell her for scrap. That was just unthinkable to my nine year old self.
But of course back then I didn’t understand economics. And I didn’t understand what was clear to the management of Cosens. If you run something that looses money then unless you can somehow address that issue with a different business model or subsidy or whatever and so stop that egress of cash then you will eventually run out of dosh and go bust. Sure as eggs is eggs.
Cosens knew that and so took action to safeguard their own financial position as they saw it unpalatable as the news was to the ears of me back then and to my fellow enthusiasts.
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 21st January 2021.