Although returned to Red Funnel in 1945 after war service it was not until July 1947 that Bournemouth Queen’s major rebuild was complete and she was ready to be returned to excursion service in rejuvenated form with greatly improved passenger accommodation, a large pear shaped funnel and a new bridge with varnished wheelhouse. Unlike some of Cosens’s paddle steamers which were converted to oil-firing after the war, Bournemouth Queen remained coal-fired throughout her career despite her now more modern appearance.
Her first appearance at Bournemouth after the war was on Monday 21st July 1947 when she ran a day trip to Yarmouth, Isle of Wight and Southampton on what was a windy day with heavy rain which is not ideal paddle steamer weather.
The previous week her imminent return had been trumpeted with the Bournemouth Evening Echo reporting:
Many Bournemouth visitors and residents who enjoyed steamer trips from Bournemouth Pier before the war will welcome news that the SS Bournemouth Queen is to return to service at the weekend.
The Bournemouth Queen was always a favourite with steamer passengers in the old days. About five years before the war the Red Funnel Company installed a cocktail bar and lounge on the Queen which rejoiced in the name “Queen’s Parlour”. This it may be remembered had a decorative colour scheme of Chinese red with black and gold mountings.
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 July 2021.