On Tuesday 23rd July 1935 Killingholme was scheduled to run a two hour afternoon cruise at 3pm from the Royal Dock Basin at Grimsby on the Humber to view the Spurn Peninsula and Spurn Head.
Built in 1912 for the Hull to New Holland ferry service Killingholme and her sister Brocklesby were displaced in 1934 by the arrival of the Tattershall Castle and Wingfield Castle. Brocklesby was sold to the Redcliffe Shipping Company for further service on the Firth of Forth from Leith but that was not a success and she was sold on for scrap later in 1936.
Killingholme was retained as back up vessel for the ferry service with added revenue to justify her continued place with the railway company coming from an excursion programme which, in the peak weeks of 1935, included sailings from Grimsby every day.
For these she usually came down in the morning offering a day trip from Hull with a return time of 7pm in the evenings. On Sundays there were then two hour cruises from Grimsby across the estuary to view Spurn Head at 2pm and 4pm and from Monday to Friday just one at 3pm. On Saturdays she set off from Grimsby at 10am for Hull returning her passengers at 6pm with arrival back at Grimsby by 7.30pm. These excursions were popular with Killingholme carrying around 44,000 passengers on them in 1935.
During the War she was used on the Humber as a barrage balloon vessel. This involved floating a large balloon at some height above the vessel attached by a steel cable which posed a serious threat of collision to incoming enemy aircraft and therefore obstructed their approach on bombing raids.
With Lincoln Castle having taken her place on the ferry service from 1941, Killingholme was scrapped at Paull on the north bank of the Humber Estuary in 1945, thirty three years after she was built and thirty three years after her great excitement in 1912 taking the King to open Immingham Dock. That’s like scrapping a paddle steamer today built in 1987.
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 23rd July 2020.