Easter was early in 1967 and the weather terrible with wind, rain and heavy seas.
Although both Waverley and Caledonia were rostered to be out from 24th to the 27th March, passenger loadings were low and on the Easter Saturday March 25th conditions so bad that three of Caledonia’s seven scheduled round trips to Rothesay had to be cancelled. It was also a day of a particularly high tide made even higher by a storm surge. Shortly after lunch Caledonia’s sponson was riding a couple of feet higher than the quayside at Rothesay so that the paddle wheel itself was in contact with the landing stage. This caused some damage and necessitated the ship having to be taken out of service and retreat to the East India Dock for repairs.
The following day Easter Sunday Waverley carried just 29 passengers on her afternoon cruise from Craigendoran and Rothesay round Bute.
The plan of campaign had been to return Waverley to lay up after Easter but she was kept in steam deputising for Caledonia as reserve steamer until her damage was repaired and she was able to return to service on 6th April.
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 27th March 2021.