On Friday 29th November 1935 Talisman was, as usual that winter, scheduled to run the LNER ferry services connecting the north bank of the Clyde at Craigendoran to the Holy Loch, Dunoon and Rothesay.
Freshly built that year with Diesel electric propulsion for her paddle wheels, which could be controlled from the bridge, Talisman made her first appearance in service in June and spent most of her first two winters on this ferry roster:
- 7am Ardnadam (Holy Loch) – 7.25am Dunoon – 8.12am Craigendoran
- 8.45am Craigendoran – 9.25am Dunoon
- 10.10am Dunoon – 10.55am Craigendoran
- 11.23am Craigendoran – 12.50pm Rothesay
- 2.20pm Rothesay – 3.45pm Craigendoran
- 4.38pm Craigendoran – 5.45pm Ardnadam (Holy Loch)
It was a nice gentle roster starting and finishing the day at this remote Holy Loch pier where she also spent the Sabbath lying alongside. Not so good though for any crew wishing to go ashore or overnight at home if they lived anywhere other than on the Cowal peninsula and then only if they had a bicycle with them.
The schedule was also a million miles away from today’s more intensive ferry rosters. In the winter of 1935 if you didn’t catch the one round trip each way on Talisman between the Holy Loch and Craigendoran, between Craigendoran and Dunoon and between Craigendoran and Rothesay then you would have had to wait for her to come back tomorrow.
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 29th November 2020.