On Tuesday 29th September 1964, Jeanie Deans made her last movement under her own steam of the season leaving Craigendoran on the morning tide for her lay up berth in the Albert Harbour, Greenock.
She had started her 1964 season with a charter on 9th May on what was a sufficiently windy day to preclude her making a planned call at Ardrishaig. During the peak weeks she alternated the excursion programme from Craigendoran with Waverley with one week one of them running the afternoon cruise, 12.40pm back 6.50pm, through the Kyles of Bute and round Bute Sundays to Fridays whilst the other took the longer day trips to Brodick and cruise to Pladda on Mondays, to Lochgoilhead and Arrochar on Tuesdays and Thursdays, “Round the Lochs and Firth of Clyde” on Wednesdays and up river to Glasgow with time ashore on Fridays. The following week the two ships swapped over to balance up the crew overtime. On Saturdays they usually ran the ferry service to Rothesay either from Wemyss Bay and/or from Craigendoran.
After the main summer excursion programme had come to an end Jeanie Deans continued to fill in on the ferry and other services as required making her last call at Tighnabruaich on Saturday 26th September.
She spent Monday 28th September again running on the ferry between Craigendoran, Gourock, Dunoon, Innellan and Rothesay and ended the day with a final run with passengers leaving Rothesay at 7.45pm for Wemyss Bay after which she sailed light to overnight at Craigendoran. The following morning, Monday 29th September 1964, she sailed on the morning tide for her lay up berth in the Albert Harbour, Greenock.
Along with the turbine steamer Duchess of Montrose, Jeanie Deans was put up for sale and against expectation found a buyer in Don Rose a year later. He had been persuaded by Tony McGinnity, a founder member of the PSPS, to buy her and he did his best to run her on the Thames in 1966 and 1967 as Queen of the South with spectacular lack of success.
Tony McGinnity is one of the great unsung heroes of paddle steamer preservation in the 1960s. He bought the Consul himself and was a forceful background presence in almost all that happened in paddle steamer preservation in that era, eventually becoming a director of P & A Campbell.
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 September 2020.