On Saturday 2nd August 1924 the huge excursion paddle steamer La Marguerite was scheduled to run a day trip leaving Prince’s Landing Stage Liverpool (10.45am) for Llandudno (1.05pm – 1.15pm), Beaumaris (2.10pm), Bangor (2.25pm) and Menai Bridge (2.35pm). She was due away from Menai Bridge (3.40pm) to retrace her route to Bangor (3.50pm), Beaumaris (4.10pm), and Llandudno (5.15pm) before sailing back to Liverpool (7.30pm).
At 330ft in length overall La Marguerite was an excursion paddle steamer of enormous dimensions built in 1894 for Palace Steamers Ltd for their services on the day trip market from London across to France. She was fitted out in luxurious style and must surely qualify as one of the largest and best appointed excursion paddle steamers of all time ever built for service in the UK.
In 1904 she was sold to the Liverpool and North Wales Steamship Company and became the mainstay of their route from Liverpool to Llandudno and beyond (apart from war service) up to 1925 when she was withdrawn and scrapped.
Around the UK business for paddle steamers on Saturdays varied considerably according to the location. For example at Bournemouth, Saturdays became one of the weakest days as it was “change over day” when one set of holiday makers left and another set arrived.
Here at Liverpool it was one of the busiest days. There was not really a market for trippers holidaying in Liverpool itself but there was a vast hinterland of holiday makers in resorts not too far distant like Blackpool and Southport as well as a huge quantity of local residents all looking for something to do at the weekend.
La Marguerite’s departure time of 10.45am also gave ample time for intending passengers from as far afield as Manchester, Macclesfield, Huddersfield, Leeds and beyond to travel by train to Liverpool to come aboard for the lovely trip down the North Wales Coast and make a day of it.
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 2nd August 2021.