On Wednesday 30th October 1957 the Bournemouth Echo ran an article expanding on its announcement the previous day that Red Funnel’s Bournemouth Queen was to be withdrawn.
The article makes mention that Bournemouth Queen’s first chief steward Mr A Misselbrook was still working for the company, now as chief store keeper, half a century later. And that was pretty typical. Many loyal servants of these paddle steamer operating companies stayed with their firms for much, and in some cases all, of their working lives in these bygone days.
The article is not entirely accurate on dates. It was July 1947 when Bournemouth Queen was returned to service and posted to Bournemouth after the war. And she was back again each summer up to 1950 initially taking up her pre war role sharing the longer day trips now with Embassy and Princess Elizabeth round the Isle of Wight, to Yarmouth and Southampton and to Yarmouth, Ryde and round Portsmouth Harbour as well as taking turn on the Swanage service.
After the arrival of the twin funnelled Lorna Doone in 1948 Bournemouth Queen spent much of the peak weeks of her last two seasons on the Swanage service although she continued to be rostered for the longer day trips from time to time in the height of the summer and pretty much every day at the start and towards the ends of the seasons.
From 1951 she lost her sea-going Class III Passenger Certificates and spent her last seven summers sailing entirely on Southampton Water and in the Solent. In 1951 she inaugurated a service from Southampton to the newly opened Totland Bay Pier but that didn’t draw out the crowds so she was transferred to the Southampton, Ryde and Southsea roster instead.
Bournemouth Queen left Southampton on 18th December 1957 in tow of the tug Bulldog II for the scrapyard in Ghent.
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 30th October 2020.