On Tuesday 31st January 1961 Monarch, boarded up for her voyage to the scrapyard in Ireland, was towed away from her berth in the Weymouth Backwater, through the Town Bridge and down the harbour to meet up with the sea-going tug Salvonia which was waiting for her in Weymouth Bay.
However the weather forecast was not great so instead Monarch was moored alongside the Pleasure Pier to wait until conditions had improved.
It was a sad day. I was at school but hearing that her departure was now imminent my nine year old self instructed Mum to go down to the Pleasure Pier the following day in the hope of taking some snaps of her on my Brownie box camera before she left for good. At least then I would have some more pictures to remind me of her.
Ever helpful to my every nautical whim Mum duly obliged the following afternoon taking my camera and our black and white spaniel Kim with her and so took some of the last pictures of Monarch in Weymouth.
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 31st January 2021.