Talisman lost all power on her approach to Kilcreggan around 5pm on 3rd January 1948 and ran aground east of the pier. There she remained overnight and there she still was sitting on the rocky shore as dawn broke on Thursday 4th January.
At first light a full survey of her hull was undertaken. This showed some slight damage and a small ingress of water in the bow. A cement box was fitted during the day to effect a repair and with the assistance of two Clyde tugs she was towed off on the next suitable high tide. With her power now restored she paddled her own way back first to Craigendoran and then on to the harbour at Bowling.
After slipping and her annual refit Talisman returned to service in March with her funnel repainted buff with a black top. Gone was the red, white and black livery of the old London and North Eastern Railway which on 1st January 1948 had been nationalised by the Labour Government and absorbed into a giant new conglomerate called British Railways.
Tiny Point of Detail: Look at these pictures again. The bridge looks to be slightly in the wrong place right at the for’ard end of the deck house. It had been moved there from its previous position further aft to create the maximum distance possible between the ship’s compass and the diesel electric propulsion machinery. The latter generated its own magnetic fields which were said to affect the compass in its old location. Hence the new position of the bridge.
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 4th January 2021.