We saw in an earlier post how the Southern Railway offered trips taking advantage of timings for “Early Closing Day” when shops generally closed for business on Wednesday afternoons. P & A Campbell did the same thing. Here on Wednesday 5th October they marketed the afternoon cruises from Eastbourne in their steamer notice as “Early Closing Trips” lest anyone should be in any doubt.
Their Waverley was scheduled to leave Eastbourne at 2.15pm (after the shops had closed) on this day for a cruise along the coast to Hastings where passengers could disembark if they wanted for an hour and a half ashore or stay aboard for the “Afternoon Cruise towards Dungeness, a 45 miles Cruise” getting back to Eastbourne at 5.40pm.
This was Waverley’s last week of the season on the Sussex Coast. As this steamer notice also advertises she was scheduled to leave Brighton Palace Pier at 10am on Friday 10th October for the run back along the South Coast and up the Bristol Channel to Ilfracombe where she was due to arrive 26 hours later at noon the following day and then on to Bristol five hours later.
Sometimes these long positioning runs, which often drew about 50 or so diehard enthusiasts as passengers, ran smoothly and sometimes they didn’t. For example, the following year Glen Gower left Brighton at 9am on Monday 3rd October but it was not until late on Friday afternoon that she eventually reached Bristol having encountered severe seas, and having to put in for shelter, along the way.
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 5th October 2020.