Monday 6th October 1958 was the last day of the season for Cardiff Queen with four round trips on the Cardiff/Weston ferry.
She was due away from Cardiff (9.30am) for Penarth (9.40am) for Weston (10.30am) for Penarth (11.30am) for Cardiff (11.40am) for Weston (1.30pm) for Penarth (2.20pm) and Cardiff (2.30pm).
Then in the dark of the evening she was billed for an “Evening Musical trip” leaving Cardiff (7.15pm), Penarth (7.25pm) for Weston (8.35pm) for Cardiff (9.30pm) for Weston (10.35pm) for Penarth (11.25pm) and Cardiff (11.35pm). So it was probably quite a boozy night with revellers having also enjoyed time in the pubs ashore during the day both in Wales and in Somerset.
The following day Cardiff Queen joined her consorts Bristol Queen and Glen Usk to lay up in Penarth Docks.
1958 had been a momentous and difficult summer for P & A Campbell with the situation not helped by generally poor weather.. Their difficult financial position in trying to run paddle steamers in a declining market alongside escalating costs had come to a head and in August the Receiver had been brought in.
However, all was not lost. It was agreed that for 1959 the company could continue to trade but with a reduced service using just two paddle steamers and without a steamer based at Swansea for the summer.
Accordingly Cardiff Queen and Glen Usk were recommissioned for 1959 with Bristol Queen laid up for the next two summers whilst her owners tried hard to find other work for her.
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 6th October 2020.