The 2023 Audio Award of the Independent Publishers Guild Awards has been won by by the Scottish-based publishing group Belle Media for their 2022 radio series Stormy Weather which was recorded aboard Kingswear Castle, Waverley, Medway Queen, Balmoral and TS Queen Mary and included interviews with key figures from the ships.
The five-part series was presented by transport historian and broadcaster Tim Dunn, and celebrated the UK’s proud heritage of excursion steamers. Tim travelled around the country to uncover the story of each ship and also interviewed National Historic Ships UK Director Hannah Cunliffe who talked about their role in helping to preserve and promote historic ships.
Producer Kay Hutchison also has a strong connection with the subject not only because she worked on board a number of vessels as a student, but her father, Captain Robin Hutchison, was senior Captain on the Clyde for many years.
She explains, “My father was quite a storyteller. He started sailing in the early 1950s as an apprentice, aged 16. When he finally gave up ‘deep sea’, he worked on the Clyde, where he captained many ships, including the Waverley and Queen Mary II. He finished his career as Master of the luxury cruise ship Hebridean Princess and a few years ago, published his memoirs Hurricane Hutch’s Top 10 Ships of the Clyde. More social history than detailed log, it proved very popular. So, I knew that there was the potential to create something that would fulfil the desire to hear more about these ships and the people connected with them. With our knowledge and Tim’s enthusiasm, I knew it could make a great series.”
If you missed the series first time round, listen again here.
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.