In December 1958 Charles Henry James Kaile (left) retired as secretary and general manager of Cosens after a career of 56 years with the company and was presented with an inscribed silver tea set by Chairman Mr S F Thatcher (right) at a lunch given in his honour at the Gloucester Hotel, Weymouth. Guests included representatives of the business, civic and naval life of Weymouth including the Mayor, Mrs Iseult Legh, Alderman Mrs C Wootton, Mr E C Redman Chairman of Red Funnel of Southampton, Rear Admiral W G Crawford Flag Officer in Charge of Portland Naval Base and Mr W G Salmon the Weymouth and Southampton Divisional Shipping Manager for British Railways.
Tributes were paid to Mr Kaile by several guests including by Mrs Legh, Mr Thatcher, Mr D E Brooks (his successor) and Capt Haines, then master of the Monarch, who was accompanied to the lunch by Capt Defrates of the Consul and Capt Rawle of the Embassy.
Rear Admiral Crawford recalled that he had been to a preparatory school in Weymouth and that in 1919, due to a railway strike, the only way he could get home to Lyme Regis was on one of Cosens’s steamers, probably the first Monarch, which gave him his first taste of going to sea and led to his Naval career.
Mr Kaile responded by thanking guests and recalled his days with Cosens which had ‘not been monotonous’ and had included work on Russian warships prior to going to war with Japan. He referred to all the apprentices ‘raised’ by Cosens who were now occupying positions of responsibility all over the world.
When Mr Kaile joined the firm as a junior clerk in 1902, Cosens owned and operated eight paddle steamers with the latest addition to the fleet the previous year being the Majestic which had been specially commissioned for long distance and cross-Channel excursions as a direct result of competition in the neighbourhood from P & A Campbell’s Cambria. She is seen here backing out of Weymouth.
He became secretary to Mr S J Fowler (then managing director of the company), in 1911 he was appointed assistant secretary to the company and in 1925 secretary. In 1942 he became general manager.
Twice Mayor and later a Freeman of the Borough, he had been particularly interested in the Harbour Committee, ‘a sphere in which his knowledge was equalled by few’ and his Chairmanship of the Housing Allocation Committee brought him into close contact with many distressed and homeless people. In 1945 he was president of Weymouth and Portland Chamber of Commerce and for many years President of Weymouth Operatic Society.
When he retired in 1958 Cosens operated just three paddle steamers, Consul (pictured above backing out of Weymouth in 1950) based at Weymouth and running local trips round Portland Harbour, to Lulworth Cove, the Shambles Lightship and Portland Bill as well as day trips to Swanage and Bournemouth and Swanage and Totland Bay, Isle of Wight…
…Embassy, seen here arriving at Bournemouth in 1962 with Capt Holleyoak on the bridge, which was based at Bournemouth running longer excursions primarily to Totland Bay and Yarmouth…
…and Monarch, seen here approaching Bournemouth in 1960 with Capt Defrates on the bridge, which generally ran the Bournemouth to Swanage service throughout the peak weeks with very occasional visits to the Isle of Wight.
Although Mr Kaile stepped down as general manager in 1958, he remained on the board and is seen here fifth from the left presenting the bell of the first Monarch to the Wessex Branch of the PSPS in a ceremony aboard the Embassy in the Weymouth Backwater on Wednesday 8th March 1961. Pictured left to right are my father Winston Megoran (PSPS Member), R E West (PSPS member), Sidney Davis (Company Secretary of Cosens), ?, Charles Kaile, Capt Thomas, (PSPS member), Mrs Stephanie MCGurk (daughter of Capt Thomas), Peter Ellis (PSPS member), Mike Hodges (PSPS member), Victor Gray (PSPS member) and Russell Horwood (PSPS member).
Mr Kaile died three years later in Weymouth and District Hospital in September 1964 aged 81. His wife Annetta Alice pre-deceased him in March 1962 after a long illness and he left two sons Eric and Alfred. For many years he lived in Spring Avenue, Weymouth only a short walk from his beloved harbour.
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.