This entertaining article from the early 1950s gives something of the flavour of paddle steamers in their winter rest.
The paddler with much fevered activity on deck is Red Funnel’s antiquated Princess Helena built in 1883. The twin funnelled steamer is either the Solent Queen ex Queen of Thanet or the Lorna Doone ex Queen of Kent, both built in 1916.
Although the article is up beat in tone the future of paddle steamers was bleak. With the exception of the Consul which continued sailing until 1964 and was scrapped in 1968, every one of the paddle steamers mentioned had been consigned to oblivion in the scrapyard within five years of the article being written. Times and fashions were changing fast.
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.