Megoran’s Musings

John Megoran recalls the heyday and decline paddle steamers, particularly the Weymouth based paddle steamers that he grew up with, hoping that one day he would captain a paddle steamer.

He did realise his ambition – and more – restoring, managing and as principal captain of PS Kingswear Castle for nearly 30 years on both the Medway and Thames.

John has written several books about paddle and pleasure steamers that may be found here.

18th September 1964 Captain Defrates

Princess Elizabeth passing through Weymouth Town Bridge


Last trip of the 1964 season for Princess Elizabeth from the Weymouth Pleasure Pier through the Town Bridge to her winter lay-up berth in the Backwater.

2nd September 1939 Sussex Coast

Glen Gower leaving Newhaven.


With war about to be declared P & A Campbell cancelled all further Sussex Coast sailings and ordered Brighton Queen, Waverley and Glen Gower to return to the Bristol Channel.

31st August 1958 Monarch

Monarch arriving at Bournemouth Pier.


Monarch’s Late Night New Orleans Jazz Cruise, “The River Boat Shuffle”, with Gerry Brown’s Jazzmen and the Kapota cancelled.

28th August 1967 Kingswear Castle

Kingswear Castle at Binfield on the River Medina, Isle of Wight.


On Monday 28th August 1967 Kingswear Castle arrived under tow at Binfield on the Isle of Wight on charter to the Ridett brothers who then owned Medway Queen.

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