First trip of the season for Royal Eagle.
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.
On 25th April 1963 Bristol Queen was towed out of Weymouth Backwater through the Town Bridge.
Princess Elizabeth sails from Dartmouth to Plymouth for her annual dry-docking 20th April 1961.
Ryde ran a special cruise from Southsea to meet round the world yachtsman Alec Rose in 1968.
A trip on the Ammersee aboard Europe’s latest paddler Herrsching built as recently as 2002.
Most often associated with the Southampton to Cowes ferry and pottering about in the Solent, the Lizzie hit excursion peaks just after the Second World War.
Fifty summers ago, in 1964, there were still four paddle steamers operating on the Clyde, the Jeanie Deans, Waverley, Caledonia and Talisman.