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20th June 1962 Consul

On Wednesday 20th June 1962 Consul (ex Duke of Devonshire) was scheduled to leave Weymouth at 10am for a day trip to Swanage and Bournemouth due back at 8.15pm under the command of Capt John Iliffe.

The Board of Trade had given Consul a hard time the previous winter. She had sprung a small leak after coming off the slipway so had had to go back up again to have it fixed. This led Board of Trade surveyor Len Mutton to demand that all the cement wash in her bilges should be removed during the following winter survey to enable a closer examination of the hull. He also proposed restricting Consul’s Passenger Certificates to just Weymouth Bay for the 1962 season enabling her to run from Weymouth only within an area bounded by Portland Bill and Lulworth Cove.

Cosens had a large group booking in the diary for this trip to Bournemouth on 20th June so Mr Mutton gave special permission for this to go ahead as a one off. No other sailings to Swanage and Bournemouth were advertised for Consul in 1962 and no trips were advertised in the Bournemouth programme for Consul for this day 20th June where in previous years it had be the practice for her to fit in either an extra round trip on the Swanage service or to offer an afternoon cruise to Hengistbury Head or towards the Needles.

In the end the trip to Swanage and Bournemouth didn’t take place. Wednesday 20th June 1962 dawned with heavy rain and strong winds so the Consul’s sailing was cancelled and she remained tied up at her berth alongside Trinity Wharf.

That makes the last occasions when Consul was scheduled to sail for Cosens on trips outside Weymouth Bay as Thursday 31st August 1961 when she was rostered for Swanage and Bournemouth and Friday 1st September when she was programmed for Swanage and Totland Bay, Isle of Wight.

Consul had two more operational seasons to go in private ownership of a company set up by Tony McGinnity, a founder member of the PSPS and Mrs Eileen Pritchard, PSPS member number 1. But that is another long and not altogether happy story for another day.

John Megoran

John Megoran