23rd September 1955 Consul

Friday 23rd September was the last scheduled day of the 1955 season for Consul with an "Afternoon Tea Cruise to the Bill of Portland" advertised in the steamer notice for 3pm.

Consul was 175 feet long with a Gross Registered Tonnage of just 275 tons so was fairly economic to operate requiring only about 50 passengers on a trip to cover the direct cost of her fuel and wages. It was therefore worth Cosens while keeping her in steam at the tail end of the season for just this handful of afternoon cruises as shown in this steamer notice which advertises afternoon "Special tea Cruises To The Bill of Portland, with teas supplied at moderate charges" on the Saturday, Sunday and Friday, "Cruise to the Shambles Lightship" on the Monday, "A Special Tea Cruise across Weymouth Bay towards Osmington and Ringstead, thence to Portland Harbour viewing HM Ships and Merchant Shipping" on the Tuesday with one hour cruises around Portland Harbour followed by landing cruises to Lulworth Cove giving an hour ashore on the Wednesday and Thursday. A nice gentle schedule really to soak up the last knockings of what was left of the Weymouth season with the children long back in school and passenger numbers very much on the wane.

1955 was the last season Cosens based two paddle steamers at Weymouth. Empress had finished her season with an afternoon cruise to Lulworth Cove on Friday 9th September (on which Clifton Smith-Cox, P & A Campbell's Managing Director, was a passenger) and by this Friday 23rd September was already in the scrapyard at Southampton.

John Megoran

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