21st November 1961 Alumchine


With the introduction of the paddle steamer Cleddau Queen in 1956 for the short Pembroke/Neyland ferry service, the paddle steamer Alumchine, of 1923, became second vessel on the route spending much subsequent time in reserve on a buoy in the river and sometimes dried out on the shore.

Plans were in hand for Alumchine to be returned to service on 21st November 1961 to replace Cleddau Queen, which required minor maintenance, when it was discovered that there had been a break-in and someone had tried to damage her steering gear. The police were called but fortunately the damage was not serious and was fairly easily repaired enabling Alumchine to take over from Cleddau Queen as planned.

Cleddau Queen

Although Maid of the Loch is often said to be the last paddle steamer of any size built in the UK, there were other commercial paddlers built after her not least the Cleddau Queen, of 1956, which was powered by two steam engines and had full BOT Passenger Certificates.

There were also the seven large Diesel electric paddle tugs Dextrous, Director, Faithfull, Favourite, Forceful, Grinder and Griper built for service in Royal Naval Dockyards between 1956 and 1958. The PSPS Wessex Branch made a visit to, and had a trip around Portsmouth Harbour on, the Grinder on 2nd October 1965, a report of which appeared in the November 1965 issue of 'Paddle Wheels', number 23, written by someone called John Megoran, then aged fourteen.

John Megoran