Winter 1960


Bronze statue of John Betjeman by sculptor Martin Jennings at St Pancras Station. Designed, cast and unveiled in 2007 by Betjeman’s daughter.

Royal occasion – June 18th saw the first direct sailing to Portsmouth from Bournemouth since 1939, when the Monarch made a special all day excursion from Portsmouth to witness the return of HRH Princess Margaret and her husband Anthony Armstrong Jones, in the Royal Yacht Britannia. In spite of a delayed start due to fog the vessel returned on time to Bournemouth at 6pm.

Laid up on the River Dart – After completing her first season under the ownership of Torbay Steamers Ltd, the Princess Elizabeth sailed for a lay up berth in the River Dart on September 22nd. She now lies in a mud berth in the yard of the shipbuilders Philip & Son who were recently taken over by Harland and Wolff Ltd.

John Betjeman becomes patron – Mr John Betjeman, distinguished man of letters, poet, founder of the Victorian Society, who has always been ready to do battle to preserve that which is beautiful, historically important or quaint, consented to become patron of the Society.

September 1960 – was an important month for the Clyde paddle steamers. All four remained in commission until after Monday 26th – the Glasgow Autumn Holiday. A change from 1959 occurred when the three turbines were laid up at Greenock from September 6th, only Duchess of Hamilton and Queen Mary II reappearing for a few days for the Autumn weekend holiday. Thus it was left to the paddlers to provide the main excursion sailings. Waverley covered the excursions from Gourock on different days of the week to Ayr, Arran, Inveraray and Campbeltown. The distance from Gourock to Campbeltown is twice that from Folkestone to Bologne – the steamer leaving at 9.20 am, with an hour at Campbeltown and returns at 7.40 pm calling at Dunoon, Rothesay, Largs, Fairlie, Millport and Lochranza in each direction.

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