Paddle steamers

billyboy
6th October 2005, 05:25
The following Paddle steamers were of great interest to me as a child. "Glen Gower", "Bristol Queen" and the "Cardif Queen" anyone know what became of them? are they afloat or scrapped. thought the "Glen Gower" would have made it to preservation status, she was a regular visitor to newhaven in the summers. gratefful for any info guy's.

Bruce Carson
6th October 2005, 13:34
Hi Billyboy
The following site has pictures and a a short history of all three.
http://freespace.virgin.net/tom.lee/bristol%20channel.htm
It's a shame that the two Queens did not last longer.

Bruce C.

neil maclachlan
6th October 2005, 17:03
Hi Billy-boy,
Neil Maclachlan making claim and being associated with another another famous paddle steamer, namely "The Bristol Queen." Rankin & Blackmores of Greenock, Scotland, also built the engines and boilers for this steamer. I remember as an apprentice,we built the crankshaft for this set.The" Waverley's" crankshaft was an outside purchase,all machined and pollished ,shiny and bright.On the other hand we built the "Bristol Queens" from scratch, assembling all the journals,pins and webs by heating and shrinking them together,then on to a big lathe for final machining. As apprentices we had to hand polish the crankshaft webs,usually as a punishment for doing something the foreman did't appreciate. Just thought I'd add this as a point of interest
Neiol Mac.

John Rogers
6th October 2005, 18:39
I think it was the Bristol Queen that had a lot of problems with her paddle wheels over the years,still she could still run at 18 knots. Built by Charles Hill Bristol,launched in April 1946, She was broken up in Belgium in 1968
John.

graham
6th October 2005, 22:34
cardiff queen launched 25 feb 1947 scrapped may 1968 there is a book the cardiff queen the ultimate coastal paddle steamer by nick james full of photos
graham

billyboy
7th October 2005, 00:57
Many thanks to you all for your help. going to have a look at the website Bruce gave me now

billyboy
7th October 2005, 01:46
Bruce, thast is a great site full of Padler info. thank you very much. seen a few I know there.

Bruce Carson
7th October 2005, 02:18
Hi Billyboy:
On the Contents Page most of the excursion steamers we knew are there.
Like many of the members that grew up in the British Isles, I'm of an age when a trip on a steamer for a youngster was something special, something to look forward to and something to brag about for weeks after.
Paddler or turbine, it was a really special occasion in the drab years after World War II. On the Clyde, a look at the "injins" was a tradition and added to the wonderment and excitement.
It's really a shame that the kids today don't have that pleasure. They will never know the sound of the buckets hitting the water or the squawk of the following seagulls. A small number will be fortunate enough to sail on the 'Waverley' or the few other remaining active steamers and they will be the lucky ones.

Bruce C.

neil maclachlan
7th October 2005, 18:25
Hi Bruce,
After I retired in 1992 my wife and I used to go back to Scotland every summer I also had my sons and daughter-inlaw accompany us,they just loved Scotland ( I loved the Vic Bar in Gourock?) We always rented a caravan at The Cloch Caravan park, this allowed us a HQ and having a car rental we could tour Scotland and have a place to call home during our stay, To cut a long story short, in the evening when the sun was going down and you were sitting outside (the weather was great) having a beer you would hear the old Waverley, chunk, chunking up river, the sound of the paddle floats smacking the water is indeed a memory.
Neil Mac

ruud
7th October 2005, 19:13
Hi Bruce,
After I retired in 1992 my wife and I used to go back to Scotland every summer I also had my sons and daughter-inlaw accompany us,they just loved Scotland ( I loved the Vic Bar in Gourock?) We always rented a caravan at The Cloch Caravan park, this allowed us a HQ and having a car rental we could tour Scotland and have a place to call home during our stay, To cut a long story short, in the evening when the sun was going down and you were sitting outside (the weather was great) having a beer you would hear the old Waverley, chunk, chunking up river, the sound of the paddle floats smacking the water is indeed a memory.
Neil MacAhoy Neil,
You mean this one?
http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/8954/vicbargourock18cr.th.jpg (http://img155.imageshack.us/my.php?image=vicbargourock18cr.jpg)

The Victoria Bar
Know by locals as "The Vic", this pub is one of the busiest in Gourock from Thursday to Saturday. It is a large pub with 2 seperate bars and can get quite busy on a Saturday night with clubbers going in for a drink before they move on to nearby Greenock. The crowd is mainly middle aged but everyone is made welcome. The best thing about the Vic is the excepitionally large spirit(Pint) measures that you get. This ensures that people keep on going back as prices are affordable aswell. I'll buy you one(Pint) (*))

neil maclachlan
7th October 2005, 23:50
Hi Ruud,
Yep,thats the place,how a picture can make your mind wander back,thanks.
Neil Mac.

R527835
8th October 2005, 04:37
Aye the love for the Bristol based Campbell Steamers was me downfall BillY Boy... I was a galleyboy aboard the Ravenswood in 1949... I remember it as if it were only yesterday...


THE GALLEY BOY OF THE RAVENSWOOD

He stood dreaming on the sponson, tamped a Woodbine on a Ronson,
Watching paddles do the bidding of the gleaming engine room.
With the Powder House a’beam and a good full head of steam
He was off to be a sailor, he was off to Ilfracombe.

His chest had swelled with pride as they’d caught the morning tide;
In his mind: The Bristol voices filled the air,
Where the sailing ships had moored as their powder had been stored;
In years to come they’d hang his bellrope there.

But that was later on, when the years had come and gone,
When the ‘iron ships and wooden men’ neared the end;
Now, with dinner spuds all peeled, the Campbell Steamer heeled,
And fled (with burgee straight,) round Horseshoe Bend.

Making smoke tracks in the sky, the Dagmar Bratt went by,
And The Ravenswood steamed “slow a’head” again;
Like she did, back at Sea Mills, for one of Charlie Hill’s,
And the Starling back from Portugal and Spain.

With the wind ‘In from the West’ there was only Hungroad left;
The last bend in the Avon’s winding track.
Big brass whistle blowing steam, there’s the Dunkerton a’beam,
With Flatholm sand to off-load at Welsh Back.

Now it’s straight down to ‘The Mouth’, there, (with compass west of south)
You could look to Steepholm, fine on starboard bow;
Past the unique browny surge, where the West’s twin waters merge,
Christ! I’d give an arm (not mine!!) to be there now.

Where ships anchor at Kingroad, (they wait there to be towed
By the tugs from Rae’s or King’s to help them berth,)
With ship’s colours on each stack, like some seamen’s almanac,
For a seaman it’s the best place on this earth.

But there’s hot work to be done, (galley life is not all fun,)
And the Dixie pots and pans were piled high,
So he deep-sixed his fag end, nonchalantly, with the wind,
Squared his shoulders, then went mid-ships with a sigh.

He’d had trouble with his feet, (wearing plimsolls in the heat,)
Well; in Bristol, “They was daps, tha’s what they was,”)
And his toes had gone all red, and “The two big un’s had bled,”
And in between he’d found some light green fuzz.

“Salt water’s good for them,” (the cook dropped this little gem,)
“Soak em innit for ‘aff hour every day;
“In the meantime, clean them fish; over there on that big dish,
“We serve lunch when we’re a’beam of Porlock Bay,”

Heaving lines were being cast, then the mooring line from aft
Was bowsed in tight, to keep the sponson near.
Bristol fashion’d along side, on the Severn’s rising tide.
More day trippers came aboard at Weston Pier.

Now with raw toes screaming pain, (Fletcher Christian stalked his brain,)
The boy cleaned piles of fish with curse and groan;
So, the bucket housed his feet, and the spuds prepared to eat,
Lightly salted; it was two birds with one stone.

Just about three weeks before, in the Sea of Labrador,
Some small ripples grew to wavesize overnight.
Whipped along by wind and tide on a trans-Atlantic ride,
‘Til they fetched up huge, around the Breaksea Light.

Well the boy, (taking a blow, from the fish pile down below,)
Leaning on the weather bulwark in the spray,
Saw the Glen Usk and Glen Gower head for Cardiff at full power,
‘Cause the storm cones had been hoisted for that day.

And the big ships from deep sea were spectacular to see,
Tramps and Tankers, framed against the hills of Gwent,
Over there, towards Porthcawl, limping back from Montreal,
The Delilian with all her lifeboats bent.

There were Port Boats, P.& O. one of Ropner’s going slow,
The Cavina bound for Kingston in the sun;
And a veteran of big seas rode with customary ease,
The New York City from the Western Ocean run.

Now with Steepholm well a’stern, the boy began to learn
about sea legs, and a seaman’s rule at sea;
When she starts to ‘ship em green’ and Sam Plimsoll can’t be seen,
Then it’s ‘one hand for the ship and one for me’.

This nautical romance, just up north east from Penzance,
Left the boy with ‘deep sea fever ‘ in his bones;
He was destined to become, (besides allotments for his Mum,)
Well aquainted with ‘Skin Boat’s holystones.

They crept into Ilfracombe, paddling softly through the spume,
Till they berthed, snug in the lee of Lantern Hill;
But they sailed within the hour, heading due north for the Gower,
While the boy was armpit deep in galley swill.

In his heart he longed to be, like the real men of the sea;
Men like Dampier and John Cabot, even Drake;
But he couldn’t reconcile all those dead fish in a pile,
With the kind of epic voyage they would make.

Still, the Campbell’s was a start, and would ease a longing heart,
And the need for foreign parts and mystery;
Was met, moments before dusk, berthed at Newport, on the Usk,
When the boy had spent his first full day at sea.



© Reg Kear… Australia. 1997.

billyboy
8th October 2005, 12:16
R527, That was a great poem you wrote there! makes me feel quite nostalgic my friend, But then again, this is what this great site is all about. Thank you for that Reg.

Bruce Carson
8th October 2005, 14:35
Boy, we are up to our knees in nostalgia and that's not all bad once in a while.
I was thinking that maybe the next time I'm back in Scotland the 'Maid of the Loch' will be running again.
That's another paddler I have fond memories of and to see both she and the 'Waverley' under steam would be terrific.

Bruce C.

Hendo!
19th November 2005, 21:03
Unbelievable!

The Vic was a regular haunt for me when I lived in Gourock! And Ruud you are right about the measures! (hic!)

Bruce C - I have a couple of friends involved in the restoration of the Maid, Alistair Black and Stuart Mears, are they members here?

Jan Hendrik
20th November 2005, 00:25
Billyboy,
I will soon post a number of pictures of paddle steamers which operate on the Murray in North Eastern Victoria. Echuca is claimed to be the world's largest inland port of paddle boats.
I post these under "preserved vessels" on the main page.
So hopefully you like them.
Jan

Bruce Carson
20th November 2005, 00:34
Bruce C - I have a couple of friends involved in the restoration of the Maid, Alistair Black and Stuart Mears, are they members here?[/QUOTE]

Hi Hendo:
I took a quick look but couldn't find them in the Members List--it could be that they're using just one name, christian or surname, or a nickname.
Click on "Members List" at the top of the page if you ever feel like taking a look for familiar names.

Bruce C.

Hendo!
20th November 2005, 08:05
Had a quick look through it, but couldn't find anyone I'd recognise as them.

Think I'll have a word...

:)

Gulpers
20th November 2005, 23:19
Hendo,

Looks like you are another member of the Gourock Navy- there are a few of us in SN. God bless the Vic! (Thumb)

Hendo!
21st November 2005, 22:00
That's right, I used to live in Kirn Drive until 2000 when I moved to the Netherlands.

Tony Breach
14th June 2006, 00:18
Reg Kear's poem is superb - Kipling would struggle to do as well. I was an AB on BRISTOL QUEEN in 1963 & things were just as Reg said. Before that I had sailed in GLOUCESTER CITY, sister of NEW YORK CITY as mentioned in the doggerel & subsequently spent 37 years in "skin boats". Reg, you have a unique knowledge of the Bristol Channel & her ships. It has all changed now - I live at Nash Point but little comes inside the Nash sand anymore - probably proffesionally incorrect so to do!!!