Click on the river to jump to a date
Click on the river to jump to a date

 About this project

This site is a not-for-profit project to record the initial period, 1973 to 1983, of the restoration of the paddle steamer Kingswear Castle. This succeeded in bringing the ship, discarded in 1965, to full working order. It paved the way for return to revenue earning service and access to funds that enabled maintenance, improvements and major replacements such as boiler, decking and hull plating. Records of these later events can be found on the pages at

The early work recorded here was carried out by volunteer members of the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society.  Unlike the 21st century, there were no mobile phones, and no digital photography or social media in the 1970s. Communications were carried out by home telephone calls and mail. Reports and comments were published in the PSPS journal "Paddle Wheels". These, together with the log books and personal recollections have been used in an attempt to bring to life material that exists in the archives and make it more accessible. It is intended to bring back some of the atmosphere surrounding the ten years that it eventually took to complete the work.


Photographs have been sourced from Paddle Wheels, the PSPS Collection, and individual collections. In some cases it has not been possible to trace the source and in other cases not possible to trace the owner.  Additional information regarding photographs is welcome and changes to the site will be made as necessary.


Many people contributed to this restoration on a voluntary basis, and it is not possible to name them all.  Some of them appear in the story and part of the objective of this site is to acknowledge the contribution of all.


Comments and opinions are not necessarily those of the Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle Trust or the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society.