Over 120 Coastwatch watchkeepers and guests enjoyed a spectacular September river cruise and music evening on the Kingswear Castle paddle steamer, thanks to the generosity of Andrew Pooley, Managing Director of the Dartmouth Steam Railway and Riverboat Company, who made the vessel available totally free of charge. The cruise enabled Froward Point’s National Coastwatch Institution station to raise in excess of £1,200 towards the station’s annual £8,000 running costs.
The NCI President John Gifford and his wife Rosemary were honoured guests. Also on board was Robin Cox, grandson and great nephew of two of the founders of Cox and Co. of Falmouth who built and later refurbished the vessel’s 1904 engines. The Kingswear Castle, the only coal-fired paddle steamer in the U.K., is now a familiar sight to the watchkeepers as it ventures to the mouth of the River Dart on pleasure cruises. Celebrating its 90th anniversary, the vessel has been owned by the Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle Trust since 1967. It provided the perfect setting for enjoying the Dart on a balmy September 2014 evening serenaded by Mike Green’s accordion music. A magnificent red sunset provided a fitting end to a truly memorable occasion.