by John Hannavy
Not much more than half a century ago, excursion paddle steamers were still a common sight plying the lakes, lochs, rivers and coastal resorts of Britain.
By the 1950s, with the increase in motoring holidays, the popularity of the excursion steamer trip was already waning, and by the 1960s few were making any money. and then suddenly, just like steam trains, they had almost all gone – victims of the growing popularity of the motor car, cheap flights and more sophisticated holiday expectations – and we had barely noticed. There are currently seven of them left, and at the time of writing two of those are still sailing. They are the 1947-built Waverley and the Dartmouth-built excursion steamer Kingswear Castle which has recently returned to work on the river Dart after many years sailing on the Medway.
This book does not set out to be a comprehensive history of the paddle steamer. rather it offers a series of snapshots of the fascinating story and enduring charm of paddlers over the last two hundred years, profusely illustrated by nostalgic historic images and the author’s own superb photography.
This is a delightful book and I would highly recommend this book to our readers.
Published by:PIXZ Books, Halsgrove House Ryelands Business Park Bagley road, Wellington Somerset Ta21 9PZ Tel: 01823 653777 www.halsgrove.com
Hardback: A5, 144 pp illustrated