Paddle Steamers

Part 5: The Post War Years

By Robin F. Jones

After the end of World War II, P & A Campbell prepared to start operations again along the Sussex Coast, but it was not until 1947 at Whitsun that P.S. Glen Gower operated from Brighton. With high losses in World War II, Campbell's found it necessary to order new steamers. However in 1950 the decline of regular paddle steamers was apparent, and with falling passenger numbers, P & A Campbell decided to only operate one steamer, the Glen Gower, from Brighton. Campbell's also suffered a decline in the Bristol Channel, and because of losses during the war, they ordered just two new paddle steamers, P.S. Bristol Queen, built in 1946 and P.S. Cardiff Queen built in the following year.

P.S Cardiff Queen and P.S Glen Gower
In 1952 and 1953 P.S. Cardiff Queen, which had two funnels, concealed paddle boxes and was powered by a triple expansion engine, operated cruises from Brighton. With P.S. Cardiff Queen returning to the Bristol Channel after the 1953 season, the sole steamer at Brighton in 1954 was P.S. Glen Gower. In 1955 with the introduction of 'No Passport' trips to France, P.S Glen Gower received a short revival of interest and increase in passengers. In fact during the 37 trips operated, as many as 16,000 passengers were carried. P.S. Glen Gower operated on the Sussex Coast again in 1956, but due to the atrocious weather, 23 sailings were cancelled.

The end of South Coast operations
1956 turned out to be the last year P & A Campbell operated on the South Coast, as Glen Gower was moved to the Bristol Channel for the 1957 season. Three years later in 1960 a Mr. Herbert Jennings, who formed the company Brighton and South Coast Steamers, decided to operate the P.S. Sussex Queen from Brighton and other resorts, but this was not successful. Glen Gower was scrapped at Boom in Belgium in April 1960.’

Sent to website by e-mail 29-01-2003
This page was added on 22/03/2006.
Comments about this page

I recall trips on PS Glengower a model of which is in the museum attached to the SS Great Britain in Bristol Docks. We had a channel trip and later on a one-way trip to Newhaven where she was berthed overnight, returning by Southdown bus to Pool Valley.

By John Snelling (28/12/2012)

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