This film is part of Free

Paddle Steamer the Bristol Queen

The steam whistle sounds the ‘all aboard' for a coastal cruise from Cardiff to Weston-super-Mare

News 1964 7 mins

From the collection of:

Logo for South West Film and Television Archive


TV reporter Terry Fleet is at Weston-super-Mare and reports on his journey from Cardiff across the Bristol Channel on the paddle steamer Bristol Queen. Launched with a Bristol Cream sherry bottle on 4 April 1946 by Lady Mayoress J Owen and built by Charles Hill and Sons of Bristol, its engines were made by Rankin and Blackmore of Greenock. Enthusiasm for paddle steamers matches that for steam trains; spewed black smoke is a Turneresque romantic doff to our industrial past.

Peter and Alexander Campbell set up the White Funnel fleet at Bristol in 1887 after PS Waverley was moved from the River Clyde in Scotland. By 1963 the company were trialling SRN2 hovercraft. After hitting Penarth Pier in 1966 and in 1967 damaging a paddle wheel, the Bristol Queen was taken out of service and the breaker's yard beckoned. The Paddle Steamer Preservation Society saved the PS Waverley which still operates in Scotland, on the Bristol Channel, the Thames and along the South Coast. Bob Campbell Senior was a captain operating on the Clyde and the Clyde River Steamer Club is keeper of the steam fleet memories. Friends of Turbine Steamship Queen Mary have saved the vessel for future generations.