The South Devon Journal Wednesday, September 8th, 1965


And a look at museum souvenirs.

It’s been “all aboard for refreshments” at Kingsbridge where the old but spick-and-span paddle steamer "Compton Castle" is moored in her first full season in " retirement'. But so ship-shape is the vessel that many visitors, thinking she is still in commission, have been enquiring : "When does she sail? Perhaps they remember the times when she regularly made trips up and down the Dart.

Shaded by umbrellas on deck, patrons have found it a novel and pleasant rendezvous -if the tide is in!

When the tide is out - and the old steamer sits on the black mud - visitors, and those who are privileged to live in Devon begin to talk of schemes old and new to place a barrier across the estuary to retain some of the water.

At present even the proprietors of the old "Compton Castle ' pull a long face as the tide recedes.

“Orchid on a muck heap!” breathed “Skipper" Sam Baume as the ship began to settle, and his partner Harry Wood agreed. It would be wonderful, they said, if the tide were always in.

Tide out or in, wet or fine, visitors find plenty to interest them in the ship's museum in a roomy stern compartment. It is packed with items, mainly maritime relics. Alongside model boats, however, are several steam engines, and souvenirs from many parts of the world. There is some attractive Egyptian appliqué work, examples of Hindu art, old pottery, old newspapers including a supplement to the Manchester Guardian recording the passing of Queen Victoria and a collection of carvings and other items of general interest. And the ship's own engines, beautifully polished, are a source of admiration.

The Paddle Steamer Preservation Society has taken a considerable interest in the new role of this old Dartmouth steamer and recent correspondence with the Society is valued by the proprietors.

There was Harry with cigarette and ‘Mamod’ model steam engine; and there was Sam with a statuette propped on his hook.

“Orchid on a muck heap,” says Sam again.