From 2010 up to 2013 - Just one more year - and then - - -100 years of P.S. Compton Castle - in one form or another!






I have often wondered if Compton Castle would survive until 2014 and make a century? Well it looks as if she might. In March 2013 I take another look. Here are my notes from then:

It is the end of March 2013, and I'm here again in Truro. This time next year I'd like to celebrate a century of P. S. Compton Castle. But how can I when she is no longer a paddle steamer. Water still laps around her hull and she still floats everyday with the tide. But poor old Compton is not what she was. If you want to see her heart; the steam power that took her up and down the river Dart for all those years, you need to go to the Isle of Wight and the museum there. If you want to get the full paddle steamer experience then go to Dartmouth and pretend the boat you are looking at is Compton Castle. For in 2013 the Kingswear Castle came home. It has been lovingly preserved. I've just been on one of the first trips. I have the ticket; 'Kingswear Castle Paddle Steamer Homecoming Charity River Cruise'. Friday, 29 March 2013. But alas for Compton there will be no homecoming. And who sees a paddle steamer anymore at Lemon Quay Truro? I doubt the folk sitting in the Portakabin nearby eating their burgers. After the trip in Dartmouth we've come to Truro to see the revamped Castle defined by the agents as having undergone a comprehensive refurbishment including a new fully glazed superstructure with a spiral staircase The floating office, or is it a conservatory, or even a greenhouse, was up for rent at £65,000 per year. The Ships Biscuit kiosk has gone replaced by a refreshment bar nearby. A picture tells a thousand words, so I'll just describe it as a black Portakabin with giant lettering and let my photos do the rest.
It looks as if the snack bar has an arrangement to use the boat; perhaps the plan is to extend into Compton if the temporary structure proves successful. The bar takes up the same space as the plant displays which sat alongside the boat in its florists days. So it is still just a short walk from the boat's gang plank into a back door of the Portakabin. Then up the ramp walks a girl in her chef's attire carrying a large plastic bag full of bread rolls. I cast my eye back to the boat and see inside boxes and large drums. The girl has now disappeared into The Hubbox and the door has closed, so I wander down the ramp to the boat. I see some drums labelled cooking oil. The paddler has become a burger store; well in part. Most of the inside is bare. Quite impressive but nothing like a paddle steamer. There is something pinned to a post nearby which states an application is in progress. Cornwall Council has posted a notice stating that Mr Richard Boon has applied to Cornwall Council for planning permission for Temporary usage of area of quay for stationing of pop-up restaurant (one year). It was dated 27th of March 2013. Very recent.