Monday, 26 March 2012


      It's with great sadness that I report the sudden death of Mr Jack Rowles on Saturday 10th March.
      Many older members of the Bristol Channel Branch of P.S.P.S. will remember Jack as P & A Campbell's last permanent Chief Engineer aboard the two 'Queens'.
      Originally, Jack had intended following his father, an ex P & A Campbell master into the Bristol Pilot Service.  Unfortunately he failed part of the eyesight test, and joined Campbells as an apprentice engineer at their Underfall Yard works in Bristol.  His work included maintenance duties on all the ships, starting in 1938.
      On completion of his apprenticeship Jack was drafted into the Royal Navy, specialising in New Build Landing Craft, based for a while at Lamlash on the Isle of Arran.
      At the end of military service Jack rejoined Campbells in 1948, as second engineer on RAVENSWOOD, followed by several seasons aboard GLEN USK, but it will always be with the CARDIFF QUEEN he will be mostly associated.  For several years Jack was second engineer with Alec Campbell as Chief Engineer and after finding Mr Campbell dead in Cardiff Queens engine-room in 1959 Jack was promoted to Chief Engineer.
      In 1967, with the demise of Campbells and their two remaining paddlers, Jack 'swallowed the anchor' and took up a position with Coates Cider, a local company that ensured that he could spend more time with wife Margaret and three sons, John, Robert and Andrew.  Until his death, Jack had enjoyed good health, enjoying dancing with Margaret, gardening and playing crib for a local team.
      He will be sadly missed by his friends ashore and those who had the pleasure of sailing with him.

Robin Wall

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

WAVERLEY TIMETABLES Scotland and South Coast

Some of  the Waverley timetables have been published and are available to view/download by clicking on the the following links:- Western Isles and Clyde or South Coast 
You will need Adobe Reader to view the timetables, unfortunately a font has been used that is not compatible with Adobe Reader (version 9 or earlier) to get the latest free version of Reader from click HERE

Waverleys season is very nearly 5 months long, starting in the Western Isles from 1st to 11th June followed by the Clyde from 16th June to 26th August (and 20th & 21st October) and then on to the South Coast from 12th to 27th September followed by the Thames sailings.  From the dates above, it looks like Waverley may be on the Bristol Channel for the 2 weeks 28th August to 10th September.

Thursday, 1 March 2012


It is with great sadness, we report the death of our oldest branch member Sidney (Sid) Robinson on 19th January 2012, at the University Hospital of Wales.

The funeral service was held on 8th February at The Salvation Army Church in Penarth and the burial at Christchurch in Newport.  22 branch members attended the service.

Sidney was born in Newport, in November 1914 and spent his working life in the marine shipping industry.  His great loves were – shipping, and things historical – in particular the PSPS and the Newport Transporter Bridge.  He was a founder member of the Friends Of Newport Transporter Bridge (FONTB) and was for a number of years their Vice Chairman then Chairman.  Sidney made his final crossing on the gondola on his way to Christchurch on 8th February.

Sidney had a large collection of paddle steamer (mainly P & A Campbells) and maritime memorabilia , all meticulously catalogued and indexed - his family has very kindly donated this to the PSPS.  Some of the items from his collection will be on display at the branch AGM on 14th April.

Sidney, his facts, stories and memories of sailing on the Bristol Channel going back for the best part of 90 years will be sadly missed.

Peter Havard

Below is a photograph of Sidney. Published with the kind permission of Anne Gatehouse (FONTB & Newport Civic Society)
Sidney Robinson  1914 - 2012