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British Paddle Steamers: The Heyday of Excursions and Day Trips by John Megoran

Price: £14.50

Quality paperback book written by John Megoran. Published by Amberley (2016), 128 pages

For a hundred years excursion paddle steamers gave all the social classes the opportunity to enjoy a cruise on the briny from ports, resorts and piers around the UK. For the most part everything usually went well on these trips, but sometimes it did not and this book chronicles some of the tales of the difficulties both behind the scenes and in plain view with the people concerned when the pressures were on. 

What happened when a paddle steamer broke down or was caught out in a dense fog? Why did they need special riding posts in particular ports? Who were some of the captains and how did they manage to keep their ships and their passengers safe in an age before radar and satellite navigation? What made people get cross and crews embark on fisticuffs? What were the problems of some routes? Why was a paddle steamer banned and how did someone end up in court?

These selected tales from around the UK from the heyday of the excursion paddle steamers give some of the flavour of what it was like to be there at the time, with fascinating pictures of the people and the ships illustrating their individual stories.

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