From the 1840s, with the development of steamships, there was a demand for day trips to the coast. Towns along the Thames and on the Essex and Kent coasts benefitted from the influx of trippers. Numerous companies, such as the Eagle and Belle steamers and the New Medway Steam Packet Co., catered for this tourist traffic. Towns such as Margate, Ramsgate, Herne Bay and Deal grew on the profits made from the excursionists. Andrew Gladwell follows up his By Steamer to the Essex Coast and looks at the resorts of Kent and the pleasure steamers that once sailed there. Steamers such as the Crested Eagle, Royal Daffodil, Medway Queen and, even today, the Waverley and Balmoral, were once a common sight at the piers and jetties of Kentish resorts. Looking at both the resorts themselves and the ships that plied there, Andrew Gladwell gives us a flavour of pleasure steamer day trips of a bygone era.
Andrew Gladwell was an archivist of the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society and has been a life-long steamer enthusiast. A prolific author he has written several books on paddle steamers, many of which published by Amberley. He lives in Kent.