A 132-year-old paddleboat with a chequered history is being recommissioned next week as part of a steam celebration on Australia’s longest river, the Murray.
The bi-annual All Steamed Up Festival at Mannum, South Australia, is a celebration of boats, blacksmiths and engines to be held on November 19 and 20.
Presented by the Mannum Dock Museum at Mannum, the restored PS Mayflower will be recommissioned at the event on November 20 following two years of restoration works by volunteers.
Mannum Dock Museum Executive Officer Deb Alexander said the PS Mayflower would have been classed as the oldest paddle steamer in South Australia if it had not been switched to diesel power.
She said its “chequered history” began in the Victorian town of Echuca when its original owner “Black Alexander” used it as a floating liquor store on the Murray.
“He got in trouble with the banks and they were literally chasing him down the river,” Alexander said…
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