This model was created by Ronald Marks, a resident of Reading, and is 56 inches long. It was electric powered and radio-controlled, and the model had internal lighting so that the figures within the boat could be seen to full advantage.
The Paddle Steamer Ryde on which this model is based, was 216 feet in length. It was built at the William Denny shipyard on the River Leven, near Dumbarton and launched in April 1937. It was built for the Southern Railway Company, requisitioned during the Second World War as a minesweeper (HMS Ryde) and used to protect United States troops from enemy aircraft as they were being landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944.
After the war it reverted to its intended use as a paddle-steamer, ferrying visitors to the Isle of Wight, from Portsmouth to the pier in Ryde, and was to be the last coal-fired sea-going paddle steamer in operation in the country, before it ceased to be used in 1969.
In the 1970s it was used as a floating discotheque on the River Medina at Binfield on the Isle of Wight. The boat is now in very poor condition, despite attempts to save her.
In the late 1960s the paddle steamer Ryde was used on the River Thames to promote a brand of gin.
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