"The inhabitants were awoke suddenly by the sound of the fire-bell, occasioned by the Rapid steam-boat catching fire in the Roads, opposite the harbour. Her crew were made aware of their danger by the sense of suffocation, and after several vain attempts to extinguish the flames, left her to her fate. The view of the conflagration, as seen from the shore, was awfully grand."
Around this time 'St George' became a regular visitor to Largo and would continue to call for around twelve years. Sadly, this boat was involved in a fatal accident at Largo in 1843, when one of her 'florry boats' went down while transferring passengers to the shore. Overlapping in time with 'St George' was 'Ben Ledi' which called at Largo between 1838 and 1846, when she was broken up. Sometimes marketed jointly with 'St George', 'Royal Tar' was another 1840s steamer - completely refitted in 1845 and marketed as "without exception, the swiftest-sailing Steamer crossing the Firth".
As mentioned in the previous post, the 1880s were the heyday of pleasure steamers. Perhaps by this stage, people had become so accustomed to travelling by rail that the steamers offered a novel and more leisurely mode of transport. And no doubt the levels of safety and comfort had greatly improved since the days of 'Surprise' and 'Rapid'. As the 'Galloway's Tourist Guide' suggests "the tourist in search of enjoyment" and who "naturally is anxious of spending to the best advantage his well-earned holiday" should look no further than their "magnificent new saloon steamer" complete with on-board refreshments.