The wonderful Paddle Steamer Waverley is back in steam and operating for another summer season, but I was amazed to hear from our friends at the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (Scottish Branch) that this year marks her 40th in preservation.
This is a tremendous achievement and a real creadit to all those who have worked so hard over many years to secure her future. It was on August 8th 1974 that the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world was sold by Caledonian MacBrayne to the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS) for just £1! Many at that time never expected her paddles would ever turn again.
To mark this special anniversary the Scottish Branch of the PSPS along with the Clyde River Steamer Club (CRSC) are chartering Waverley on Friday 8th August for a unique cruise which will see the paddler sailing from Greenock, Largs, Ardrossan and Lochranza (Arran) to cruise round Inchmarnock Island.
In fact it is almost 30 years since Waverley last offered a day cruise from the Ayrshire port of Ardrossan. It will also be the first time in her career where she has sailed direct from Ardrossan to Lochranza and round Inchmarnock Island. Tickets are now on sale through Waverley Excursions at www.waverleyexcursions. co.uk or by calling 0845 130 4647. It is expected that former CalMac Chief Executive John Whittle will join both Terry Sylvester & Douglas McGowan on board for the charter and help create a cruise not to be missed.
In addition to further mark the 40th anniversary since Waverley was gifted to the PSPS the Society is currently offering FREE Junior membership to those under 18 who sail on Waverley this season. Junior members can collect a free membership pack at Waverley’s on-board souvenir shop by presenting a completed membership form. The Society has also taken steps in recent months to make joining even easier, new members can now join online at the recently re-launched website: www.paddlesteamers.org.