"Waverley "- She's the only SEA-going paddle steamer remaining in the world and if you ever have the opportunity you simply must experience sailing on her. For a certain number of days throughout the summer she travels around Britain from her base in Glasgow so that anyone with the nostalgia for days long gone may have that enjoyment.
Now run as a charity to support her "Waverley" was launched at Pointhouse Shipyard, Glasgow on the 2nd October 1946 and fitted with 18 foot diameter paddles. Originally coal-fired, after ten years, in 1957 her boiler was converted to burn heavy fuel oil. Her beautifully maintained engines in the heart of the ship can be seen operating the three massive pistons and cranks that propel the vessel as you walk from one end to the other.
Over the years "Waverley" has, obviously, been restored as necessary with towering funnels, timber decks, gleaming varnish and constantly polished brass. The dining room serves breakfasts, lunches and early dinners from a huge old cooker in the galley and a choice of sandwiches; the bar lounge has a comprehensive selection of spirits, beers and soft drinks for everyone; a tea-bar and observation deck are also available. And of course the inevitable souvenir shop – even though it is miniscule! The disabled are welcomed as a full complement of crew are attentive and helpful.
"Waverley" – traditionally named from a novel or character from the works of Sir Walter Scott – certainly attracts plenty of attention from those afloat and ashore as she passes. It is certainly a privilege to have travelled aboard this excursion and hopefully will be able to do so again next year. Just try and choose a dry, sunny, warm day so you can soak up the exhilaration of it all up on deck!