A Trip on the Thames
On 30 September our Scottish Branch Secretary Gordon Wilson travelled to London to sample Waverley ‘down south.’ That day the steamer sailed from London Tower Pier to Gravesend and Southend for a cruise around the Thames Forts.
The first sight of Waverley berthed at Tower Pier with HMS Belfast and the Shard in the background.
The heading photograph shows Waverley about to pass through Tower Bridge but you can take a technically better shot looking astern with the sun behind you as the bascules are lowered.
One of the sights not to be missed is the Thames Barrier at Woolwich. Note the span closed on test.
Gordon disembarked at Southend where there is often a large passenger transfer. As the tide was ebbing, Waverley has been turned to face up river to stem the tide.
Although the Forts lie to the east, the steamer has to head west away from the Pier to swing round – note the wash from her rudder as it forces her to change direction.
Having completed her turn, the paddler steams away for her afternoon cruise around the Thames Forts
The view of Britain’s longest pleasure pier from the Essex shore. Low lying Kent and the mouth of the River Medway are to the south.
Waverley returns from her cruise, …
… gradually slows and …
… prepares to berth at the pier.
The Thames Barrier as the paddler returns upriver under the night sky
The first sight of the flood-lit Tower Bridge
Will the funnels fit?
Yes … and the masts
Berthed back at Tower Pier, the twinkling Thames is shown to full advantage. The yellow band is London Bridge while the shimmering Shard towers over the scene
A final look back as the steamer rests overnight ready for her sailings on Saturday.
A week later, the Scottish Branch Chairman, Paul Semple, made the journey south to sample the last weekend of the Thames season. He took these two photos which form an appropriate tailpiece as Waverley steams from Tower to Gravesend for the last time in 2016.