Author: Peter Havard

Supporting the preservation and operation of paddle steamers Waverley and Kingswear Castle

Friends of Waverley Tickets

 A new ‘Friends of Waverley’ ticket has been announced.  It will replace the existing annual regional Commodore tickets and cruising voucher schemes. The information pack states that “it is very keenly priced (cheap! PH) at only £175 for an adult and entitles you to unlimited sailing all year round, for both ships and on all…
Read more

Branch AGM – 14th April 2012

The Bristol Channel Branch A.G.M was held on Saturday 14th April at the Walton Park Hotel, Clevedon. With only about 2 dozen members attending. The minutes of the previous years AGM were circulated, read, agreed and approved.  The Chairman gave his report on the 2011 season and gave news on the 2012 timetable, the new…
Read more


Balmoral left her berth at Princes Wharf, Bristol at 0900 hrs yesterday and proceeded to Glasgow/Greenock where shortly, she will be dry docked together with Waverley.  She left Bristol with a lot of part finished jobs still to be completed – looking rather like a floating workshop with all the usual winter work-party clutter lying…
Read more


Members may be interested to know that the old Dorset Belle (soon to be renamed) is now based at Cardiff and has been carry out sea trials for her new owners. She will shortly commence 3 daily sailings of 90 minute duration (April until October) starting from her berth in the old Mountstuart dry dock…
Read more


The timetable for the Bristol Channel sailings is now available to view/download from the Waverley Excursions web site, as are the North West, North Wales, South Coast and Thames timetables. The banner at the foot of the timetable looks promising – Balmoral  from June 20  to August 28 and Waverley from  Aug 29 to Sept 9 –…
Read more

Jack Rowles

It’s with great sadness that I report the sudden death of Mr Jack Rowles on Saturday 10th March. Many older members of the Bristol Channel Branch of PSPS will remember Jack as P & A Campbell’s last permanent Chief Engineer aboard the two ‘Queens’. Originally, Jack had intended following his father, an ex P &…
Read more

Waverley Timetables – Scotland and South Coast

Some of  the Waverley timetables have been published and are available to view/download by clicking on the the following links:- Western Isles and Clyde or South Coast You will need Adobe Reader to view the timetables, unfortunately a font has been used that is not compatible with Adobe Reader (version 9 or earlier) to get the…
Read more

Sidney Robinson

It is with great sadness, we report the death of our oldest branch member Sidney (Sid) Robinson on 19th January 2012, at the University Hospital of Wales. The funeral service was held on 8th February at The Salvation Army Church in Penarth and the burial at Christchurch in Newport.  22 branch members attended the service.…
Read more

Friday 13th January 2012

Today a page has been added to the site with pictures of Balmorals 2010/11 winter refit. The 2012 refit restarts at Princes Wharf on Tuesday 24th January (work parties every Tuesday and Friday)

WAVERLEY – Southend, Thames Shipping & Forts. Sat 24th Sept 2011

Still having cruising vouchers to use, I decided to travel to London for one of Waverleys trips on the Thames.  The weather forecast for Saturday 24th looked good, and a sailing with convenient departure and return times meant that I could do it in a day …..a very long day! So another early start from…
Read more

WAVERLEY – Solent and Needles Fri 16th Sept 2011

With the winter solstice passed and daylight getting longer (slowly!) it’s nice to remember some of the trips from last year, while we look forward to the next season. A good weather forecast and cruising vouchers to be used up, prompted an early start from Cardiff on the 6.30am train to Southampton.  Arriving at Pier…
Read more

Balmoral Winter Workparties

The Winter Workparties aboard Balmoral started on 22nd November.  Work takes place on Tuesdays and Fridays from about 9am until 4.30pm (times are flexible – I don’t arrive much before 10.30).  Balmoral’s winter berth is at Princes Wharf in the City Docks – alongside the M Shed (Industrial Museum). New volunteers are always welcome – skilled…
Read more

Unused 2011 Cruising Vouchers

Because Balmorals 2011 Bristol Channel season was brought to an early end, some branch members may have unused Cruising Vouchers left over.If you write to Glasgow office returning the unused vouchers, they will revalidate the vouchers for use in the 2012 season.

Generous Donation to Appeal Secures Sailings for 2012

An Ayeshire couple from Largs, who had a major win on the Euromillions lottery back in July 2011 have made a very generous donation to the Waverley appeal which will secure the paddler’s (and Balmorals) return to service in 2012. The Bristol Channel Branch of the PSPS would like to express our sincere thanks to the couple for their generosity.…
Read more

Friday 19th August Penarth and Newport to Ilfracombe

A fine day with light winds forcast, Balmoral set off from Penarth with over 100 aboard for the morning cruise to Newport where about 200 more boarded for the return to Penarth and onward cruise to Ilfracombe. Balmoral on the River Usk coming alongside Chuch St Wharf, with the Transporter Bridge in the background At…
Read more

Balmorals Bristol Channel Season Extended

Good news!  the Bristol Channel season has been extended by 6 days. After the originally planned last trip (7the Sept), Balmoral head back up to the North West and North Wales, to carry out some of the sailing that were cancelled in June.  She will then return to the channel on Tuesday 13th September for…
Read more

Lydney to Ilfracombe 16th August 2011

Boarding the train at Cardiff I couldn’t see any of the regulars in the carriage I was in.  But on arrival at Lydney once the other passengers had boarded or departed the station, there were just 5 of us standing on the platform, all bound for Balmoral and the trip to Ilfracombe. With plenty of…
Read more

2011 Appeal

There is now another way of making a donation to the appeal – by TEXT. Text  WAVE11  followed by the donation amount to  70070

Diary of a (novice) shopkeeper

……..Having disembarked our passengers at Swansea, we took on fresh water then at 2345 set sail for Penarth and anchor.  After a long day, I headed for my bed – Walter Snowdon (shopkeeper) had the cabin and the catering crew were set to party in the lower bar, so I stretched out in the shop…
Read more

Web Site Changes/Additions – Members Photo Gallery

Today, I’ve added some things to the web site: An icon “Where is Balmoral?” that when clicked on, opens a link to ‘live’ AIS showing Balmorals current/last known position.  In the ‘Links’ section I’ve added a link to a Flickr page I’ve set up for the Bristol Channel Branch Members (faces) Gallery.  There are only…
Read more

Balmoral Annual Trip To Padstow 12th July 2011

I arrived at Penarth pier at 0745 for the 0800 departure, Balmoral was already alongside and most passengers on board. The skies were slightly overcast and there was a cool easterly breeze blowing. Departing on schedule, and with the following breeze and flat sea it was a pleasant trip to our first stop – Ilfracombe. …
Read more

Waverley and Balmoral on Facebook

Waverley and Balmoral now have an official page on Facebook CLICK HERE to view – if you’re not a member of Facebook (that includes me!) you’ll have to join to view the page and read the messages. The new page includes a link to our new ‘Just Giving’ page as well.  For non Facebook users…
Read more

Balmoral Dry Docking Update

I was working aboard Balmoral yesterday (Saturday).  Arriving at 0900 the dry dock was being flooded to float the ship, the deck crew were painting the deck houses, funnel, ventilators etc.  The catering crew were busy cleaning and painting, trying to get things ship shape – both crowds working until after 1900 before calling it…
Read more

Balmoral Bristol Channel Start Delayed

Due to a delay in Balmoral going to Sharpness for drydocking (caused by a problem with the dock gate not being able to be closed).  Plus unforseen extra work having to be carried out, Balmorals Bristol Channel season start has been put back to Wednesday 6th July. The scheduled trips for the first 7 days…
Read more

Monday 27th June

Todays South Wales Echo has the front page headline “SAILING INTO THE SUNSET? Future of historic Waverley and Balmoral cruise ships in doubt”There is a short piece on the front page about the appeal to raise £500,000 to secure the future of the ships (with pictures of Waverley and Balmoral) a longer article takes up…
Read more

Waverley on the Bristol Channel 2011

After an extended delay in dry dock due to an unforseen  problem with the rudder, Waverley departed Greenock in the evening of Wednesday 8th June.  Arriving at Swansea in the evening of the following day to take on bunkers and water and for an overnight stay. Friday 10th June.  Waverley departed Swansea early bound for…
Read more

Sunday 19th June

Coming soon:-a report of Waverleys visit to the Bristol Channela short progress report on Balmorals winter refit

Welcome Message

Welcome to the blog site of The Paddle Steamer Preservation Society – Bristol Channel Branch. Here you will find information on the activities of the branch.  Articles and photographs on trips that have been undertaken by our members. Progress reports and photographs of the winter refits/refurbishments of our ships.It is intended to have a ‘who’s…
Read more

Waverley in the Western Isle 2010

A few photographs of Waveleys sailings in the Western Isles at the end of May 2010. On the whole, the weather was good, but cold – only one wet and miserable day.  I must be a southern softy, on arrival at Oban, I went straight out and bought gloves, scarf and thermal hat! Unfortunately, I…
Read more

Balmoral Arriving at Bristol – August 2010

Balmoral arriving at Bristol.