Annual Report and Accounts 2021 published
The society’s activities in and the financial results for 2021 are now available to download. These will be considered by our AGM on 22 October 2022, details of which may be found here.
We apologise that the link published in Paddle Wheels is incorrect.
Review of the Year
2021 was severely disrupted by the Coronavirus pandemic, and the Society was much affected along with everyone else. Lockdown restrictions made it impossible to hold face-to-face meetings in the first half of the year. Nevertheless, four online meetings, hosted by the Branches, were held instead. These proved very popular and successful and it has been agreed that, even when restrictions have eased, a small number of these will continue in the future alongside face-to-face meetings.
As the pandemic progressed, the situation was kept under review, and the success of the vaccination programme allowed face-to-face meetings to resume in the Autumn. This included the National Annual General Meeting, which was held in Glasgow. Towards the end of the year, the emergence of the Omicron variant of Coronavirus caused further disruption and cancellations of some Branch meetings.
Varying rules between the UK regions and frequent changes to those rules resulted in all Council meetings taking place online.
Despite all this, once restrictions eased in the summer, both P.S. Kingswear Castle and P.S. Waverley sailed in 2021.
P.S. Kingswear Castle’s annual maintenance was completed and she sailed successfully on harbour cruises from Dartmouth from mid-May until late September. In early October she moved to the shipyard at Old Mill Creek where an immediate start was made on the first phase of her rebuild. This phase concentrates on the aft end of the ship from the boiler room bulkhead to the stern.
Thanks to the success of the Covid Relief Appeal, which was well supported by the general public as well as Society members, P.S. Waverley returned to service in late June for what proved to be a very successful season on the Clyde. Uncertainties over crewing resulted in her planned sailings in England being cancelled, and the Clyde season was extended instead. As Covid restrictions eased, her permitted passenger capacity was increased, but despite this, many sailings were sold out.
The Society organised two successful fund-raising charters, one on P.S. Kingswear Castle and one on P.S. Waverley.
Supporting Paddle Steamer Waverley
Supporting P.S. Waverley to ensure she can continue to operate remains the top priority of the Society. In 2021 the Society continued its policy of providing financial support to Waverley Steam Navigation Co Ltd (WSN), the owning charity.
Members and supporters contributed £65,890 for the Waverley and these contributions were passed on to WSN. In addition, our Branches contributed an additional £4,000.
After adding miscellaneous contributions, a total of £85,958 was contributed or committed to WSN during 2021 by the Society.
Supporting Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle
During 2021, P.S. Kingswear Castle continued to be operated successfully by Dart Pleasure Craft (DPC), with no requirement for funding from PSPS or from Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle Trust (PSKCT), the owning charity. However, a major phased renovation project was commenced in autumn 2021, with the work to continue over the next two winters.
Members and supporters contributed £4,945 for the Kingswear Castle and these contributions were passed on to PSKCT. In addition, the Wessex and Dart Branch organised a successful fundraising charter which raised £1,173 for PSKCT.
Supporting Paddle Steamer Maid of the Loch
The Society also supports financially the preservation of P.S. Maid of the Loch, which is owned by Loch Lomond Steamship Company (LLSC), an independent Scottish charity (SC024062). LLSC is one of the bodies to which the Society is allied, having aims related to the preservation of large pleasure steamers, and with which close links are maintained.
In the early part of the year, the carriage on the unique steam-powered slipway was rebuilt, and in mid-July, the ship was hauled out of the water and work commenced on assessing the underwater hull and starting repair work.