Spring 1975

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

Spring 1975

More cash for Waverley – Glasgow Corporation donated £5,000 towards maintenance of the vessel in December to bring their support so far to £11,000. The Waverley Appeal total is fast approaching £30,000. The Directors of WSN still need a further £20,000 to put the steamer back into service. As yet there have been no contributions from either the Scottish Tourist or the Highlands and Islands Developments Boards. The crucial decision is that of Strathclyde. It is planned to base the steamer at Gourock with one sailing each week from Ayr and another from Glasgow, using a new berth at Kingston Bridge on the north bank. More than 3,000 brochures have been sent out in the West of Scotland.

Kingswear Castle report – Boiler cleaning is still proceeding on the interior surfaces with the exterior having been painted with heat resisting aluminium paint. On the machinery, the low pressure valve gear is being overhauled away from the ship and the circulating pump is now virtually completed. A light but strong steel workbench is now installed to supplement the small corner bench in the engine room. The last official workday in 1974 was December 7th, but two of our stalwart ladies went down and did some work on December 15th and took along a friend who is joining PSPS with the prime objective of joining KC working parties.

Scottish Branch news – Working parties are continuing on the Waverley until the steamer is dry docked in February. Various squads have been hard at work in different areas of the ship. The galley has been transformed from its appalling state into quite a presentable place and a squad of engineers has been hard at work on the engine room auxiliaries. It is now possible to turn the main engine using only the ratchet – until we had turned it right round once it needed a block and tackle as well.

London & Home Counties Branch – London Branch has been maintaining its models, relics, photographs and sailing bills as a collection entitled “The Thames Coastal Pleasure Steamer Era”. Displayed in its own room at the Maritime Museum, Great Yarmouth, it was set up in 1968.

King George V.

King George V withdrawn – The grand old turbine steamer has been withdrawn by Caledonian MacBrayne following a poor season out of Oban in 1974. Apart from the war years, King George V (built 1926) served Oban every summer since 1935.