Waverley – Chronology

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

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On 27th December keel of hull number 1330p laid down at A&J Inglis. Pointhouse Yard, Glasgow. Yard is now the site of the Glasgow Riverside Museum.
Lady Matthews, wife of LNER Chairman, launched Waverley 2nd October.
Entered service on 16th June, primarily on the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) Craigendoran (railhead) service to Arrochar at the head of Loch Long.
Following railway nationalisation Waverley transferred to British Transport Commission ownership and received buff funnels with black tops.
Transferred to the Caledonian Steam Packet Co, former pre-nationalisation rivals of the LNER and the name adopted for the consolidated fleet.
Deckhouses were repainted white – but paddle boxes remained, for the time being, black.
Converted in time for the 1957 season to burn oil, replacing coal as fuel.
Black paddle boxes (LNER/BTC legacy) were painted “Caledonian” white.
Radar fitted.
Welded forward funnel replaced the original stack.
New welded funnel aft fitted – but the rake of each funnel was different, giving an odd appearance from various angles.
Received the “Monastral blue” hull colours of British Rail steamers. The traditional Caledonian funnel colour remained, but with the addition of red lions rampant.
Hull colour reverted to black as the Caledonian Steam Packet Company was taken over by a new state entity, the Scottish Transport Group.
Black paddle boxes restored. The Paddle Steamer Preservation Society was keen that the ship’s status as a paddler was highlighted.
Following the merger of the Caledonian Steam Packet Co into Caledonian MacBrayne, the funnels were repainted red, with yellow disc and lions retained. Withdrawn from service in at the end September by Caledonian MacBrayne.
Sold to the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS) forefronted by Douglas McGowan and Terry Sylvester for a token £1 fee.
Re-entered service on 22nd May, owned by Waverley Steam Navigation Co on behalf of PSPS in colours approximating those of the LNER (but with white deckhouses). Sailed from Anderston Quay, Glasgow, where WSN also established their offices.
On 28th April Waverley left the Clyde for the first time to cruise from Liverpool and Llandudno, celebrating the centenary of Llandudno Pier. Faced an uncertain future after running aground on the Gantocks rocks off Dunoon on 15th July and losing six weeks worth of vital revenue.
Sailed from Stobcross Quay (where the ship’s offices were also relocated) due to demolition of old offices and warehouses for urban renewal along the Clyde.
Sailings extended to the south coast of the UK. Read more…
First visit on 29th April to the Thames and Tower Pier, setting the pattern for future seasons. Read more…
Cruised to Cap Griz Nez off the French coast on 12/5/80 for 40th anniversary of Dunkirk evacuation – where the LNER lost PS Waverley (of 1899).
The original double-ended Scotch boiler is replaced with a Babcock boiler offering better operational and economic performance. Read more here and here.
Berth and offices relocated to Lancefield Quay as riverside redevelopment progressed.
The ambitious cruise programme involved circumnavigating the Great Britain for the first time.
Third and final circumnavigation of Great Britain visiting the Western Isles, Bristol Channel, Thames, Humber, Tees, Tyne, Forth and Tay.
First visit to the Irish Republic and the Isle of Man.
Waverley’s home berth reverted to Anderston Quay but the Waverley Excursions office remained at Lancefield Quay.
Sailed to Dunkirk for the 50th anniversary remembrance.
Awarded £7m Heritage Lottery Fund partnership funding for a comprehensive rebuild.
Changes to safety legislation delayed the rebuild and Waverley sailed as normal.
Heritage Rebuild Phase 1 commenced in January at George Prior Engineering, Great Yarmouth with Waverley receiving two new boilers. Read more…
Returned to service in August.
Returned to George Prior Engineering in the winter of 2002-03 for Heritage Rebuild Phase 2 with major works including rebuilding the Jeanie Deans Lounge, a new forward deck shelter and improved crew accommodation. Read more…
Plans for a new bridge over the Clyde would make Anderston Quay inaccessible, so Waverley moved to the south bank at Plantation Quay (at the Science Centre).
Expensive repairs and lost sailing time led to a national appeal to “Save the Waverley” and a rescuing donation from Euromillions lottery winners, the Weirs.
Appeared without the scumbling (woodgrain effect) on its deck saloons – due to the prohibitive cost and feasibility of renewing the traditional effect.
Entire sailing season cancelled on 10th May after both boilers are found to be beyond repair. Read more…
Scottish Government gives £1m to boiler refit appeal. Read more…
Boiler refit appeal achieves 100% of target raising £2.3m with donations from over 8,500 individuals. Read more…
Boiler refit begins. Read more…
Refit is slowed by the COVID-19 global pandemic. 13th August Waverley moves for the first time using steam produced by the new boilers. Read more…
22nd August Waverley returns to service with the pandemic restricting passenger capacity. Read more…
Waverley lands heavily at Brodick Pier on 3rd September bringing a short season to a premature end. Read more…