Heritage Rebuild – 2000

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

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Waverley was extensively rebuilt during 2000 and 2003 with the aim of restoring her original 1947 appearance whilst complying with all relevant modern marine safety legislation.

On this and subsequent pages, the story of the first phase of the Heritage Rebuild is told through more than 300 photographs. The second Completion Phase is covered in detail here.

The rebuild of Waverley is not really about replacing old with new. The project is driven by a regime of conservation, not renewal

Iain McMillan, Project Director Waverley Excursions Ltd
Chief Photographer and Project Manager Gordon Reid stands beneath Waverley’s paddle wheels.

The first phase concentrated on the mid and aft areas of the ship. The £3m cost was met by a £2.7m Heritage Lottery Fund grant with significant partnership funding also being provided by the European Regional Development Fund, Paddle Steamer Preservation Society, Dunbartonshire Enterprise, Enterprise Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Argyll & Bute Councils and the Clydesdale Bank.

Waverley had closed the 1999 season on the Bristol Channel with the final sailings of the century before retiring to Avonmouth Docks awaiting further instruction. In late November it was announced that Phase 1 of the Heritage Rebuild contract had been awarded to George Prior Engineering Ltd. and would be carried out in Great Yarmouth. A week before Christmas Waverley steamed from the Bristol Channel to the Norfolk seaside town where she would spend eight months.

This image highlights the extent of Phase 1 of the Heritage Rebuild. Just three months after this was taken Waverley undertook sea trials before sailing over 1,000 miles for home.|Gordon Reid

Whilst the quality of the contemporary digital images is variable their value in telling the story of Waverley is priceless.