First PSPS Visit to George Prior’s Shipyard

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

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On 15th March over 100 members of the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society visited George Prior Engineering at Great Yarmouth to see the work in progress on the Completion Phase of Waverley’s Heritage Rebuild.

Waverley is berthed facing up river.
Her two old masts stacked out of the way while some members arrive.
The newly refurbished crankshaft from the main engine.
The majority of the work is on the forward part of the paddler.
Meanwhile, the 1986 steel wheelhouse is stored nearby, waiting to be refitted.
An RAF Sea King flew by.
PSPS Chairman, Nick James, welcomed the assembled company and introduced…
…George Prior.
Project Manager Gordon Reid organised us into five parties.
We visited the woodwork shop first, where the buoyant apparatus had been revarnished.
New wardrobes in light ash for the crew accommodation.
Various wooden items, having been stripped, are stacked awaiting completion of refurbishment.
Benches from the upper deck.
Our favourite seat (really steps to the landing platform).
In a nearby store were components for the paddle wheels next to…
…iroko timber for the promenade deck…
…and redesigned star centres for the paddle wheels…
…with some of the steamer’s ventilators.
Next to the engineering shop where the steam windlass from Waverley’s bow was stripped down…
…together with the fire pump…
…the capstan from the stern…
…and the reversing engine.
The next stage of the tour took us on to the paddler…
…passing the main engine crankshaft on the quay side.
Looking astern the laying of the wooden deck over the steel weather
deck was progressing.
This compound is applied to the underside of the timbers.
This plastic and scaffolding canopy protects the work in progress.
A glimpse of the emergency generator at the aft end of the aft deck shelter.
Looking down into the engine room with the moving parts removed for
The spaces where the engine maker’s plate and inclinometer belong.
Looking aft towards the cylindrical condenser.
The opportunity is being taken to rebore the low pressure cylinder in situ.
The burnished steel parts are protected.
The port paddle shaft exposed.
Up on the promenade deck, looking at the top of the new forward companionway.
Two bits awaiting refitting.
The view through the forward deck shelter’s deckhead!
The forward deck shelter was in the course of fitting – the wheelhouse and
bridge are yet to be returned.
The bow.
The former Jeanie Deans Lounge looking forward.
Looking aft.
The paint store at the very bow – note the hawse pipe, which carries the anchor chain, on the left.
The bottom of the new forward companionway.
A two berth crew cabin.
The steel deck in the crew accommodation forms the top of the new double
The starboard paddle wheel from the engine room alleyway.
New shelving and storage in the souvenir shop.
A portion of the false ceiling removed revealing the steel deckhead above the dining saloon.
The starboard paddle box.
The paddle wheel within.
Back on the quay, this is the view of the bow.

Words and photographs by Martin Longhurst.