Second PSPS Visit to George Prior’s Shipyard

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

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On 3rd May over 100 members of the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society visited George Prior Engineering at Great Yarmouth to see how work had progressed on the Completion Phase of Waverley’s Heritage Rebuild since 15th March.

The first view of the paddler from the special car park.
Her bow rides high as not all equipment is yet on board nor any water, fuel or stores.
Members were welcomed by PSPS Chairman Nick James who paid tribute to the high standard of work being achieved.
Next a few words from George Prior who said progress was on track and Waverley was due to sail for her sea trials in four weeks’ time.
Our party visited the wood working shop first. This is a new fire hose cabinet.
The deck furniture from Phase 1 has been taken inside and given many coats of varnish.
This is the template for cutting the lozenge shaped door windows.
The buoyant apparatus is receiving attention as well.
Some remaining furniture for the crew accommodation.
The landing platform steps looking pristine.
More deck furniture waiting its return to the ship.
The bridge steps and the steps to the monkey island above the wheelhouse.
The paddler’s newly repainted funnels seen from the wood work shop.
The party makes its way down to the quay side.
The starboard paddlebox under repair – note the new port hole.
Edmund Waverley waits patiently.
The new port hole from inboard. Normally this will be obscured by the landing platform steps. The idea of the hatch is to give easy access for bulky parts during any future work. It will not be used on a day-to-day basis. A spotlight will be mounted on the bracket to illuminate the paddle wheel at night.
Next we visited the forward observation shelter.
The wooden deck head – this will be painted. Note the pulley wheel and strings – an early stage of re-installing the telegraph apparatus.
At the after end there will be a lobby athwartships giving access to the observation shelter (right) or to the new companionway (left).
The view into the boiler room from the foot of the new companionway.
Caulking in progress on the main deck.
Now down another deck to the crew accommodation.
These are the deck crew’s cabins – all now with a wash basin.
There are two bunks in each.
This is the escape hatch to the Jeanie Deans lounge from below…
…and this is the same hatch from above.
Forced ventilation is now provided to the crew accommodation and the trunking is concealed in the new partition.
This will become the Chief Engineer’s cabin in the officers’ and stewards’ accommodation, which is divided from the deck crew’s by a bulkhead. The officers have single berth cabins.
The starboard paddle wheel from the engine room alleyway.
The main engine with crankshaft replaced but still lacking the connecting rods and valve gear.
The paddle wheel from inside the paddlebox.|Ian McCorkindale
The wheels are not fully reassembled so that there are no floats in the tidal water as yet.|Ian McCorkindale
The main engine from the port side.
The engineer’s desk – note the absence of the telegraph – it would be mounted on the disc to the right of the five gauges.
The lozenge mirror in the dining saloon where the door to the shop used to be.
The deckhead removed in the dining saloon to allow red leading where welding above had burnt off the paint.
The capstan back in its place on the stern.
The after end of the after deck shelter.
The new timber decking on the port side.
The emergency exit in course of repainting.
Note the new counterweight to ease closing the hatch – this will be concealed in due course.
The new hatch being formed in the port paddlebox.
The temporary shelter over the forward superstructure.
The door to the forward beer cellar to supply the bar below.
The windlass back in its place on the bow.
The view from the bow aft.
The wheelhouse hiding under the awning.
The Jeanie Deans Lounge – note the new partition.
The new forward bar.
Mine’s a pint!
Behind the bar.
The bar man’s view.
Back on the promenade deck.
Recognising who made it all possible.
Following the installation of the crankshaft, the deck has been welded up and now timber is being added.
A ventilator has been added to try and cool down the Purser’s office, which has the benefit of all the heat from the main engine immediately below.
Off the ship, here are the low pressure cylinder rings awaiting installation.
Components for the paddle wheels.
A stack of radius rods.
This kit of parts will become seven gangways!
The two new masts.
Note the direction arrows.
The forward mast forefoot.

Words and photographs by Martin Longhurst except where stated.