Scottish Branch Evening Charter Report 2013

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

Scottish Branch Evening Charter Report 2013

In view of the 2012 result for the Branch evening charter the committee looked at possible alternatives to the Greenock, Helensburgh, Blairmore and Loch Long cruise which has been offered for a number of years. The main reason for looking at alternatives was the fact that Waverley was not due to return to the Clyde until the last week in June by which time an evening charter could have been possible on Thursday 27th June. However with the schools in the Greenock area stopping for the summer break on Wednesday 26th June it was felt that this could have had a negative impact on potential passenger numbers.

Several options were discussed for example calling at Dunoon and then cruising down Firth rather than up Loch Long. The real idea for a Largs and Millport evening cruise came when it was apparent that Waverley would be terminating at Largs on the first 2 Thursdays in July and when you consider that she calls at Millport before Largs there was the golden opportunity to overlap the day cruise with an evening cruise. The cruise destination of North Arran added the “one-off” cruise factor which the committee hoped would make it a must do for enthusiasts and the general public alike. In the end the weather was the real icing on the cake and those lucky enough to be aboard got a night to remember. The final result is not yet known but it would appear that this charter will be hard to beat in terms of the funds raised. Once again we should all be grateful for the efforts of Waverley’s crew and office staff who also helped make this a successful event.

Captain O’Brian took the steamer down the Western side of Great Cumbrae which meant that all passengers were given a cruise round Cumbrae in addition to the North Arran coast. After passing Garroch Head Waverley steamed direct to Arran. She then cruised from just North of Brodick Bay up the eastern coast passing Corrie until she reached the North end of the island. By the time she turned and headed down the Sound of Bute the sun was starting to lower in the evening sky creating an unforgettable image.

The following pictures were taken on Thursday but they don’t fully capture the true atmosphere of the evening.

Waverley approaches Largs Pier at the start of the cruise.Gordon Wilson

A very busy scene as 350 disembark while 480 wait to board giving the largest passenger transfer at Largs for some time.Gordon Wilson

Looking astern after leaving Largs.Gordon Wilson

The Clyde glistens in the evening light.Roy Tait

Millport Pier as Waverley departs having dropped off over 190 passengers – a great support from the town.Gordon Wilson

If any other supporters have photographs from the charter cruise and would like to share them on this blog please email them to

Further pictures below have been supplied by Ian McLaren following the request above.

Waverley and the two Cumbrae ferries at Largs pier after the evening cruise. After all her passengers had disembarked Waverley made her way to Greenock for an overnight berth.Charles McCrossan

My personal thanks to all who supported the cruise, assisted with the publicity and the on-board raffle.

[signature name=”Paul Semple”]