Summer Paddle Wheels – Issue 232

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

Summer Paddle Wheels – Issue 232

All PSPS members received the summer issue of Paddle Wheels in June which featured the Lake Lucerne paddler Stadt Luzern on the front cover in recognition of her 90th year.

The cover of the Summer 2018 Paddle Wheels magazine.

Stadt Luzern entered service on 23rd June 1928 but was quickly withdrawn due to engine failure. She then had a new engine fitted and entered service the following year and has been the flagship of the Lake Lucerne fleet ever since. Stadt Luzern is the only Swiss paddle steamer to have been built by a non-Swiss company. 

SGV (Schiffahrtsgesellschaft des Vierwaldstattesees) have now announced that the youngest paddler in Switzerland will be withdrawn from service in October this year for a major rebuild which will take at least two years. The rebuild is set to cost 12.5 million Swiss francs with support funding coming from the friends of the Lake Luzern steamers as well as the local cantons. On Sunday 16th September there will be a parade of all five Lake Lucerne paddle steamers to mark the withdrawal of Stadt Luzern for her major rebuild at the Lucerne shipyard.

The summer issue of Paddle Wheels also contains the 3rd extract from the Waverley Study Group report which was written by PSPS members in 1971 and passed to Caledonian Steam Packet Company. The report focused on several different aspects of Waverley’s operation and made many recommendations. In this current issue there is an extract of the report published which focuses on publicity brochures. The following text comes from the study group report.

The cruise brochures for 1971 were such a tremendous improvement over previous years and such a splendid effort in general that we feel reticent to make any criticism of them at all, but we feel some points are worthy of the most serious consideration.

The cover photograph featuring the ‘Caledonia’ is, we feel, a considerable mistake. Although we appreciate the ship is the principal member of the fleet, she is a car ferry of a type that can be seen in most parts of the world. The brochure is a pleasure cruise brochure and needs to stand out as being something different. We, therefore, are convinced that the steamer to feature on the front of these brochures is, undoubtedly, the ‘Waverley’ and with a far better scenery background than is apparent in the present brochure. Inside the brochure there are insufficient photographs of Clyde scenery and the photograph showing the ‘Cowal’ approaching a pier, is a disaster, with its ugly oil drum and apparent smog background. We feel that this photograph would have been better left out altogether. Scenery and attractive ships – in that order – we feel, the vital ingredients of a brochure of this type.[/quote]

One of the 1971 brochures referred to directly in the Waverley Study Group report. MV Caledonia was featured on the front cover.


The cover of the 1972 Waverley Leaflet – this was a different method of marketing the steamer compared to that in 1971. It was recommended in the Waverley Study Group report that Waverley should be marketed separately from the other members of the CSPCo fleet.

The summer 2018 issue also features part 2 of an article recalling the career of Jeanie Deans which focusses on 1946-1964. Part 3 in this series will be published in the Autumn issue of Paddle Wheels – join the PSPS now to be sure of your copy.

This issue is available for £3.50 to non-members and can be ordered on line here or purchase your copy aboard Waverley.

A sample copy of our Paddle Wheels magazine is available to anyone who is interested in joining as a PSPS member. Order your sample copy and a PSPS information leaflet email here with your contact details.