Saturday, 16 June 2012

A 65 year old Paddler
It was on Monday 16th June 1947 that Waverley undertook her maiden voyage: little did anyone realise what a life she was starting! On her first day in service she sailed up Loch Long to Lochgoilhead and Arrochar as part of the famous "Three Lochs Tour". It was therefore appropriate that on the 65th anniversary of her maiden voyage she should sail into Loch Long. Her cruise today to mark her 65th birthday was scheduled as Glasgow, Greenock, Largs, Dunoon and Loch Long but unfortunately the call at Dunoon was cancelled due to the prevailing weather conditions with strong winds as well as heavy rain for most of the cruise.

In order to commemorate the occasion Waverley was suitably dressed as the following two pictures show, both taken by Joe McKendrick as she made her way past Govan heading down river. Those passengers on board were offered a piece of birthday cake during the Loch Long cruise before which Graeme Hogg, chairman of Waverley Excursion Ltd, gave a short speech across the public address. In his speech he noted the appreciation of both Waverley Excursions Ltd and Waverley Steam Navigation Company to all those, who in the past year, have shown much support towards the ship by the substantial number of donations made to ensure that Waverley entered service in 2012. Passengers were asked to assemble in the dining saloon along with the ship's officers as Captain Andy O'Brian cut one of the 7 large cakes. Despite the weather many of the passengers had a very enjoyable day aboard the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world. As Captain O'Brian said "here's to the next 65 years of Waverley".

P Semple

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