Monday, 30 April 2012

Waverley and Balmoral leaving drydock - Monday 30th April 2012

The following sequence of photographs shows Waverley and Balmoral leaving drydock.

Waverley was undocked, with the help of Clyde Marines two tugs Biter and Beaver Bay, 
and moved to Greenock Custom House Quay - the last short section under her own power.

 Balmoral and Waverley afloat and waiting for the dock gates to be opened

 Easing out of the drydock, assisted by tug Biter on the stern.  Beaver Bay waits to attach a bow rope

 A stiff breeze made extra work for the tugs

Canted and heading for Custom House Quay

After Waverley had been safely undocked and moved to Custom House Quay, 
some crew from Waverley and tug Beaver Bay returned to attend to Balmoral.

 Balmoral assisted out of the dock by Beaver Bay

 Balmoral now under her own power, heads for James Watt dock

 A close up of Balmoral's new paint scheme on her stern

Safely into the James Watt Dock and heading to tie up alongside

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Dry Dock Pictures 2

As the dry dock work nears completion Joe McKendrick has supplied a few more pictures. As can be seen below Waverley's bow is now repaired and only requires painting. The standard of paint on both ships is excellent and thanks are due to Joe for supplying the photos taken today (Saturday 28th April).

With both ships now looking ready to sail thoughts turn to the full season ahead and in particular the various events which both ships will take part in this year. Tickets are now on sale for both PSPS Scottish Branch charters with the evening cruise from Greenock, Helensburgh and Blairmore on Thursday 28 June and then of course the full day charter on Sunday 8 July in celebration of the 80th Anniversary of the CRSC. All Scottish Branch members would have received full details for both sailings along with the spring issue of Paddle Wheels. As with previous seasons the regular support of PSPS members is vital and the best support we can give the ships is to sail on them as often as possible and bring as many family and friends along, espcially as in a season where Waverley celebrates 200 years of Steam Navigation.

P Semple

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Dry Dock Pictures

As work contiunes to ensure that both Waverley and Balmoral are ready for another season pictures have kindly been provided by David Howie, Waverley's Chief Officer, and David Shirres one of the engineering volunteers on Waverley over the winter. David Shirres also produced the "Inside Waverley" CD ROM a few years ago which has been on sale in the shop, he is planning to update the CD ROM this year.

From the crane - Picture David Howie

Picture David Shirres
As can be seen in this picture Balmoral is having her livery altered slightly this season as the black is being raised by about 1 foot, this is more like the traditional P. & A. Campbell livery. The colour of the name at the stern has also been changed.

The newly painted name on the stern, this picture taken by David Howie also shows the increase in the black.

Picture by David Shirres

Bow painting complete - picture by David Howie
Under the stern - picture by David Howie

This picture was taken by David Shirres before both ships were fully repainted under the waterline.

Picture by David Shirres
Waverley's bow required some repair work after a tug on the Thames made contact with it last September. The picture below shows this repair under way.

Picture by David Shirres

Waverley also required a new spring beam on the starboard side. The picture below taken by David Howie shows this work under way.

P Semple

Monday, 23 April 2012

Balmoral & Waverley entering Garvel

Keith Robertson has been a regular volunteer over the past two winters and was given permission to film the dry docking of both ships when they entered Garvel last week.

He has very kindly supplied a short 1 minute video of the actual docking, although the video shows the full docking at a much increased speed. It is well worth a look.

P Semple

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Waverley & Balmoral both in Garvel

Waverley and Balmoral are now both in Garvel Graving Dock, Greenock. Balmoral is in the dock ahead of Waverley and pictures showing both ships entering the dock are to be found on the Waverley Excursions Facebook page.
Both vessels entered the dock on Wednesday 18th April and this is the first time both have been dry docked together.

P Semple

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Scottish Branch AGM

The AGM for the Scottish Branch of the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society will take place on Friday 20 April at Renfield St Stephen's Church Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow at 7.30 p.m. to transact the following business:-

1. To receive apologies for absence
2. To approve the Minutes of the forty-first Annual General Meeting
3. To receive the Chairman’s Report
4. To receive the Secretary’s Report
5. To receive the Treasurer’s Remarks
6. To elect a Branch Committee composed of a Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Exhibition & Publicity Officer, Assistant Secretary and seven Ordinary Members
7. To receive a report on the paddle steamer WAVERLEY from Waverley Steam Navigation Company Limited, and on the motor vessel BALMORAL
8. To receive a report on the paddle steamer MAID OF THE LOCH
9. Any other competent business

At the conclusion of business, John Beveridge will present the ‘missing footage’which a technology malfunction prevented him from showing during his talk to the Branch on 17 February.

Members should receive their copy of the Spring 2012 issue of Paddle Wheels along with a copy of the 2012 National Timetable for Waverley and Balmoral before the AGM. The minutes of the forty-first AGM will also be included with the mail out.

Scottish Branch Committee

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Waverley Stars in German TV Documentary

While Waverley was in the Western Isles last season a German TV crew accompanied her to produce a programme. The TV documentary was shown in Germany on Friday 6th April and is now on ARTE.TV's equivalent of the iPlayer for the next week.

Unfortunately the commentary is only in German or French but the filming quality is excellent. It lasts for 43 minutes and includes interviews with Capt Andy O'Brian and Chief Engineer Ken Henderson.

The link for the video is

It is well worth a look and has some excellent shots of Waverley at speed. The programme on Waverley was one of five filmed on "Legendary Paddle Steamers". The other 4 programmes are of equal quality and one features the recently restored Lake Lucerne paddle steamer Unterwalden.   

The link for the programme on Unterwalden is

Paul Semple

Friday, 6 April 2012

Waverley & Balmoral 2012 Timetables

All timetables for both Waverley and Balmoral are now available online at the Waverley Excursions website On close inspection the 2012 season is one of celebration: 200 years of Steam Navigation to honour the first public sailing of Paddle Steamer Comet, Waverley is 65 years old and P & O celebrate their 175th anniversary. The 2012 timetable for each ship has a different feel but offers much variety with some ports and piers being visited for the first time in a few seasons.

The overall outline and highlights of the 2012 season are as follows:


June 1 - June 11 Western Isles
Highlights include:
Ferry landings at Iona on Monday June 4 and Staffa on Saturday June 9
Cruise to view Eilean Donan Castle on Friday June 8

June 16 - August 26 Clyde
Highlights include:
Waverley's 65th Birthday Cruise on Saturday June 16
Ireland in a Day on Sunday June 24
PSPS & CRSC Public Charter to Loch Riddon to land at Ormidale on Sunday July 8
Cunard's Queen Elizabeth visiting the Clyde on Thursday August 2
Celebration of 200 years of Steam Navigation - Comet 2012 - Sunday August 5 & Friday August 10

August 29 - September 9 Bristol Channel
Highlights include:
Annual Church Service at Lundy on Sunday September 2

September 12 - September 27 South Coast

September 28 - October 14 Thames
Highlights include:
Opening of Gravesend Pier on Friday 28 September
Paddle Steamer Parade with Kingswear Castle on Sunday September 30

October 20 - October 21 Clyde
Final cruises of 2012 Season


June 14 - June 17 Irish Sea
Includes Garlieston & Whitehaven to IOM

June 18 North Wales
Round Anglesey

June 20 - July 1 Bristol Channel
Highlights include:
Grand Day Trip to Cornwall on Sunday July 1

July 3/4 South Coast
Highlights include:
P & O 175th Anniversary with 7 Liners at Southampton on Tuesday July 3

July 5 - July 19 Thames

 July 22-August 12 South Coast & Sussex
Highlights include:
Weymouth Bayside Festival & Olympic Sailing July 29 - August 12

August 14 - August 28 Bristol Channel

August 30 Irish Sea
Whitehaven to IOM

August 31 - September 4 Western Isles
Highlights include:
Isle of Canna on Saturday September 1

September 7 - September 9 Northern Ireland
Highlights include:
Londonderry to Islay on Saturday September 8

September 10 - September 15 Irish Sea

September 16 North Wales
Round Anglesey

New in 2012 - FRIENDS of WAVERLEY
Become a Friend of Waverley and get unlimited sailing aboard Paddle Steamer Waverley & Balmoral around the UK! Memberships start at £150 per year. Find out more by calling 0845 130 4647 for an information pack or by emailing

Paul Semple