Friday, 26 October 2012

Final Sailing of 2012

After a non-stop direct journey from Southampton Waverley arrived at her Glasgow berth a little before 5am on Sunday 21st October in time to take up her final sailing of 2012 from Glasgow to Tighnabruaich. This sailing was the usual Saturday roster in the main summer season but on this occasion with a shorter time allowed at Tighnabuaich.

After refuelling and a crew safety briefing Waverley departed at 10am to head down river for the last time in 2012. Good numbers joined her at Glasgow and in total over the course of the day over 930 were carried.

The schedule for the day was altered slightly to allow for the scattering of the ashes of Dr Joe McKendrick. Waverley made her call at Tighnabuaich as planned and then set off again. Unusually the ashes were scattered from the stern of the ship to allow all those who wanted to be present the chance to listen to a short reading by Douglas McGowan before casting a rose into the sea. After the ashes were scattered three long blasts were sounded on the whistle after which Waverley turned and headed back to the pier. Once again the red ensign was lowered to half mast as a mark of respect to someone who done so much to keep Waverley sailing.

Waverley departs Tighnabruaich
Passing through the narrows homeward bound for winter
As is often the case on the final sailing many regulars turned out to show support for the ship and Sunday was no exception. The following picture was taken on Sunday and shows 5 men who were all involved in the first year of preservation in 1975 (some are still involved 37 years on!).

Left to Right: Derek Peters, Cameron Marshall, Douglas McGowan, Peter Reid and Terry Sylvester 
As Waverley headed for Greenock day light was fading over the Firth however the atmosphere on board was one of appreciation for yet another wonderful day cruising on the Clyde by paddler. Indeed it was one of those days which keeps passengers returning year after year.

Waverley leaves Greenock heading for Glasgow.
Nearly home as Waverley passes Glenlee and the Riverside Museum
In total since 1st June Waverley has sailed over 12900 nautical miles with over 2.6 million engine revolutions, not bad for a 65 year old!

(Pictures supplied by Douglas McGowan and David Shirres)

P Semple

Monday, 22 October 2012

End of Season

Glasgow Plamtation Quay No 81, Sunday 21st Oct 2012 at approximately 20:30. Thanks to everyone involved in making the 2012 season happen.

(photo: Stuart Cameron)

Friday, 19 October 2012

Waverley Departs Southampton

Just before 9am on Friday morning Waverley departed Southampton. Wind conditions have improved to allow her to proceed along the South Coast making way for Glasgow. At 1100 from Milford on Sea promenade she was caught on camera by Keith Adams off the Needles in very gloomy and overcast conditions.

P Semple

Saturday, 13 October 2012

More London Views

Some more vews from London (taken by Stuart Cameron on 5th - 6th October 2012).

Showboat Sailing from Gravesend arriving at London Tower Millennium Pier

Waverley and HMS  Belfast

Waverley and 'the City' towers

The view from London Bridge around midnight on 5th October 2012

Saturday 6th October 2012- Waverley is preparing to sail for Southend and Whitstable - the new Shard building, the second tallest in Europe, built on a relatively small footprint site near to London Bridge Station and Guy's Hospital, now dominates the London skyline.

The busy scene at Tower Millennium Pier

Departing Tower pier to cant, with the assistance of the tug Revenge, adjacent to London Bridge

Waverley Canting in the Pool of London

Psassing under the raised bascules of Tower Bridge

Passing Butler's Wharf

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Waverley on the Thames 2012

The following report on Waverley's first weekend on the Thames this year was passed to the Branch by Roy Tait.

"Waverley arrived at Margate early on Friday morning having sailed 130 nautical miles overnight from Portsmouth. After embarking her self-loading cargo she paddled round the Kent coast bound for the City of London via Whitstable, Southend-on-Sea and Gravesend. At Whitstable she had a one and half hour layover to refuel. With a good load on board, Waverley headed across the Thames Estuary to call at the 1.3 mile-long Southend Pier then onwards to Gravesend.
Waverley bunkering at Whitstable
Gravesend Town Pier is the oldest surviving cast wrought iron pier in the world and Grade II listed. The pier and buildings reopened after renovation in 2002 though it was unsuitable for ships like Waverley. Ten years on and today Waverley had the honour of officially opening the new Waverley-sized pontoon. After some fine weather early afternoon the rain started, light turning heavy at times, just as the forecast had predicted. Waverley paddled in to Gravesend fashionably late to find the brass band and dignitaries taking shelter in the pier buildings. In the finest traditions of fundraising, after the ribbon cutting ceremony the ribbon - or should that be pair of ribbons - were auctioned in the ship's souvenir shop.
The red ribbon parts to formally re-open Gravesend Town Pier on Friday 28th September
Waverley continued upstream; through the Thames Barrier, past the Millennium Do… O2 Arena, beneath the cable cars of the new Emirates Air Line suspended 300 feet above, and past Canary Wharf, twice. Right on cue the centre span of the floodlit iconic Tower Bridge lifted for the similarly iconic Waverley as she slipped through to berth on time at Tower Pier. On the bank opposite her guardians for the night, HMS ‘Belfast’ and the Brazilian frigate 'Brasil'.
On Saturday, under a cloudless blue sky, Waverley was canted using a bow line tied to the 1948-built tug 'Revenge'. Waverley paddled down the Thames to Clacton-on-Sea calling en-route at Gravesend and Southend. Once again the ship was pleasingly loaded with over 540 souls on board.
Waverley at Clacton-on-Sea

On arriving back at Tower Pier the Mississippi-styled "paddle steamer" ‘Dixie Queen’ tied up behind Waverley. The contrast on the pier between the disgorging Waverley passengers and boarding ‘Dixie Queen’ passengers was marked. One group puffing their way up the steep access bridge wrapped in thick outer garments, the other group somewhat younger group tottering tentatively downhill in heels and the flimsiest of outer garments.

A full ship left Tower Pier on the Sunday morning for the River Medway, again calling at Gravesend and Southend. En-route PSPS, Commodore and Friends of Waverley members assembled in the lower bar at the invitation of WSN Chairman Nick James. Nick introduced former newspaper editor, author and Guardian columnist Ian Jack. Ian talked for around 20 minutes on why the Waverley mattered to him, recalling his holidays in Port Glasgow and his induction in to the world of Clyde paddle steamers, cruising and the 'interesting characters' that it attracts. His talk struck a chord with many of his audience and a healthy Q&A session followed debating the merits of modern marine architecture (conclusion; there are no merits) and recruiting the next generation of 'interesting characters' who will ensure Waverley's future.
A fully-laden paddler arrives at Southend Pier
A pilot clambered aboard Waverley at Sheerness at the mouth of the Medway. Abeam Kingsnorth power station Waverley met up with Kingswear Castle. Much waving and whistle blowing ensued as Kingswear Castle made passes along both sides of her younger companion.
Kingswear Castle
Waverley returned to Southend, Gravesend and up river to Tower Pier. As she was approaching Tower Bridge one of the Thames Clipper ‘taxis’ elected to deviate from their usual course and pass under the opening centre span, directly in to the path of the approaching Waverley. Captain Clark proceeded to demonstrate his ability to convey concise messages via steam whistle!
Waverley approaches Tower Bridge
After disembarking most of her passengers at Tower Pier Waverley departed to Gravesend where she'd berth until her next scheduled sailing on Tuesday."
Waverley heads back to Gravesend
A new line of souvenirs?
More pictures taken by Roy can be found here.
P Semple

Monday, 1 October 2012

Branch Winter Meetings 2012-2013

The Autumn edition of Paddle Wheels has now been posted out to members although due to a printer error the wrong issue number and season is printed on the front cover. Along with the current issue members will find the winter syllabus card showing the dates and subject of Branch meetings.

The syllabus for this winter is as follows:

Friday 19th October - Peter Reid (Branch Chairman) "Ships through the Decades"
Friday 16th November - Graham Mackenzie "S.S Shieldhall"
Friday 14th December - Iain Quinn "In the Wake of the Comet"
(Joint meeting with West Highland Steamer Club)
Saturday 29th December - Branch Christmas Cruise on M.V. Cruiser to Loch Goil
Friday 18th January - Lisa Gaston and John McAndrew "Sailing Vessel Glenlee"
Friday 15th February - Members' Night
Friday 15th March - Alec Lewis "Bristol Channel Memories"
Friday 19th April - Branch AGM followed by
John Whittle "40 Years of Caledonian MacBrayne"
All meetings start at 7.30pm and are held in the Renfield St Stephen's Church Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow.
Branch Committee