On this day in 1947: Waverley paddle steamer’s first voyage

The Waverley paddle steamer. Picture: Contributed
The Waverley paddle steamer. Picture: Contributed
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On 16 June 1947, the iconic Waverley paddle steamer undertook her maiden voyage, from Glasgow to Loch Long.

Built in 1946 by A & J Inglis, the Waverley, named for Sir Walter Scott’s novel of the same name, was launched on 2 October 1946.

She sailed from Craigendoran, on the Clyde, to Arrochar until 1973.

The Waverley is the last remaining sea-going paddle steamer in the world, and is part of the National Historic Fleet as a ‘vessel of pre-eminent national importance’.

She was in danger of being decommissioned in the early Seventies, but in 1974 she was bought by enthusiasts from the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society (PSPS) for the bargain price of just one pound from her then-owners Caledonian MacBrayne.

She underwent a major rebuild between 2000 and 2003, and passengers can still go ‘doon the watter’ on the Clyde from Glasgow to Dunoon and the isles of Bute and Arran during the summer months.