Glasgow Photo Library
- Waverley Paddle Steamer
There is a long tradition of sailing "doon the watter" on the Clyde, but the Waverley is one of the last survivors (though there is now a ferry service from Glasgow to Braehead and there are plans to start a new high-speed ferry service to Dunoon). The Waverley is the world’s last sea-going paddle steamer and was launched in 1947, replacing another vessel of the same name, which was lost during the evacuation of British troops from Dunkirk. The ship is nearly 240 feet long but only 30 feet wide. Originally coal-fired, she now runs on oil.
Initially, she provided services from Craigendoran in the Firth of Clyde but later provided excursions around the estuary and from the centre of Glasgow at Broomielaw (where the picture above was taken). But in 1973 she was withdrawn from commercial service - a victim of continental holidays and increasing maintenance costs.
Fortunately, the Waverley was sold to the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society - for the price of one pound. In addition to providing excursions sailing around the Clyde during the summer season, the ship also gains revenue by sailing on the south coast of England.
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