Bristol Channel Season Round Up

Compiled by Martin Longhurst

Up to 31 May, the Waverley had carried over 27,000 passengers, more at this stage than in any of the previous four complete seasons.

On May 20 Waverley paid her first visit to Ilfracombe this year.   The progress of the construction of the new pier was not as far advanced as had been planned.   The only part ready to receive the paddler was the low water landing stage, available for only two and a half hours either side of low water.   This restricted access had necessitated a large number of timetable amendments.

These pictures were taken on 26 May.

On 2 June the steamer was due to sail at 12 noon from Clevedon to Penarth and Minehead, for a commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Opening of Minehead Harbour.

The tide was running late (!) at Clevedon, so there was a few minutes delay waiting for the tide to come in before the paddler could come alongside (above).    After we boarded, Purser Jim McFadzean announced that the Harbour Master at Minehead had advised there was too much swell running for Waverley to enter the West Somerset port.  

Aboard today, was Jeanie McGowan, according to her husband, a former lady welder in the shipyards of Port Glasgow, home of the Comet (1812), the world's first commercial paddle steamer.

And so on to Penarth for a cruise along the Welsh Heritage Coast.   Approaching Nash Point, it became clear that the swell was affecting the Welsh coast as well.   Captain Colledge decided that progress further west would be too uncomfortable, and turned the steamer back up Channel.  He hugged the coast to Barry before heading for Flat Holm and Steep Holm.     

Then a good sweep round Weston Bay, with views of Grand and Birnbeck (below) Piers.


Off Clevedon, Waverley turned west again to cross back to the Welsh side to tie up at Penarth for a good drink of water at the Pier. Then finally back to the English shore to disembark her last passengers before anchoring for the night.

Here are some pictures sent by other Bristol Channel supporters -

This picture was taken on 1 June 2001, at 15.35hrs., by Ken McDonald as Waverley steamed under the old Severn Bridge.

Coming into Penarth Pier on 22 May 2001 by Jonathon Davies, who took the remaining pictures as well.

Leaving Penarth later the same day

Going astern out of Ilfracombe on 24 May

The same view from the paddler later on 24 May

Alongside at Barry on 15 June 2001

Return to P.S. Waverley Home Page