Waverley concludes her Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in fine style

Report by Stuart Cameron

Waverley concluded her Diamond Jubilee Celebration Season in fine style on14 October 2007 and is now settling down into winter hibernation at her home berth at Glasgow Science Centre - formerly known as Berth No 83 Plantation Quay.

The paddler arrived back home at just after 5 pm last Wednesday evening after an uneventful 60 hour voyage from Tilbury via Weymouth.

The paddler lying at her home berth the following evening with Glasgow Science Centre in the background

Her final weekend in service in 2007 consisted of 3 sailings over 2 days from Glasgow. It is good to note that in the course of these sailings she carried almost 2,000 passengers! On Saturday, over 600 passengers on the daytime cruise to Loch Long and Loch Goil were supplemented by well over 300 passengers on the evening Showboat cruise to the Tail of the Bank.

Returning upriver in the evening passengers had a first chance to see the newly restored and illuminated Clydebank Titan Crane

The Titan was the first such giant cantilever crane to be built by the famous Glasgow structural engineers Sir William Arrol & Co and was installed in the John Brown shipyard where it participated in the construction of many famous vessels such as Lusitania, Aquitania, Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth, QE2, HMY Britannia, Kungsholm, Empress of Britain (II), Transvaal Castle, HMS Hood, etc.

Further upriver passengers also had good views of the third of the Royal Navy's Type 45 destroyers, HMS Diamond, on the stocks at BAE Systems' Govan shipyard (formerly Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering). Diamond is due for launch in about 6 weeks' time when she will join the already launched Daring and Dauntless at the Scotstoun shipyard. Three other Type 45s are being built at Govan and will be followed by sections of the new aircraft carriers HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.

Night time views of Diamond from Waverley

On Sunday, despite less favourable weather, Waverley carried around 800 passengers with 515 of them continuing all the way to Tighnabruaich in the Kyles of Bute.

Going downriver passengers had a good view of the very smart looking (nearly new?) cargo vessel Deo Volente ('God Willing') discharging tower and rotor sections of huge wind turbines at Glasgow King George V Dock

Later in the day Waverley passed through the Narrows of the famous Kyles of Bute for the last time in 2007

At 18:30, on the return voyage, Waverley called at Greenock's Customhouse Quay for the last time in 2007 where, as with the other ports, she departed with three farewell blasts on the steam whistle

Very unusually, when she arrived back at her home base in Glasgow tonight, Waverley went into the Princes Dock canting basin and canted stern first onto her berth  so that she will spend the winter months with her bow pointing downriver.

Waverley in position for her period of winter hibernation

It is also good to note that the 2007 Grand Draw, sponsored by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has succeeded in raising over 43,000

2007 was a celebration season but certainly not an easy season. As her illustrious purser Jim McFadzean remarked as the paddle wheels turned for the last time of the season 'We made it!'

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