Waverley Re-launch

Report and pictures by Martin Longhurst


The paddler arrived back at Anderston Quay, Glasgow, at 08.30 on Thursday 12 June. Intensive preparations ensued for her first cruise on the Saturday.

Glorious weather and a pipe band greeted passengers for the 10.00 sailing.

Passengers boarded across a red carpet on the quay side.

Just prior to departure, the Scottish Minister for Tourism, FRANK McAVEETY said a few words before breaking a bottle of champagne on the bow.

Picture by Jean McGowan

Picture by Jean McGowan

Sounding the whistle, Captain Steve Colledge set course for Greenock, Helensburgh, Kilcreggan and Arrochar.

Some champagne was used as God intended!

At Greenock the ship was welcomed by the Provost of Inverclyde.

HMS Ark Royal was tied up at Gourock Container Terminal

In connection with an Open Day at Faslane Naval Base, HMS Manchester was moored off Helensburgh and there were grandstands erected on the pier.

At Helensburgh we were joined by the Convenor of Argyll & Bute Council.  

Clyde Marine's Rover arrived on the scene ...

... while an RAF Hercules circled above dropping divers into the Firth.

Reaching the head of Loch Long, the paddler drew close to the remains of Arrochar Pier before turning for home.  Time allowed for a detour into Loch Goil (turning by the Douglas Pier), the Holy Loch and down firth towards Dunoon, turning opposite the Cloch Light. 

We encountered Clyde Marine's Kenilworth on a ferry run at Kilcreggan.

After the Kilcreggan call, by happy co-incidence, we encountered a breath-taking display by the RAF Red Arrows, again in connection with the Open Day at Faslane.

The Solent cruiser Ali Cat, currently employed on the Gourrock - Dunoon ferry, was also watching the display.

To celebrate the Special Day, the Engine Room staff wore pristine white overalls, as modelled by Ian McCorkindale.

Lying at Yorkhill Quay, four units of the Royal Dutch Navy were paying a courtesy visit to Glasgow, just downstream of the preserved tall ship, Glenlee.

After a flying cant at Anderston Quay, over 500 passengers got off and over 500 got on for an evening cruise to the Tail o'the Bank. Our return was marked by a magnificent firework display sponsored by Glasgow City Council.
On the Sunday the sail was to Tighnabruaich calling at Helensburgh, Dunoon, Largs and Rothesay. This was not part of the Re-launch as such, but was still a popular sailing.
Monday saw the 56th Anniversary of Waverley's Maiden Voyage in 1947. The cruise was to Lochgoilhead via Helensburgh. The first 100 passengers were offered the chance to travel for 1947's fare! It was also used as an opportunity to thank various parties who had contributed to the Waverley's success over the years as well as to the recent Rebuild. The Depute Lord Provost of Glasgow was on board.

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