HistoryPS Waverley is named after Sir Walter Scott's first novel. She was built in 1946 to replace a PS Waverley that was built in 1899, served in the Second World War as a minesweeper and was sunk in 1940 while helping to evacuate troops from Dunkirk. Shipbuilders A. & J. Inglis of Glasgow launched the new 693 tonne steamer in October 1946. She entered service with the London and North Eastern Railway in June 1947, working the LNER's Firth of Clyde steamer route from Craigendoran Pier, near Helensburgh, up Loch Long to Arrochar. In her first year in service she wore that company's red, white and black funnel colours.with red lions and yellow funnels in 1970The 1948 nationalisation of Britain's railways brought their Scottish steamers into the Caledonian Steam Packet Company (CSP), a subsidiary of the Railway Executive, and the funnels were repainted yellow with a black top. In 1965 a Scottish red lion rampant was fixed to each side of both funnels. Waverley 's hull was painted monastral blue until 1970.After a revival of fortunes in the 1950s, the 1960s saw a gradual change in holiday habits that led to a decline in passenger numbers and the closure of many of the small piers. Since 1969 and the formation of the Scottish Transport Group, the CSP had been gradually merging with the West Highland shipping and ferry company David MacBrayne Ltd. In 1973 the company became Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd (CalMac).RestorationCalMac withdrew Waverley after the 1973 season as she was too costly to operate and needed significant expenditure. By then the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society had been set up as a registered UK charity, and had bought the near-derelict small River Dart paddler PS Kingswear Castle. CalMac, keen to ensure that the ship was preserved, sold Waverley to the PSPS for the token sum of one pound. Neither side really believed that the vessel would return to steam but, just in case, Caledonian MacBrayne stipulated that she should not sail in competition with their remaining cruise vessel, TS Queen Mary.A public appeal was launched to secure funding for the return of the Waverley to service and the fund-raising operation was successful. The PSPS found itself running a cruise ship operation, "Waverley Excursions". Since then Waverley has been joined in the PSPS fleet by PS Kingswear Castle and MV Balmoral, and has had a series of extensive refits and much restoration work, including a new boiler and improvements to meet modern safety standards. She has circumnavigated Great Britain and every year makes extensive sailings around the country.Listed as part of the National Historic Fleet between 2000 and 2003, the ship underwent a substantial rebuild and re-boilering at the shipyard of George Prior at Great Yarmouth, funded principally by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The work, which was done in two stages, has added many 21st century safety and technological improvements and returned the ship to her original 1946 livery.In 2009 the ship was affiliated with HMS Defender, having hosted the official dignitary party at Defender 's launch on the River Clyde. In 2011 the ship was awarded the Institution of Mechanical Engineers 65th Engineering Heritage Award.EnginesWaverley is powered by a three-crank diagonal triple-expansion marine steam engine built by Rankin & Blackmore, Engineers, Eagle Foundry, Greenock, Scotland. It is rated at 2,100 IHP and achieved a trial speed of 18.37 knots (34.02 km/h; 21.14 mph) at 57.8 rpm. Passengers can watch these engines from passageways on either side of the engine room.The main crank is solidly attached to both paddle wheels so they cannot turn independently of each other. The Waverley therefore has a much larger turning circle than modern ferries.AppearanceWaverley leaving GreenockWaverley has had several colour schemes in her life. Early photographs show paddle boxes painted sometimes white and sometimes black. The gold stripe along the hull is in some photos and not others. Today Waverley has the LNER 1947 livery of red, white and black funnels, traditional brown-grained (or "scumbled") superstructure and black paddle-wheel boxes, decorated with gold lettering on each side.Early photos show square windows instead of today's portholes. For most of her life the upper passenger cabins were painted white and had wooden doors; all have had layout improvements at some time in the ship's life. Sailing in all weathers in salt water can cause pale brown rust streaks to appear by the end of each season, so cosmetic painting and improvements are done annually as the ship is dry-docked and checked by the Department for Transport.Since 1962, when PS Waverley 's original funnels were renewed, replacement items had been slightly out of parallel due to their heavier welded steel construction. The problem was resolved in the 2000–03 refit and her two funnels are now parallel.Lifeboat arrangements have varied depending on the legislation at the time. Between 1975 and 1980 there was only one traditional lifeboat on the rear deck giving the ship an unbalanced appearance from the rear.ServiceToday Waverley makes passenger excursions from various British ports. She regularly sails from Glasgow and other towns on the Firth of Clyde, the Thames, the South Coast of England and the Bristol Channel. She also undertakes private charters and provides a period setting for television documentaries and movies such as Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011).Primarily during the summer she is based on the Clyde, operating excursions from Glasgow, Greenock, Largs or Ayr. Her main timetable is:Mondays Glasgow - Largs - Ayr - Girvan - Round Ailsa Craig - Ayr. Tuesdays Ayr - Brodick - Millport - Largs - Dunoon - Blairmore - Cruise Loch Long and Loch Goil and return. Wednesdays Largs - Rothesay - Tighnabruaich - Tarbert - Cruise Loch Fyne, Arran Coast and return. Thursdays Greenock - Helensburgh - Dunoon - Rothesay - Largs - Millport - Brodick - Cruise Holy Isle, Pladda and return. Fridays Glasgow - Kilcreggan - Dunoon - Rothesay and return. Saturdays Glasgow - Greenock - Helensburgh - Dunoon - Rothesay - Tighnabruiach and return. Sundays Different cruises to places such as Lochranza, Campbeltown etc., from Glasgow. Her Clyde timetable ends at the end of August and Waverley spends 6 weeks between September and October cruising the Bristol Channel, the Solent and the Thames before returning to the Clyde for two sailings in October.IncidentsWaverley at the James Watt Dock, Greenock, for a day's repair work on 13 July 2010, with MV Clansman in for more extended repairs.On the evening of Friday 15 July 1977, while returning from a cruise and approaching Dunoon pier, Waverley 's steering failed and she struck the rocks to the south called The Gantocks. Firmly aground and down by the head, the ship was extensively damaged. There was some doubt about whether or not she would hold together on re-floating but she did, and she was repaired and returned to service. Her survival was attributed to her heavier than normal post World War II construction which had included provision for minesweeping gear and a deck gun in case she was ever requisitioned by the Admiralty for use in a future war.On 15 September 2008 Waverley was involved in minor damage to Worthing Pier. After she berthed and secured lines to pier bollards, part of the landing stage was dislodged. The ship escaped damage and the only damage to the pier was that a length of timber was pulled out, but she had to leave without taking on passengers.On 26 June 2009 Waverley struck the pier at Dunoon, damaging both the ship and the pier. Some 700 people were aboard at the time, of whom 12 suffered minor injuries. The ship returned to Glasgow, where the damage was assessed. One week later she was back in service on the Clyde.
The Norfolk wherry is a type of boat used on The Broads in Norfolk and Suffolk, England. Three main types were developed over its life, all featuring the distinctive gaff rig with a single, high-peaked sail and the mast stepped well forward.Development of the WherryWherries were sail and oar craft dating back to at least 1604. These were small craft, in 1727 being of 8 tons net tonnage. They were still sail and oar boats, fitted with hoops and canvas tilts for the comfort of their passengers. They would have provided a service carrying passengers and small perishable cargoes. Alongside these early wherries were the bigger keels, which were transom-sterned clinker-built barges with a square sail on a mast stepped amidships of about 54 feet (16 m) by 14 feet (4.3 m) and able to carry 30 tons of goods. The keel had been built since the Middle Ages and the design probably went back to the Viking invasion. After 1800, the Norfolk Keel (or 'keel wherry') disappeared, partly because a wherry could be sailed with fewer crew, had limited manoeuvrability and lacked speed. Types of WherryThe 'Trading Wherry' developed from the Keel. It is double-ended, its hull painted black with a white nose to aid visibility after dusk. Most trading wherries were clinker-built, but Albion, surviving today, was the sole example to be carvel-built. They carry a gaff rig, the sail historically also black from being treated with a mixture of tar and fish oil to protect it from the elements. The mast tops and wind vanes were often painted or shaped (respectively) to identify the wherry's owner - a traditional design is a 'Jenny Morgan', after a folk song character. Sizes varied, but many of these vessels would carry around 25 tons of goods. Wherries were able to reach larger boats just off the coast at Great Yarmouth or Lowestoft and take their cargoes off to be transported inland through the broads and rivers. The last trading wherry, Ella, was built in 1912.The 'Pleasure Wherry' evolved as railways took on the cargo business that had supported the traders. Enterprising owners realised that conversion to carry passengers was a way to replace the lost income, especially as the Broads were at the same time being discovered as a destination for tourism and recreation. Early examples simply featured hammocks and a stove in the hold of a trader, but boatbuilders soon began to make craft specifically for pleasure sailing and holidays, using the same hull and rig design but incorporating living quarters instead of a cargo hold. Some were fitted out to a very high standard indeed; for example, Hathor, built for the Colman family (of mustard fame), features highly detailed marquetry in Egyptian designs below decks.For some holidaymakers, the distinction between the working boats and pleasure wherries was not strong enough, and the sleeker and more genteel 'Wherry Yacht' was developed. The main distinguishing features are a smooth, white yacht-like hull and a large counter-stern providing a quiet seating area away from the sail winch and any quanting activity.Wherries came in different sizes, according to the river they used. The North Walsham & Dilham Canal Wherry was maximum 50 ft (15 m) x 12 ft (3.7 m) x 3' 6". The River Ant Wherry was 50' x 12' max. The River Bure Wherry was 54' x 12' 8", but for the Aylsham Navigation, i.e. the upper reaches of the Bure, the boats had to be 12' 6" x 3' 6" maximum.On the southern Broads, steam wherries were used. The River Waveney Wherry was 70' x 16' max.The mast is pivoted with a large counterbalance weight at the bottom. This enables the wherry to lower the mast for passing under bridges. The mast can be dropped, the wherry continues forward under its momentum and the mast is raised again on the far side by the crew of two. If there is no wind, or the wherry must be turned or otherwise manoeuvred, quant poles are used to provide the required force.A special wherry wheelbarrow was used to unload cargo, e.g. stone, from the wherries. It was made from wood and strengthened with iron bands. It had no legs, therefore it could be rested on the 11-inch-wide (280 mm) planks on the side of the wherry.SurvivorsAll types of wherry eventually became uneconomic to run, but a small number have been saved either by private individuals or charities. Most of the survivors can be seen sailing up and down the rivers and broads today, although some are awaiting full restoration. Of the eight surviving examples of recreational and commercial sailing wherries, seven are on the National Register of Historic Ships. An eighth wherry listed on the Register is Jester a motorized ice wherry of 1923.In April 2011, Wherry Yacht Charter Charitable Trust opened their restored base in Wroxham, where work on the restoration and maintenance of the Edwardian pleasure wherry Hathor and wherry yachts Norada and Olive can be undertaken in all weathers. The site located at Barton House was part of a £1.5 million project. As of Easter 2012, White Moth is also based here. Norada was officially relaunched after restoration in July 2012, while Olive celebrated similarly in July 2013. The Norfolk Wherry Trust keep trading wherry Albion at Forsythe Wherry Yard, off Womack Water at Ludham; trading wherry Maud also berths here in the winter. Solace can usually be seen on Wroxham Broad in the sailing season, while Ardea is often seen at Southgates yard in Horning.
A Guided Tour of Norfolk Wherry ‘Maud’Wherries were Broads barges, designed to catch the smallest amount of wind and to navigate the shallow twisting rivers of the Broads. The nearest they got to the sea was Gt. Yarmouth and Lowestoft. In late Victorian times some were built as wherry yachts - same basic boat but fitted out for carrying owner and friends in luxury instead of cargo.Normal crew on the cargo wherries was one man and a ‘boy’ or trainee, sufficient to lower and raise the mast which is so finely balanced that the ‘boy’ could do it although when passing from the northern to southern Broads at Gt Yarmouth with its multiple bridges and difficult tides, an extra hand would sometimes join for that short passage.‘Shooting‘ these bridges without engine power and the sail lowered required fine judgement and the use of the tides.No engine, even now. The mast is high enough to pick up winds above the tree line, but if the wind dropped entirely the ‘boy’ would get a pole out and walk it down the length of the boat to push the wherry through the waters - this is called quanting and several shots of Maud under way show her 2 quant poles projecting either side of her bow.Those that were not scrapped in the 1950s were sunk in mud in quiet areas of the Broads where the oak timbers were mostly preserved. A few have been recovered and restored, requiring a lot of years and much funding.Built in 1899, Maud was a working wherry carrying timber from the coast to the sawmills at Norwich. Sunk on Ranworth Broad during the 1960’s, she has since been restored, after 18 years of painstaking work, to her former glory.A guided tour of Maud, filmed in September 2020, can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/YNbHZX-DMTA