“A Challenging Year with Waverley” – Paul Semple

Unfortunately this event has been cancelled owing to the coronavirus outbreak.

Paul Semple shares his experience of the past year as General Manager of Waverley. Note: MV Balmoral is likely to be berthed at The Mardyke Wharf rather than M Shed. Click through for more information.


Change of venue of Branch Meeting on board MV Balmoral

Saturday 30 November 2019
and probably subsequent Bristol meetings on 25th January, and 21st March 2020

Unfortunately, the location of PSPS Bristol meetings has changed. They will still take place on board MV Balmoral, but at her current location on the The Mardyke Wharf in Bristol, on the Hotwells Road. (It was not found possible for the ship to return to her customary winter berth outside the M Shed, and following dry-docking the ship has gone back to the same Mardyke berth where she spent the summer).

We apologise for any inconvenience caused, and very much hope that the following directions will help members and guests find their way to the meetings. We have some wonderful speakers, so your attendance in large numbers will be very much appreciated.


How to get to MV. Balmoral at Mardyke Wharf

MV Balmoral (www.mvbalmoral.org.uk) is berthed at The Mardyke Wharf which lies alongside the A4 Hotwell Road (eastern end). It is on the North side of Bristol’s Floating Harbour (opposite the Marina, Albion Dry Dock and SS Great Britain).

Nearest ships are Pride of Bristol; + floating bar The Grain Barge, post code BS8 4RU, which has a tiny pay-and-display car park including a couple of disabled bays.


As with most Bristol parking, you can use coins for a limited time; or pay an extra 60p to ring “myRINGO” on 0117 3341 9000 + pay by card on your mobile – quoting first the displayed site ref. and your car no. Also gives the option of extending the period.

Hotwell Road is busy, buses run both ways; and it has very little parking. The closest larger area of nearish-by parking is on the opposite side of Cumberland Basin, on Brunel Lock Road, and McAdam Way. Take the small swing bridge across Cumberland Basin; many loops so go slow! Walk back over the low bridge + E alongside the harbour.

Park ‘n’ Ride

If driving in from M5/M49 the A4 Portway route is direct; often very busy, so the free Portway Park ‘n Ride (you pay for the bus if without an English bus pass!) with bus lanes saves much hassle. Portway’s entry road is well signed until it squeezes in left, immediately before the Avonmouth docks entrance.

Stops – very close to Balmoral: coming in is “Hotwells”, next to the petrol station just before you can see the harbour. Going back out the stop is outside the Grain Barge, but note the last bus back is 8.30 pm, and parking is not overnight.

Long Ashton Park ‘n’ Ride’s M Bus runs the other side of the floating harbour, you can walk back across the low swing bridge. There’s also a stop at SS Great Britain; until around 6pm a small ferry crosses the harbour between SSGB landing stage and “Broken Dock”; a harbour-side walk to Balmoral takes around 7 minutes (westward).


Temple Meads station – walkable but a road works nightmare. Has number 8 & 9 buses in our direction, but may require a change / short walk to Anchor Road stops, in the middle.


One recommended way to get to MV Balmoral by public transport is to catch the Bristol Ferry from either Bristol Temple Meads railway station (the berth is signposted from the ticket barriers in the entrance to the station) or a few minutes later from the ferry stop outside the Arnolfini gallery (opposite the usual MV Balmoral M Shed berth), near to The Centre. Convenient ferry departures are at 1200, 1240 or 1320 from Bristol Temple Meads station (but do allow ten minutes to walk across, passing near to the large, unmissable Wetherspoon’s, which is in sight of the ferry stop). The voyage down the harbour takes about forty minutes, ask for The Mardyke stop, and a return ticket costs £6.60, or a single £3.90 (concession £5.60, or £3.40). The stop is a minute’s walk from the ship, and very convenient indeed. If arriving early the Mardyke pub is next to the Mardyke ferry steps. Return departure times from the Mardyke ferry stop, for Bristol Temple Meads station, are at 1602, 1642, and 1722 (the last of the day). The ferry voyage is in itself highly enjoyable, the ferries have sheltered cabins, and give great views of the harbor, and in particular of mv Balmoral herself when they sweep past : see www.bristolferry.com for further information.

Butcombe No 7 boat; or Bristol Ferries – see www.bristolferry.com for links to handy maps and information (click ‘Ferry’ then ‘Timetable’); or ring 0117 927 3416. There is also a foot ferry from the SS Great Britain (which has a car park) and a walk along the quay to the Mardyke.


There are great Harbourside walks all round if you leave enough time; especially from Arnolfini / M Shed museum to SS Great Britain, and get the little ferry across.

More information on www.mvbalmoral.org.uk.

If still in doubt on the day please ring Dave (Bassett) on 07868 421338.


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