Waverley made her triumphant return to service in August 2020 following her boiler refit. However Waverley is now critically short of funds to survive this winter. Without further support she can’t return to service in 2021. We are therefore asking for your help by donating to Waverley’s COVID-19 Relief Appeal.

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10th January 1941 Merstone

Merstone in the Second World War.

On the evening of Friday 10th January 1941 Portsmouth was the subject of a series of devastating air raids during which one hundred and fifty three German bombers unleashed their deadly cargoes of incendiary bombs onto the city. The first raid started shortly after 6pm and continued throughout the evening and on up to shortly after 10pm. Then as people started to come out to assess the damage a second wave started at about 10.40pm raining down yet more incendiary bombs. This went on beyond midnight and on into the small hours of the next morning.

The Southern Railway paddle steamer Merstone was alongside the Portsmouth Harbour Station at the time waiting to take the early morning mail run to Ryde. She used her fire pumps, sourcing water from the harbour, to help put out the blaze on the Harbour Station, in the general offices and the marine manager’s office.

It was a night of real carnage.

John Megoran

John Megoran