Yesterday, Saturday 4th August 2001, Paddle steamer Waverley operated the first of two short cruises from the Kyles of Bute pier at Tighnabruaich to assist in raising funds for the new Tighnabruaich Pier Association.
The pier at Tighnabruaich is one of the last traditional steamer piers on the Clyde. Its present owners Argyll & Bute Council has intimated that limited resources will restrict their capacity to preserve the pier for future generations. The Pier Association has been formed to explore means of securing the pier’s future. This may include transfer into a trust and application for grants not available to the council. These decisions are for the future – firstly, the Association has to raise some operating funds.
Waverley Excursions generously offered the use of Waverley for the hour that the paddler normally lies at the pier on Saturdays 4th and 18th August. The Association has been busy selling tickets at £6 each for the two one hour cruises – their success was evident as Captain Iain Jamieson berthed the paddler at Tighnabruaich Pier yesterday for the first of the two sailings. The pier was totally filled with people and the queue of cars stretched almost to Suzy’s tearoom. The pictures below show the crowd on the pier as Waverley arrived.
A total of 429 passengers joined about 50 that remained aboard from Waverley’s regular Saturday cruise this resulting in almost £3,000 being raised for the Association. Captain Jamieson took Waverley south through the West Kyle to Ettrick Bay – a heavy rain shower failed to dampen the spirit of the occasion and many of those aboard (obviously on their first visit to Waverley) were engrossed by the sight of the paddler’s engine and paddle wheels.
The whole event was a great success and it will be good if the next cruise – which will go to the East Kyle on 18th August – can be as popular. If you did not make the first come along to the second and help Tighnabruaich Pier Association secure the future of the famous old pier.
This article was first published on Martin Longhurst’s Waverley – The Unofficial Site.