What we want to see – Waverley’s paddles turning again …
The PSPS Council of Management met in Glasgow on Saturday 22 June 2019. Update reports were given from Waverley Excursions by Cameron Marshall (Chairman), Derek Peters (Finance Director) and Paul Semple (General Manager) on the progress being made to plan Waverley’s boiler refit and return her to service for summer 2020.
Since announcing the withdrawal of Waverley on Friday 10 May, plans have been progressed on what equipment will be replaced, the estimated cost and associated timescales. Given that it will take around 6 months to build new boilers and a further 3 months to install them, orders will have to be placed soon. The most time- and cost-effective option is a like-for-like replacement of the two boilers.
In order to remove the old boilers and install two new boilers, the funnels, silver fiddley deck and the port side boiler room bulkhead will need to be removed. Given that the ship’s generators are also located in the boiler room, and are of similar age to the boilers, they too will be replaced to avoid further major works in the next few years.
Regrettably Waverley Excursions has reduced the company’s costs by reducing staff numbers. The company is retaining a minimum staffing to facilitate the current appeal and maintain continuity to allow for the refit and return to service in 2020. In order to achieve the goal of returning Waverley to service next year, the Society’s Council of Management approved further funding to meet the costs incurred in the 2018/2019 winter refit. A grant of £82,592 was approved by Council to fund the new electronic chart system for the Bridge, work on the paddle wheels and deck, fire system testing and the abandoned boiler repairs. This level of support now puts Waverley Steam Navigation Co. Ltd in a position where all Appeal proceeds will be allocated to the boiler refit work and recommissioning for the 2020 season.
Dealing with other business, Council approved a financial strategy to support the Waverley Boiler Refit Appeal in the best way possible to ensure the paddler’s long-term survival. We also welcomed Keith Adams to Council as the Wessex & Dart Branch representative and 88 new members to the Society, including 58 since the announcement of Waverley’s withdrawal.
And while these deliberations were taking place in Glasgow, several Scottish Branch members were manning a stand at the Friends of Wemyss Bay Station Open Day. The stand raised in excess of £700, handed out hundreds of Appeal Flyers to raise awareness, and hopefully encourage a good bit more in donations.
Meanwhile in the South West, a fundraising cruise took place the same evening on the Paddle Steamer Kingswear Castle. This had been arranged by Wessex and Dart Branch member Chris Phillips primarily to raise funds for her future renewals, but it was decided to devote the proceeds of the onboard raffle to the Waverley Boiler Refit Appeal. Some 110 passengers went on the cruise on the River Dart in beautiful conditions and they raised £1,369 for KC and £269 for Waverley.
And talking of fundraising cruises, don’t forget the one from Poole on 10 July – click here for details.