It has been claimed, more than once, that Waverley is the most photographed ship in the World. Well that would probably be impossible to prove one way or other especially in these days of digital imaging when it seems almost obligatory to take many more images than are really needed. How many pictures of Waverley will be taken in 2010 - I can't even guess how many I may take but, for the first time, my first picture of the year of the Mighty Paddler was taken on the first day of the New Year and New Decade. Normally, family commitments have made it impossible for me to get anywhere near the Clyde on New Year's Day but this year my normal target for 'first footing' is currently mid way through a 14 day cruise in the Caribbean Sea. So it was all change today (and even the steak pie, the traditional Ne're'day fayre in Scotland was replaced by lamb steak!). I managed a quick diversion into the SECC car park and here is the first picture of Waverley in 2010, taken at just after 13:00 on Jan 1st. In Glasgow the first day of the New Year was very sunny (unfortunately the sun was shining on the wrong side of the ship for me and low temperatures / others not so keen on taking pictures of paddle steamers in mid winter discouraged me from loitering on Stobcross Quay; waiting for the sun to hide behind a wispy cloud).
In the last few days of 2009 some floating ice was noted on the surface of the Clyde in Glasgow harbour (see Charles McCrossan's posting below) but even then the ice was nothing like the thick solid layer of ice that stretched from the north bank to the south bank all the way from the weir at Glasgow Green to Govan in the early days of 1982 when temperatures in the city remained below -20 degrees celsius (centigrade if you prefer) for almost 3 weeks and the ice at the sides was over a foot (30cm) thick. The pictures below show Waverley frozen-in during that big freeze in January 1982. At this time her Glasgow base was No 52 Stobcross Quay - roughly where the Crowne Plaza Hotel now stands. In the middle picture her current base, then known as No 83 Plantation Quay, can be seen off her port side, long before Science Centres, Media Quarters, IMAX cinemas and Squinty or Squiggly bridges were ever thought of.
The other veseels in this view are Western Ferries mv Sound of Islay and the heavy lift ship Happy Pioneer, in to lift power station equiptment for the new Castle Peak Power Station in Hong Kong. The major changes in Clydeside are very obvious - about the only remaining landmarks are the North Rotunda of the Harbour Tunnel and the Stobcross Crane. The large black roofed building above Waverley was formerly part of the marine engine building works of David Rowan (workplace of my maternal grandfather and first big Clyde works that I was ever in - at the tender age of about six!), which built both steam and diesel engines, the latter being principally Doxfords under licence. It closed in the mid sixties but the facilities were used by the Scottish Machine Tool Corporation for manufacture of lathes. boring machines, etc for about 15 years. It was demolished not long after this picture was taken.
For other Clyde pictures of that 'era' go to