Waverley was extensively rebuilt during 2000 and 2003 with the aim of restoring her original 1947 appearance whilst complying with all relevant modern marine safety legislation.
On this and subsequent pages, the story of the first phase of the Heritage Rebuild is told through more than 300 photographs. The second Completion Phase is covered in detail here.
The first phase concentrated on the mid and aft areas of the ship. The £3m cost was met by a £2.7m Heritage Lottery Fund grant with significant partnership funding also being provided by the European Regional Development Fund, Paddle Steamer Preservation Society, Dunbartonshire Enterprise, Enterprise Ayrshire, South Ayrshire, Argyll & Bute Councils and the Clydesdale Bank.
Waverley had closed the 1999 season on the Bristol Channel with the final sailings of the century before retiring to Avonmouth Docks awaiting further instruction. In late November it was announced that Phase 1 of the Heritage Rebuild contract had been awarded to George Prior Engineering Ltd. and would be carried out in Great Yarmouth. A week before Christmas Waverley steamed from the Bristol Channel to the Norfolk seaside town where she would spend eight months.
Whilst the quality of the contemporary digital images is variable their value in telling the story of Waverley is priceless.