Paddle Steamer Picture Gallery


PS Waverley

Builders: A & J Inglis Pointhouse 1946

Propulsion type: Paddle triple expansion steam engines, by Rankin & Blackmore

Owners: London and North Eastern Railway Companies, British Transport Commission, Caledonian Steam Packet Co Ltd, Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd, Waverley Steam Navigation Co Ltd

Service dates: 1947 - Still sailing

Tonnage: Gross 693 (when built)


This picture has been kindly supplied by Robert Ryan and shows PS Waverley approaching Helensburgh Pier at 7.25 pm on 22nd June 2005. The shot was taken just before Robert boarded her for an evening cruise. I am grateful to Robert for allowing me to share the image with you. Robert took the trip with his wife Sue and daughters Hannah and Eve.

The paddle steamer Waverley is the last sea going paddle steamer in the world. For details of the ship, the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society and her current sailing schedule please click here. The Waverley's own site is impressive and gives much more information than I have the space to here but, in common with the rest of my site I give a cameo of her below;

Waverley was launched on 2 October 1946 and commenced her first passenger sailing on 16 June the following year. She replaced her "North British" namesake who was lost whilst assisting in the Dunkirk evacuations of 1940. The new Waverley achieved 18.5 knots on her trials and was originally a coal burner, but she was converted in 1957 to run on heavy fuel oil. She was built for the cruise up Loch Goil and Loch Long, which was part of a "Three Lochs Tour", which included a trip on one of the Loch Lomond steamers. She has seen a number of colour changes in her time and is shown here in her present WSNCo colours. Gradually, Waverley's fleetmates began to be withdrawn and by 1973 she was the sole survivor of a once considerable paddle fleet. It was decided that she was no longer a viable concern and mechanical troubles in that year had led her operators, the Scottish Transport Group, to lay her up for disposal. Due to the enterprise and foresight of the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society, she was purchased by them for a token 1. Her story since then is well documented and she has been seen all round the British Isles since. She now has a wonderful and imaginative sailing programme every year. With support from the members of the Society and the Heritage Lottery Fund she has been extensively overhauled and reboilered, being restored as closely as possible to her original condition.

Long may she continue to grace our piers, wharves and jetties!

For more pictures from Waverley's career please click here. I shall be interested to receive any pictures you have taken. Please email me at

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