Iconic paddle steamer to return

by Nigel Brown May 09 2022 1     2,635
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May 9, 2022

 

The world’s last remaining seagoing passenger-carrying paddle steamer is set to make a triumphant return to Clacton.

The iconic Waverley will be docking at the end of the town’s pier as part of its 75th anniversary programme this autumn after an absence of four years.

The vessel had to be withdrawn from service in May 2019 after its operators needed to raise £2.3 million to replace its boilers.

A successful appeal secured the money for replacements and Waverley was due back in 2020 but the pandemic and staffing issues scuppered those plans.

Now it has been announced the paddle steamer will be operating its Thames season and this will include the popular trips picking up passengers from the pier.

Work will be carried out to make the necessary repairs to the berthing arm in preparation for Waverley.

Pier director Billy Ball said it will be great to see the vessel back.

“Waverley is of national significance, and we look forward to it returning to Clacton – there is no finer sight,” he added.

“Our pier was originally built for ships to dock, and that is a vital part of its history. We are pleased to be able to carry out the repairs at our cost as our contribution to bringing it back to the town.”

There was damage to one of the cleats when Waverley last docked in October 2018 and other work also needs to be undertaken.

Tim Wardley, Chairman of the National Piers Society with a 30-year association with Waverley, said: \"I am delighted that Waverley will be returning to the Thames this year, as a vital part of our coastal attractions and a major contributor to the seaside tourist economy. 

“I am also extremely grateful to Clacton Pier for funding the landing stage repairs as their contribution to enabling Waverley\'s return in 2022.\"

Waverley is planning to offer cruises from Thames locations including Clacton Pier from September 23 to October 9.  Details of cruises and fares will be available from Waverley Excursions in due course. 

 Ends

PHOTO BY KEVIN JAY

 






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1Comment

Catherine Willsher 3 months ago

Went on the Waverley 4 years ago from clacton pier a wonderful experience. Now going on it in Scotland beginning of June .

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