WAVERLEY TRIP WITH E.H.V.C. Tuesday 3rd October 2017

The Waverley trip is now fully booked although Peter is prepared to accept "Hopeful Bookings" to be put on a list in case of cancellations, contact him direct on 01825 890825 or peter@petergillies.co.uk

The coach will leave Tinkers Park (the rally field) at 11.00am sharp, free secure parking is available. Should you have a problem on the day please make contact on 07852561549. Anticipated return is around 10.00pm depending on traffic etc. There is a restaurant available on board although I understand it gets very busy and closes at 7.00pm. It is advisable to book a place if you want a table. Contact me direct to book. Otherwise picnics are recommended.

See you on the 3rd October Peter

This trip promises to be very special event for enthusiasts of transport steam or even those just wanting an interesting day out. Riding on a Vintage 1952 AEC Regal 4 RF coach is a bonus and we are very grateful to Peter Hanining of Tinkers Park for agreeing to transport us to Gravesend and back. The Waverley is a Steam Paddle Boat in preservation which is regularly used around the country each year taking passengers on a wide variety of cruises. We have chosen to ride from Gravesend Pier all the way up the Thames, through the Flood Barrier to the pool of London which means that Tower Bridge will open for us and back of course.

The coach will leave Tinkers Park in Hadlow Down at 11.00am sharp. There is plenty of secure and FREE parking inside the rally field.

The following mobile number is provided in case you have any difficulty meeting us on time. Please use it to keep in touch to save the coach an unnecessary delay. 07852561549

The Waverley sails from Gravesend Pier at 2.00pm: sailing time is listed as 5.75 hours which means with luck we should leave Gravesend for home around 8.00pm....Tinkers Park 10.00pm.

There is food served on board but I have no experience of either quality, or cost. Fish & Chips, Macaroni Cheese or Chicken Tikka. You might like to consider a picnic to eat on the coach and Boat food for your tea.

The total cost is £36 inclusive, The cost for children up to 17 years of age will be £20 payable at the time of booking please. This extremely competitive price is only possible if every seat is sold. Therefore please note this a basically a non refundable cost although I will endeavour to help anyone who finds they have to cancel by offering/selling their ticket for them. Please make cheques payable to E.H.V.C.

Peter Gillies peter@petergillies.co.uk 01825 890825


PS Waverley is named after Sir Walter Scott's first novel. She was built in 1946 to replace a PS Waverley that was built in 1899, served in the Second World War as a minesweeper and was sunk in 1940 while helping to evacuate troops from Dunkirk. Shipbuilders A. & J. Inglis of Glasgow launched the new 693 tonne steamer in October 1946. She entered service with the London and North Eastern Railway in June 1947, working the LNER's Firth of Clyde steamer route from Craigendoran Pier, near Helensburgh, up Loch Long to Arrochar. In her first year in service she wore that company's red, white and black funnel colours.

The 1948 nationalisation of Britain's railways brought their Scottish steamers into the Caledonian Steam Packet Company (CSP), a subsidiary of the Railway Executive, and the funnels were repainted yellow with a black top. In 1965 a Scottish red lion rampant was fixed to each side of both funnels. Waverley's hull was painted monastral blue until 1970.
After a revival of fortunes in the 1950s, the 1960s saw a gradual change in holiday habits that led to a decline in passenger numbers and the closure of many of the small piers. Since 1969 and the formation of the Scottish Transport Group, the CSP had been gradually merging with the West Highland shipping and ferry company David MacBrayne Ltd. In 1973 the company became Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd (CalMac).
CalMac withdrew Waverley after the 1973 season as she was too costly to operate and needed significant expenditure. By then the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society had been set up as a registered UK charity, and had bought the near-derelict small River Dart paddler PS Kingswear Castle. CalMac, keen to ensure that the ship was preserved, sold Waverley to the PSPS for the token sum of one pound. Neither side really believed that the vessel would return to steam but, just in case, Caledonian MacBrayne stipulated that she should not sail in competition with their remaining cruise vessel, TS Queen Mary.
A public appeal was launched to secure funding for the return of the Waverley to service and the fund-raising operation was successful. The PSPS found itself running a cruise ship operation, "Waverley Excursions". Since then Waverley has been joined in the PSPS fleet by PS Kingswear Castle and MV Balmoral, and has had a series of extensive refits and much restoration work, including a new boiler and improvements to meet modern safety standards. She has circumnavigated Great Britain and every year makes extensive sailings around the country.