A Trip on the Waverley
PUBLISHED: 16:30 17 October 2012
At the launch of Gravesend's new pontoon last week, guests were given a ride up the Thames on the Waverley - one of the ships that will moor there, Anna Dubuis writes.
Captain Ian Clark spoke of his delight that the historic town pier was now in use, allowing Gravesend to have access to the iconic paddle steamer.
The Waverley dates back to the Second World War when the previous holder of the name was sunk at Dunkirk.
Plans to replace the steamer were drawn up and in 1946 the new Waverley was launched on the River Clyde in Scotland. The steamer continued sailing on the Clyde up until 1972 when, having had a bad sailing season, she was withdrawn.
Two years later the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society was offered the Waverley for just £1. Rather than let her remain as a static exhibit, funds poured in and in 1975 she was relaunched into the water and she soon headed south to the Thames.
Today, the Waverley is considered a national treasure reminding its visitors of travel in a bygone age. See a video of the Waverley coming in to dock at the pontoon at www.gravesendreporter.co.uk/news/video_gravesham_mayor_opens_2_1m_pontoon_1_1654325