Waverley appeal steers towards first million

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The Waverley Appeal to raise cash to refit the wonderful old paddle steamer Waverley, the last seagoing passenger-carrying boat of its type, has now exceeded £850,000.

The Waverley is a much-loved visitor to Campbeltown each summer as she makes her tour of Highlands and Islands harbours. More than 5,000 people have donated since the news broke in May that Waverley would not operate during her 2019 season as the boilers needed to be refitted.

An appeal target of £2.3 million has to be reached so further funds are urgently required to ensure Waverley returns to service for the 2020 summer season.

Paul Semple, Waverley Excursions general manager, said this week: ‘The continued support for the boiler refit appeal has been heartening. We are receiving support from across the UK and beyond with many donations being made in memory of someone.

‘We are delighted that the total raised so far is over £850,000 but time is tight if we are to reach our target and have Waverley back in service for next summer.

‘The Paddle Steamer Preservation Society has continued to support our efforts and recently made a grant of over £150,000 to the appeal. With so many people donating, there is clearly strong support for this special ship.’

Work is progressing aboard Waverley with volunteers assisting in the task of removing components from the boiler room following the decision to withdraw the ship from service and fit new boilers. If further funds can be secured, the work to recommission the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world will begin in earnest in January.

Mr Semple added: ‘All involved with this project are totally focused on the fact that Waverley must sail again and can’t remain static. Our aim is to keep Waverley alive, but to achieve that aim we will need further support.’

The charity which owns Waverley has applied for funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund with a decision expected by November. Donations can be made to the appeal at waverleyexcursions.co.uk or by calling 0141 243 2224 or by texting STEAM £20 to 70085.

PS Waverley is currently berthed on the Clyde in Glasgow awaiting her refit. NO_C37waverley01 or NO_C37waverley02