By Paul Cassidy
Jackie Baillie MSP for Dumbarton welcomed the news that the last historic paddle sea-going steamer, the Waverley, will sail again.
Waverley Steam Navigation Co. Ltd, the charity which owns the boat, and Waverley Excursion, the company which operates it on a not for profit basis, have reached their fundraising target of £2.3 million for a new boiler.
Seven months ago, Waverley Excursions announced that for the first time in 45 years the Waverley would not sail again in 2019 and might never do so again.
The Waverley required a replacement boiler and major repair work best described as ‘open heart surgery’ to ensure it could continue to sail.
The charity launched a Boiler Replacement Appeal with the target of reaching £2.3 million to pay for the work.
The appeal attracted donations from over 8,000 individuals with the support from several trusts and £1 million from the Scottish Government following lobbying by Jackie Baillie MSP and colleagues in the Scottish Parliament.
Dumbarton and Lomond MSP Jackie Baillie said: “Its wonderful news that the Waverley will sail again. As one of many people who have sailed on the steamer, it’s great to see that she will be preserved for future generations to sail on for years to come.”
“The Waverley is an important part of our industrial heritage and has made a unique contribution to tourism in Scotland and indeed in my constituency of Dumbarton, bringing many visitors to towns and villages across the Clyde coast including Helensburgh and Kilcreggan.
“Over 8,000 individuals donated to save the Waverley and I am sure they and many other people will be looking forward to sailing on the Waverley, when she returns to service on the Clyde in 2020.