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Our Trip "Doon the Watter"

Sunday the 10th August had been marked in the family diary for months and my wife, Pat, and I had been looking forward to our trip on the PS Waverley, our first trip on the vessel since her major refit (the paddle steamer that is).

Organised by Glasgow Richmond MBC, as part of their 30th Anniversary celebrations, the trip “doon the watter” Waverleywas going to be a great day out. Unfortunately, the Club Secretary had overlooked contacting the “weather gods” and, as a result, the steady drizzle and unseasonal cold wind started in the morning, and pretty much stuck around for the rest of the day. Having said that, the weather in no way dampened the club members’ enthusiasm.

Although I am a member of the Model Boat Club, my geographic distance from Glasgow means I don’t get to the club as often as I would like, so the trip out was also a good opportunity to socialise and try desperately to match names to faces.

The other club members aboard PS Waverley were all on good form (the joking and leg pulling just went on and on) and everyone was very welcoming and friendly, despite the fact that both Pat and I consistently forgot people’s names!

As The Waverley set off we both realised that we had never sailed down the Clyde before. The ship turned out to be a perfect viewing platform to inspect the historic sites on both banks, and to see what little remains of the Clyde shipbuilding industry.

Just as we sailed past the Golden Jubilee National Hospital on the north bank, I cast my eyes south and pointed out to Pat the skeletal rotting framework of an old wooden vessel sticking out of the mud. It had Night fallobviously been there for a considerable time and we were intrigued by what it might have once been.

The journey continued down to the Clyde estuary, and we were warmed by lots of hot food and drinks and frequent visits to the cosy passenger saloon below decks. Cosy saloonThe rain and mist cleared when we neared the coast to reveal beautiful and contrasting coastal scenery. After a while we both became slightly disorientated regarding our exact location, but this in no way detracted from the pleasure of the journey and the great sense of “travelling”. We then discovered the map on the bulkhead and worked out our bearings.

Some club members disembarked to stretch their legs when PS Waverley put into one of her “ports of call”, but Pat and I decided that we wanted our money’s-worth so stayed on board all day, happily watching the mist enveloped scenery as we paddled by. 

As the light started to fade into dusk we slowly worked our way back up the Clyde. When darkness fell, the Waverley gently nudged up against the mooring alongside the Science Centre.
NightfallThe tired but still jovial club members disembarked and made their way back to the car park and home. The photographs from the trip are a great reminder of a lovely day

Several weeks later, Pat pointed out a news article on the computer which contained a link to a site on Scottish archaeological digs. There, by amazing coincidence, was a whole article covering the huge collection of wooden ship hulks partly preserved in the Clyde mud. The very same skeletal frame works we had seen poking out of the mud when we were sailing down the Clyde. For those who might be interested, here are the web links to the story behind the rotting mysterious vessels.
"I'm sure you will agree it makes fascinating reading".

Report by Steve and Pat Pickering  2014

Click here.for a photo album of the event. 
GRMBC 2014