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Historic paddle steamer to return to Clacton

  • 16 March, 2020
  • On the pier

 

The
world’s last remaining seagoing passenger-carrying paddle steamer is set for a return
to Clacton later this year, it has been announced.

The
Waverley was withdrawn from service in May 2019 after its operators needed to
raise £2.3 million to replace the boilers.

An
appeal was launched, the target was hit and now the ship will be making a
triumphant return, with excursions around the British coast.

The
iconic paddle steamer, which was built in 1946, was a regular caller at Clacton
Pier – picking up passengers for trips in September and October.

Work
needs to be carried out to the Pier’s berthing arm to ensure the attraction
continues and bosses have given assurances that the scheme will be completed
this summer.

Communications
manager Nigel Brown said that talks have already taken place and excursions will
be running again this year.

“There
was damage to one of the cleats when the Waverley docked in October 2018 and we
need to make other repairs that will allow the vessel to berth with us,” he
said.

“The
Pier was originally built for ships to dock and we want to keep that going as recognition
of the history of the landmark. We will be doing the work as our donation to
the appeal.

“There
is no finer sight than the Waverley, which ranks as of national significance,
pulling alongside the Pier to pick up passengers and many will be delighted to
see it back again this autumn.”

The
appeal for £2.3 million was reached with donations from 8,500 individuals, the
Paddle Steam Preservation Society, the Scottish Government, trusts and
foundations.

Tim Wardley, Chairman of the National
Piers Society with a 30-year association with Waverley, said he is delighted
the Waverley will be returning to Clacton Pier in 2020.

“It will once again be offering day
trips and an exciting experience for all the family,” he added.

“My colleagues at Waverley Excursions
were most grateful with the kind offer from the owners of Clacton Pier to
undertake the required repairs at their own expense as a significant
contribution to ensuring Waverley’s return this season. “

 Ends

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