World’s last seagoing paddle steamer at Clacton Pier

  • 26 September, 2022
  • On the pier


world’s last seagoing paddle steamer made a triumphant return to Clacton as
part of the vessel’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

docked at the town’s pier for the first time in four years and was met by a
large crowd of on-lookers to welcome her back.

than 200 passengers joined the ship for its journey up to Tower Bridge on
Sunday having set out from Harwich earlier in the day.

sailing almost didn’t happen after there were issues with the starboard
paddle’s crankshaft bearing which threatened to scupper the entire autumn

sailing was cancelled but a new bearing was made in Scotland and flown down to
be fitted in time to get her back afloat.

it was well-worth the effort as Waverley sailed majestically along the east
coast and docked at the pier’s berthing arm.

communications manager Nigel Brown said it was an amazing sight and pulled a
large crowd.

was a truly special occasion, and you never know how long Waverley will be able
to continue to make these journeys,” he said.

pier started out as a docking point for ships in 1871 and it is so much a part
of the attraction’s history.

those who missed her there are further sailings through until October 6 and you
will not be disappointed if you take a trip on this historic vessel.”

returns to Clacton on Wednesday September 28 to cruise the River Blackwater, and
the next day it picks up passengers from the town to go to London.

calls in at Clacton on Sunday October 2, and again on October 5 as part of a
cruise along the River Stour and on Thursday October 6 it is the final journey of
the season from Clacton to Tower Bridge.


last time the ship docked at Clacton was in October 2018. It was then withdrawn
from service in May 2019 after its operators needed to raise £2.3 million to
replace its boilers.

successful appeal secured the money for replacements and Waverley was due back
in 2020 but the pandemic and staffing issues ended those plans.

Tim Wardley, Chairman of the National Piers Society with a 30-year
association with Waverley, said: “It
was terrific to see Waverley back at Clacton after
her absence with a large and enthusiastic crowd waiting to board for the cruise
to London. 

thanks to the pier staff for their efforts and to owners Billy and Elliot Ball
for funding the works needed to the landing stage as a valuable contribution to
Waverley’s return.

is proof of the philosophy I have been preaching for 40 years – piers need
ships and ships need piers. Well done, Clacton!”

further information and to book a cruise go to

phone 01412432224 or pay on board.


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