Waverley’s story is the stuff of legend — but alongside the euphoria of preservation, the sunswept days on the Firth and the crowds of well-wishers, it is also a tale of endless hard graft, frequent disappointment and survival teetering on failure.
“Waverley Steam Navigation Company”, compiled by Alistair Deayton and Iain Quinn, is a must for anyone interested in delving behind the legend and discovering the inside story of the ship’s first 25 years in preservation. At the book’s heart, taking up half its 192 pages, is a remarkably detailed account by Captain David Neill of Waverley’s year-by-year progress, covering the meticulously planned early overhauls and internal improvements, the spectacular voyages round the British coastline, the struggles to make ends meet and the satisfaction of seeing tireless efforts rewarded.
There are shorter contributions from other figures central to her heroic story of survival, notably Terry Sylvester and Peter Reid, as well as valuable recollections by crew members from the early preservation era, such as Captain Murray Paterson and Cameron Marshall. Thanks to their and others’ efforts, Waverley built a following that endures to this day.
This hardback retails at £20 but is being offered by CRSC Shop post free at the irresistible price of £16.50.