The Waverley paddle steamer has returned to Tenby after more than 30 years, receiving a warm welcome.
Docking at the popular Pembrokeshire coastal resort yesterday evening (June 17), the 1947 paddle steamer remained alongside for about 45 minutes, for the hundreds of people wishing to welcome the ship to shore.
Crowds lined the seafront roads and gardens, and all the paths of Castle Hill, to see the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer on her visit to the picturesque harbour.
The local RNLI Lifeboat crew was called out that evening, but they got back just in time to escort the Waverley out of Tenby after visit. “Great sight and we hope to see it back next year,” they said.
Photographer Gareth Davies called the occasion “an emotional and nostalgic return back to Tenby.“
“The Waverley paddle steamer (1947) made such a grand appearance out of the bay and elegantly moored alongside the quay to let 600 passengers ashore with another 600 boarding for Milford Haven.
Cllr Skyrme Blackhall described the atmosphere as “fantastic,” adding that the experience held “lots of memories for many.”
Tenby Male Choir joined guests aboard the paddle steamer to perform two short informal sets for passengers enjoying the coastal cruise to Milford Haven.
With a 6000-person capacity, the Waverley is named after Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley novels and was built to replace the 1899 Waverley which was sunk by enemy action on May 29, 1940 at Dunkirk.
The paddle steamer, launched in 1947, was gifted for £1 to the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society in 1974 and is owned and maintained by registered charity Waverley Steam Navigation Co. Ltd on its behalf.
Since she has been in operational preservation, she has been awarded four stars by Visit Scotland, an engineering heritage award, and has carried over 6 million passengers from over 60 ports around the UK.