A Seagoing Steamer May Be Lost

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Can Historic Waverley Be Saved?

Editor, On Aug. 22, 1787, John Fitch (1743-1798) made the first successful trial of a 45-foot steamboat on the Delaware River. This was possibly one of the greatest inventions of all time.

Waverley
Waverley on the Firth of Clyde

Goods could be carried be river instead of horse-drawn carts and reach their destinations more quickly, allowing for a greater profit to be made. Now, only one of these seagoing, paddle-steamer boats remains. Waverley was built in 1947 to replace the original Waverley, which sank at Dunkirk. It was one of the last boats to be built in the great Clyde shipyards. There are now only a few battleships built on the Clyde because of its depth, but the area is rich with history.

The famous Royal Yacht Britannia, Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2 were all built there as well as countless other ships that sailed all around the world.

Waverley certainly has history, but she is 64 years old and even though renovated quite recently, she “eats” money. The last of the great steamboats will almost certainly be scrapped unless something is done quickly.

A visit to Glasgow, Scotland, is not quite complete without seeing the Waverly. It steams from the Clyde all around Britain and offers some of the best sights of the coast that are possible. It is hard to imagine that this may soon be gone.

I feel the possible loss perhaps more keenly because I have a personal link to Waverley. I am one of the descendants of John Fitch and I find it hard to imagine that his invention (even though he did not receive the full credit) should become a thing of past, never to be built again, only read about in history books. It is what is living that matters.

I have written this article as a petition. Can you help?

If Waverley does not have a good summer season, then she will almost certainly be decommissioned. She may be preserved but she may also be scrapped.

Can you save Waverley from her threatening fate? Can you help to preserve a piece of Scottish history? Can you preserve the creation of a great American?

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Donate, Win A Free Cruise On The Waverley

Please, help if you can at http://www.waverleyexcursions.co.uk/ and go to “contact us” for potential donors.

Caroline McWilliams
Glasgow, Scotland, UK

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