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Author Topic: Waverley says Goodbye to a Legend  (Read 4192 times)

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Online Clydebuilt1971

Waverley says Goodbye to a Legend
« on: Oct 18, 2010, 10:36 AM »
This weekend Paddle Steamer Waverley undertook her final cruises of the 2010 season. Sunday's cruise also marked the last day for her purser Jim McFadzean who retired last night after 23 seasons when the ship tied up at Glasgow for the final time this year.

I am not exaggerating when I say that Jim has been an ambassador for the ship over the years - as the first face you see when you board he was alway smiling and ready with a quip. On the more serious side the amount he has had to deal with since 1988 (organising busses and taxis to ensure passengers were returned to their point of boarding after a diversion, dealing with the usual mob on Saturdays etc etc) would have made most run for the hills but he kept coming back every season.

During the ship's Bute coastal cruise yesterday Jim was presented with a cheque to the tune of over £1000 which had been donated by passengers throughout the season and the PSPS Scottish Branch presented him with an engraved crystal decanter and two bottles of Glayva (his favourite tipple) to put in it!

The ship had her JMCF signal flags flying all through the day and a huge cake was cut after the presentation from which most passengers were offered a piece. To cap it all Jim's partner and his mother boarded at Largs - which Jim was not expecting - and resulted in his safety announcement having to be redone due to a wee emotional intervention!!!

In the usual last day of the season tradition the destination boards were "adjusted" as can be seen in the photo below! The longest cruise in history!

All in all it was a great way to end another difficuly season - getting through the winter is the next challenge ahead.

But to hell with all that - yesterday was Jim's day - we'll miss you mate - have a long and happy retirement, god knows you deserve it.

The following shots of Jim show him with the signal flags of his initials and his farewell to us as the ship left Greenock last night.

On another note we lost another crew member yesterday as well. The ship's Chief Engineer Gordon Reid (those of you who came along to the ER tour in June will know who I mean) is also leaving the ship. I have known Gordon for a number of years now and he will be sorely missed but could I take this opportunity to thank him and wish him all the best.

Gav  


« Last Edit: Oct 18, 2010, 10:42 AM by Clydebuilt1971 »

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Waverley says Goodbye to a Legend
« Reply #1 on: Oct 18, 2010, 07:10 PM »
Thanks Gav

I really enjoyed reading the story about the Waverley's last cruise of the season and the farewell to the ship's purser.  Sounds like he was given a memorable and fond farewell. 

I enjoyed the QE2 Forum's trip on the Waverley in June and hope to sail on her again next year. A big thank you to all who are involved with the preservation and care of the ship. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Waverley says Goodbye to a Legend
« Reply #2 on: Oct 18, 2010, 10:38 PM »
I don't really know anything about the goings on of Waverley's staff etc BUT was on board on Saturday, all day, and it was UTTERLY FABULOUS!  On board at 9.30.  A cracking breakfast and a coffee in the restaurant, then up on deck for departure with a hot coffee.  The sights and sounds of the Clyde were great, and some people in Pyjamas were up and waving from their balconies of the new Glasgow Harbour flats.  The sun came out at Greenock, and stayed out.  The weather was unbelievably good.  The trip up Arrochar was not one that I have done by water before, and was just fabulous.  The accordion was out, and the wee reception held at Blairmore pier for the retiring Purser was very touching.  As we headed home, it turned into a beautiful evening, and i took some amazing photos.  I'm not being immodest, it was just an amazing sight.  Red sky, silky smooth river - looking like like liquid mercury, and the sound of the paddling.  Sublime and wonderful.  Loved absolutely every minute.

Here are Some of my photos (more to follow) - https://www.flickr.com/photos/lightbody/sets/72157625184578892/with/5090340095/



Passionate about QE2's service life for 35 years and creator of this website.

Offline Tyne Turbine

Re: Waverley says Goodbye to a Legend
« Reply #3 on: Oct 19, 2010, 12:48 AM »
Very well said Gavin, a great tribute to a man who has more than earned the very high regard in which we all hold him.

Many thanks too, to yourself, Shelagh, Stuart, Paul and all the other members of the Scottish Branch for all that you did to help make the day special, not just for Jim, but for all those of us who had got to know him and his tremendous work for Waverley over the years.

Nice to see you again as well Rob.

Robert.

Online Clydebuilt1971

Re: Waverley says Goodbye to a Legend
« Reply #4 on: Oct 19, 2010, 01:55 PM »
Thanks for all your comments folks and I'm glad you enjoyed your sail on Sat Rob - Loch Long is indeed a tranquil haven!! The re-opening of Blairmore Pier in 2005 has given the paddler another port of call for the last five years and opened up Loch Long to holiday makers on that side of the river.

I've just heard that Waverley's Bosun may also be leaving (although this is not confirmed) which gives the company another headache to cure this winter!!

Cheers

Gav

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Waverley says Goodbye to a Legend
« Reply #5 on: Oct 19, 2010, 07:12 PM »
I think  my previous message came out wrong -  I typed it while really tired! 

What I was trying to say was that from the point of view of a ‘normal punter’ without any involvement in the operation of waverley at all, it was also a great day out this weekend – and I think this is crucially important.  A friend was with me who’s last trip on Waverley was 9 years ago, and he was bowled over by how good it was this time.  As we were disembarking after a stunning sunset cruise up to Glasgow, people were gathering on the quayside for the evening ‘showboat’ party cruise in their fancy clothes.  ‘Normal’ Glaswegians out on a Saturday night.  Quite a different type of punter than most of those disembarking, but I bet these are quite profitable wee jaunts.  My office here has their christmas night out on the 26th of NOVEMBER.  The reason?  Everywhere was fully booked for parties in and around glasgow in December.   This is despite them booking in Feb/March!  It must be a complete nightmare for the operators to co-ordinate maintenance, create a timetable, and try to make a profit and keep everybody happy but if there was any way to do some more of these party cruises over the winter, even some of them while tied up… I can’t believe they wouldn’t be a nice wee earner.  It would also help Waverley to appeal to the younger generations.
I think we should make the Waverley a ‘partner’ of the forum, and give it its own section like ‘the cruising queens’ have.
Passionate about QE2's service life for 35 years and creator of this website.

Cruise_Princess

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Re: Waverley says Goodbye to a Legend
« Reply #6 on: Oct 19, 2010, 07:24 PM »
your pics are beautiful Rob...Scotland is surely wearing her autumn coat of many colours....and the stillness of the water and reflections are breathtaking...wish id been there too...

Offline Twynkle

Re: Waverley says Goodbye to a Legend
« Reply #7 on: Oct 19, 2010, 08:55 PM »
...I think we should make the Waverley a ‘partner’ of the forum, and give it its own section like ‘the cruising queens’ have.
'Good thinking', Rob
She's by far more important than those two Cruising Queens!
It was Waverley who went out to meet QE2 on numerous occasions; it would be good to know and see more about their meetings, too!
QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for what seemed like ages...Please don't leave her looking more like a Hotel-with-a-Hull than the greatest Liner afloat - Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Online Clydebuilt1971

Re: Waverley says Goodbye to a Legend
« Reply #8 on: Oct 20, 2010, 09:16 AM »
It was Waverley who went out to meet QE2 on numerous occasions; it would be good to know and see more about their meetings, too!

I'll try to get more info and hopefully pics of QE2 & Waverley.

In the meantime here is a link to the PSPS Scotland blog article on Jim's retirement.
Thanks for all your kind comments about Waverley - I was beginning to wonder whether it was appropriate to be posting all this stuff here!! ::)

http://pspsscotland.blogspot.com/2010/10/au-revoir-jimmy-tickets.html

Gav

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Waverley says Goodbye to a Legend
« Reply #9 on: Oct 20, 2010, 09:43 AM »
Hi Gav

Would love to see some more photos and information on Waverley and QE2.  Looks like she is being formally adopted by the forum. 
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

Offline Waverley

Re: Waverley says Goodbye to a Legend
« Reply #10 on: Oct 21, 2010, 03:22 PM »
Oh dear, I thought that it was this weekend coming for the final Waverley sailings.  Dash, missed it this year.   Looks like you had a great day Rob with great photos on your Flickr site.  You seem to have been very lucky with the weather and very calm conditions.

Lynda I have a nice video of the Waverley and QE2 together.  I will try to get this copied to add to the forum
Robert

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Waverley says Goodbye to a Legend
« Reply #11 on: Oct 25, 2010, 07:16 PM »
an atmospheric wee video taken on board Waverley on Saturday 16th.  One of my very favourite days of 2010.

Passionate about QE2's service life for 35 years and creator of this website.

Offline Clyde Paddler

Re: Waverley says Goodbye to a Legend
« Reply #12 on: Oct 25, 2010, 10:50 PM »
1988, when Jim joined Waverley Excursions, was the season I was a crew member, running the lower bar (at that time the Langs Supreme Whisky Bar) and sometimes, when that was closed, becoming a galley slave in the dining saloon - the latter still having a timber deck which had to be laboriously washed and polished on a daily basis - and an amazing pale pink deckhead, which I suspect was down to some freebie paint over the winter.

I had 'run away to sea' following a disaster in my personal life and Jim in particular was very good to me, providing a shoulder to cry on, listening when necessary, or just working in companionable silence.  During off-service times, we often did our ironing together, either on the counter-top of the purser's office, or sometimes just on the floor! 

Well, one season was enough for me (when the Waverley was built, it was certainly never intended that she would have crew members living aboard, and the 'facilities' 20 years ago left a great deal to be desired, particularly for female crew), but Jim and I have remained great pals ever since.  As those of you who are not 'regulars' have no doubt gathered by now, he is a fantastic people person, and whoever becomes the next Chief Purser will have a very hard act to follow.
HELEN
Harrogate, UK

Online Rob Lightbody

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Re: Waverley says Goodbye to a Legend
« Reply #13 on: Oct 26, 2010, 01:28 PM »
My sunset photo, taken from waverley, has been chosen by the Glasgow Herald today as their picture of the day. I give waverley a good plug too!
Passionate about QE2's service life for 35 years and creator of this website.

Offline Twynkle

Re: Waverley says Goodbye to a Legend
« Reply #14 on: Oct 26, 2010, 01:51 PM »
That's great news, Rob
It's a wonderful photograph.
Hope they have given you something in return.

QE2 had been waiting alongside in Dubai for what seemed like ages...Please don't leave her looking more like a Hotel-with-a-Hull than the greatest Liner afloat - Please restore her Lifeboats and Tenders to where they truly belong - she looks naked without them - please spare her this ignominy.

Online Lynda Bradford

Re: Waverley says Goodbye to a Legend
« Reply #15 on: Oct 26, 2010, 07:59 PM »
My sunset photo, taken from waverley, has been chosen by the Glasgow Herald today as their picture of the day. I give waverley a good plug too!

I saw the photo in the Herald today.  It was a beautiful view from the ship that caught the ripples of the water at sunset.
I was proud to be involved with planning QE2's 50 year conference in September 2017 in Clydebank
www.qe2event.com

 

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