THE grandson of the accordion player on the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer has teamed up with his dad and a host of Scottish talent to release a charity single to help keep her sailing.

Folk musician Callum Edwards is the drummer while his father David plays the accordion on A Diamond Waltz For Waverley, released to celebrate the 75th anniversary of her launch in 1946.

A much-loved piece of Glasgow’s history, Waverley is the sole survivor of a vast fleet of passenger steamships that once provided coastal services and excursions all around the British coast.

The National:

However, the impact of Covid-19 has resulted in a lack of funds to meet the cost of vital maintenance to keep her sailing. A recent appeal raised more than £350,000, but with continuing restrictions more funds are required to keep her on the water for future generations to enjoy.

With family ties to Waverley, including his grandfather Leonard Edwards playing accordion on the ship for many years, Edwards said he was compelled to help raise funds for the unique piece of Scotland’s maritime heritage.

“Waverley is very special to me and my family,” he said. “No other traditional pleasure steamer can access the spectacular UK coastline like

Waverley and what better way to enjoy being on the water than aboard the world’s last seagoing paddle steamer.

“The ship carries tens of thousands of passengers each year on day, afternoon and evening cruises but to keep sailing into the future she must attract a younger audience and I hope our contemporary approach to an old-time waltz reflects the younger generations supporting the future of the ship.”

The father and son are joined on the single by Ross Miller’s pipes, Charlie Stewart on fiddle, Rory Matheson on accordion, Craig Irving on guitar and Alistair Black on mandolin – who all said they were “more than happy” to support the worthy cause.

An immersive community experience, The Combined Pipes and Drums of the Ports of Call of Waverley feature on the track and comprises young pipers and drummers from towns visited regularly by the ship.

DANIEL Nicol and Fergus Goldie from South Ayrshire Schools Pipe Band took , as well as members of The Isle of Arran Pipe Band, The Isle of Arran Music School Pipe Band, Rothesay and District, Dunoon Grammar School, Helensburgh Clan Colquhoun, Kintyre Schools, 1st Largs Boys Brigade and the Inveraray and District pipe bands.

Miller said: “Callum and I have always loved the community aspect of collaborating with other musicians, so we were excited to invite local pipers and drummers that play at the ports Waverley visits to get involved. Hopefully this track will now be synonymous with the steamer, whenever it calls at these places.”

Waverley manager Paul Semple added: “I am delighted that so much Clyde coast talent has come together to produce this charity single to mark such a significant milestone in Waverley’s career. It has reconnected Scottish music to the last of the great Clyde steamers.”

Waverley operates on the river Clyde from mid-June to late August each year and the musicians involved hope to have the opportunity to perform the track live when possible.

The National:

Named after Sir Walter Scott’s Waverley novels, she was built to replace the 1899 Waverley which was sunk by enemy action on May 29, 1940, at Dunkirk.

THE new Waverley’s keel was laid on December 27, 1945, but due to material shortages after the war, she was not ready for launch until October 2, 1946. It wasn’t until the following year on January 20, 1947, that she was towed to Greenock for the installation of her boiler and engines. Her maiden voyage was on June 16, 1947.

Built for the route up Loch Goil and Loch Long from Craigendoran and Arrochar, she now visits several areas of the UK offering regular trips on the Clyde, the Western Isles, the Thames, South Coast of England and the Bristol Channel, with calls at Liverpool and Llandudno.

A Diamond Waltz For Waverley is out now and available to download on all the usual platforms.