Waltz for Waverley as paddle steamer comes back to Arran

Callum Edwards and Ross Miller on the shores of the Clyde

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Pipers from Arran have joined a host of Scottish talent to release a charity single – A Diamond Waltz for Waverley.

Released on Friday June 11, the single is raising money and awareness of the PS Waverley, the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world, to mark her 75th anniversary.

The much-loved Waverley is the sole survivor of a once-vast fleet of passenger steamships which plied the British coast.

Waverley is about to celebrate her diamond anniversary, with 2022 marking 75 years since her maiden voyage.

Folk musicians Ross Miller, a well-known piping tutor on Arran, and Callum Edwards on drums are joined on the single by Charlie Stewart on fiddle, Rory Matheson on accordion, Craig Irving on guitar, Alistair Black on mandolin and David Edwards (Callum’s dad) on accordion.

The combined pipes and drums of the ports of call of Waverley also feature on the track, comprised of young pipers and drummers from towns visited by the ship.

They include members of the Arran Pipe Band: Annie Laurie, Jo Earle, Malcolm Wheeler and Patrick Scott and James Reid and Rory Currie of the Arran Music School Pipe Band.

The impact of Covid-19 meant that funding dropped to meet the cost of vital repair work needed to keep Waverley sailing after she crashed into Brodick Pier in September 2019.

A recent appeal raised more than £350,000, but more funds are required to keep Waverley sailing as it is operating at 35 per cent of capacity due to Covid restrictions.

However, it is hoped the single will be a huge hit.

Both living in Glasgow, Callum and Ross met at the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland and have collaborated on various projects over the years.

Ross 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 the Waverley visits to get involved. Hopefully this track will now be synonymous with the steamer, whenever it calls at these places.’

Waverley’s general manager Paul Semple said: ‘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. Ross Miller has reconnected Scottish music and the last of the great Clyde steamers.’

The Waverley visited Arran last weekend calling at Brodick and Lochranza for familiarisation ahead of the launch of its summer timetable this week.

Its first visit of the season will be to Lochranza on Monday June 28 and Brodick on Thursday July 1.

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

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