Waverley book author gives Largs and Millport lead roles in new book

Tales of Waverley’s adventures at Largs and Millport feature in a new storybook about the iconic paddle steamer.

Allan Morrison, 79, wrote ‘Kerryoans up the Clyde’, which focuses on the exploits of fictional Waverley Big captain Lizzie Lamont and her crew.

The ship encounters stowaways, nuclear submarines, beached yachts and whales as it sails along the Clyde, with both local towns heavily represented.

Allan hopes the new novel can bring some of the ship’s adventures to life – as well as its history.

He said: “I’ve been on the boat several times and I’m a big fan of the old paddle steamer.

“I’m on the front line here and I see him going up and down the river every day in the summer.

“The enthusiasm for Waverley is incredible, so I thought it was finally time for me to write a book about it.

“Others focus on its history or technical details, but this one is about its crew and their adventures on the river.”

Allan says Largs and Millport both feature heavily in the book due to the fact that the paddle steamer has used them for many years.

He said: “I even started Largs myself on one of my recent trips aboard her.

“Largs promenade is mentioned several times with the captain waiting on a bench before setting sail.

“A chapter focuses on a wedding in the Cathedral of the Isles in Millport, with the Waverley being used as the reception venue.

“Both towns are hugely important to the history of the Waverley and there was no way I couldn’t include them.”

Allan, originally from Gourock, donates a portion of the profits from each book to the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society.

He explained: “The Waverley has just lasted all these years and is so popular on base that it is the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world.

“It’s an old boat by modern standards, so many enthusiasts are happy to donate to keep it running for many years to come.

“I thought it was only fair that I donate to the society, if it wasn’t for them there might not be a Waverley to write about.”

‘Kerryoans up the Clyde’ is available from Waterstones, Amazon and all good bookstores.

Grover Z. Barnes