Hundreds pack onto Clevedon Pier to welcome the last paddle steamer in the world

  • Watch Ross Arnott's report.

Hundreds of enthusiasts packed on to Clevedon Pier today to welcome the Waverley, the last paddle-steamer in the world, back to the West Country.

It marked the first visit by the steamer to our region for five years.

The famous paddle-steamer made the visit as part of a trip from Penarth across the Bristol Channel.

Voyages like these though very nearly weren't able to happen though with the Waverley officially put out of service in the early 1970s.

It was then bought by Douglas McGowan MBE for just £1. He was then part of a group that refurbished it and helped put it back on the water.

He said a lot of people didn't believe it would last a year but it is still extremely popular nearly 50 years on.

Douglas McGowan MBE bought the Waverley in the early 1970s for just £1.

"I am immensely proud about it," he told ITV News.

"What makes me really happy is that today it is nice and sunny and families are coming on with children.

"What we have preserved here is not just the Waverley but a piece of history for future generations."

The Waverley General Manager Paul Semple said: "It is fantastic to be back after five years to see the number of people coming abroad is great.

"She is a unique part of our maritime heritage, she is unique history and history happening right here today."