The Sound Cafe
Host of Scottish Folk Musician's Release Charity Single to Mark the Waverley’s 75th Anniversary
Folk musicians Callum Edwards and Ross Miller have teamed up with a host of Scottish talent to release a charity single entitled A Diamond Waltz for Waverley. Released on Friday 11 June, the single is raising money and awareness of the Waverley, the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world, to mark her 75th anniversary.
The Waverley is a much-loved piece of Glasgow’s history and the sole survivor of a vast fleet of passenger steamships that once provided coastal services and excursions all around the British coast. Later this year, Waverley will celebrate her Diamond Anniversary with 2022 marking 75 years since her maiden voyage.
Ross Miller’s pipes and Callum Edwards’ drums are joined on A Diamond Waltz for Waverley 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 who all were more than happy to get behind the worthy cause. An immersive community experience, The Combined Pipes and Drums of the Ports of Call of Waverley feature on the track, comprised of young pipers and drummers from towns visited by the ship.
Young Pipers from The Isle of Arran Pipe Band and the Isle of Arran Music School Pipe Band, as well as Rothesay and District, Dunoon Grammar School, Helensburgh Clan Colquhoun, South Ayrshire Schools, Kintyre Schools, 1st Largs Boys Brigade and the Inveraray and District Pipe Bands have taken part in the charity single.
The impact of Covid-19 has resulted in a lack of funds to meet the cost of vital maintenance to keep Waverley sailing. A recent appeal raised over £350,000, but with continuing restrictions more funds are required to keep Waverley sailing for future generations to enjoy.
With family ties to the Waverley, including his Grandad playing accordion on the ship for many years, Callum Edwards was compelled to help raise funds for the unique piece of Glasgow’s maritime heritage.
Callum said: “The Waverley is very special to me and my family. 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.”
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.”
Waverley is known as living history, a ship that represents shipbuilding and engineering traditions of the past and the social history of Glasgow. With period features inside, bright exterior paintwork and a striking profile, the Waverley brightens harbours and provides wonderful days out, giving rare access to the UK coasts from Scotland’s waters.
Both currently living in Glasgow, Callum and Ross met at The National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland and have enjoyed collaborating on various projects over the years. Passionate about teaching, Ross is a bagpipe tutor on the Isle of Arran while Callum works closely with the Boys Brigade Pipe Band in Largs.
Ross Miller composed A Diamond Waltz for Waverley, followed by mutual arranging of the track undertaken digitally due to Covid restrictions.
A Diamond Waltz for Waverley was recorded at Brookwood Recording in Largs by Callum Edwards.
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.
A Diamond Waltz for Waverley is out now and available to download on all the usual platforms.