Romantic Waverley trip for Jon and Amy

Waverley
By Michael McGlinchey, CA Today

7 October 2015

An ICAS member event on the paddle steamer Waverley proved extra special for Jon Villis CA and his fiancee.

A trip down the River Thames on the Paddle Steamer Waverley had special romantic significance for Jon Villis CA.

Jon thought a recent ICAS member event on the vessel was the perfect opportunity to celebrate his engagement to his fiancée Amy Lavington. It was also a chance to step back in time to when he sailed on Waverley as a child.

Jon and Amy got engaged in South Africa on 21 September and, as the happy couple travelled back to the UK, London-based Jon suggested the ICAS member event on the Waverley trip a week later as an added treat.

He said: "My grandpa used to take me on the Waverley when I was a kid so, when I saw that the trip was available to ICAS members I thought we've got to go on that, that's awesome.

"We travelled back from South Africa the day before the Waverley trip and normally I might have said I would be too tired to do something the next day but I didn't want to miss going aboard again."

Jon, 30, a Finance Business Partner with British Airways, has fond memories of his childhood in Weston-super-Mare and sailings along the Bristol Channel on Waverley with his grandfather John Fursland.

He said: "I remember those trips so well and it was great to be back on Waverley again. Amy and I had such a wonderful time and it was a pleasant, moonlit night."

Jon, who now lives in Maida Vale, met advertising account manager Amy while backpacking in New Zealand seven years ago.

He said:  "We went our separate ways after that but kept in touch and got back together about a year later. And the rest is history." 

The Waverley sailing was the inspiration of ICAS President Jim Pettigrew CA. Jim has been a long-standing supporter of the vessel's preservation and saw the trip as a way of showing his appreciation to ICAS members and those who keep Waverley operational.

Jon said: "I had a chance to speak to Jim on the night about his enthusiasm for Waverley and it made me think of my grandfather and the times we've spent on it. It's very special"

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