Sailing Doon the Clyde.

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Postby Dugald » Thu May 31, 2007 11:18 am

My, but isn't "HG" a great place for learning! Thanks for the picture of the Spartan. So, what did I learn?... I never knew they built boats in Kirkintilloch.

A wee bit of interesting 'puffer' history too. These wee boats were long a part of the West of Scotland scene; they could be spotted all over the place in all kinds of weather. (I can't imagine Campbeltown for example, without one tied up at the quay). They always seemed to me to be belching enormous quantities of black smoke. I suppose they played an important part in taking supplies to many towns.

They made a movie once about a Glasgow puffer being hired by a rich American to transport some works of art or "whatever", and it was absolutely hilarious. Part of it was filmed right up the river, in the Gorbals I think, and it got a lot of local publicity. The captain of the puffer may have been Will Fyfe (of the "I Belong to Glasgow" fame, although in fact, he didn't!)
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Postby Peekay » Thu May 31, 2007 12:13 pm

Last time I was at the SMM (about two years back) they had a team of welders over from Poland fixing her. I think she, as opposed to the others rotting at the museum, is actually an on-going project when finances allow.

Inverary has got a nice wee museum;
http://www.inveraraypier.com/index.html

and the George pub sells good food too.

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Postby Graham » Thu May 31, 2007 1:03 pm

Dugald wrote:My, but isn't "HG" a great place for learning! Thanks for the picture of the Spartan. So, what did I learn?... I never knew they built boats in Kirkintilloch.

A wee bit of interesting 'puffer' history too. These wee boats were long a part of the West of Scotland scene; they could be spotted all over the place in all kinds of weather. (I can't imagine Campbeltown for example, without one tied up at the quay). They always seemed to me to be belching enormous quantities of black smoke. I suppose they played an important part in taking supplies to many towns.

They made a movie once about a Glasgow puffer being hired by a rich American to transport some works of art or "whatever", and it was absolutely hilarious. Part of it was filmed right up the river, in the Gorbals I think, and it got a lot of local publicity. The captain of the puffer may have been Will Fyfe (of the "I Belong to Glasgow" fame, although in fact, he didn't!)


The film you are referring to was The Maggie (which was also known as High and Dry in the US) and Captain MacTaggart was played by my grandfather's cousin, Alex Mackenzie. Dougie, the young boy in the film was played by a Govanite called Tommy Kearins and both are pictured below

Image
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Postby Dugald » Thu May 31, 2007 11:40 pm

Peekay wrote:Last time I was at the SMM (about two years back) they had a team of welders over from Poland fixing her. I think she, as opposed to the others rotting at the museum, is actually an on-going project when finances allow.
Inverary has got a nice wee museum;
http://www.inveraraypier.com/index.html
and the George pub sells good food too. PK


I read the story of the "Champion" and the "Iona" on the web site you recommended PK. Very interesting stuff this. (This diving business, hobby, or whatever, must be a very interesting... not to mention challenging!). I enjoyed the historical part of the story too. I had never realised that Clyde boats had played such a role in the American Civil War. Like I mentioned earlier on this thread, "HG" is a great place for learning!

Thank you also for the web site about Inveraray. I know this village very well and have visited it many times ( must admit however, that I don't know the "George " at all). It was always a popular rest-stop when doing the Glasgow-Dalmally-Circle bicycle ride. It was a rest-stop too when doing the Glasgow-Campbeltown bus journey. At the time of my earlier visits to the village, it had a fair sized fishing fleet, and "Loch Fyne Herring" was the mainstay in many Govan dinners. Last time I was there I there wasn't a solitary fishing boat to be seen. I think Tourism is their chief commercial enterprise these days.

It's beyond me why Scotland has to bring over a team of welders from Poland to work on the Spartan. Haven't we got any Scottish welders? I notice the hull of the Spartan has rivets, do they import riveters to do the riveting too?
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Postby Dugald » Thu May 31, 2007 11:48 pm

Graham wrote: The film you are referring to [Dugald] was The Maggie (which was also known as High and Dry in the US) and Captain MacTaggart was played by my grandfather's cousin, Alex Mackenzie. Dougie, the young boy in the film was played by a Govanite called Tommy Kearins and both are pictured below
Image


Interesting information Graham, and a great picture too... tells the whole story! Wonder why I thought it was Will Fyfe who played the puffer captain... must have been the accent! It was a great picture, and i wouldn't mind having a look at it again. I'd completely forgotten about the Govan boy playing a role in the film. While i say "forgotten", I must admit I hadn't even been aware it was a Govan boy, although I lived in Govan when the film was made!

Good picture Graham, thanks again.
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Postby dougie79 » Fri Jun 01, 2007 3:40 pm

Image

Found this pic of the Tuxedo princess when I was in Newcastle a few weeks ago. When I was a kid in glasgow I remember my dad taking me down to the clyde to see it. It was just under the kingston bridge and was a night club I think. Its still a night club where it is in newcastle and just brought back a lot of memories of my childhood. sorry for the crap pic.
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Postby HollowHorn » Fri Jun 01, 2007 6:07 pm

I thought that they were two diff ships & that one was called the Toledo Princess. Where did I get that from :?
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Postby dougie79 » Fri Jun 01, 2007 6:26 pm

Im unsure mate, you might well be right. I just saw that one in Newcastle and it had the same name. I never knew that there were two different ships. Ill hae to check that out :)
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Postby Peekay » Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:17 pm

There's the "Tuxedo Royale" as well. It was originally where the Princess (formally the Caledonian Princess, Stranraer-Larne ferry) is now and was moved to Middlesborough to make room.

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Postby HollowHorn » Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:41 pm

dougie79 wrote:Im unsure mate, you might well be right. I just saw that one in Newcastle and it had the same name. I never knew that there were two different ships. Ill hae to check that out :)

I've already checked, it's the same ship:
The Tuxedo Princess was later moved to Newcastle and still functions as a nightclub venue there
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Postby duck » Sun Jun 03, 2007 12:00 pm

Thanks for your great memories Dugald. As a boy I was a Clyde Steamer fanatic ( suppose still am actually ) and was a junior member of the Clyde River Steamer Club. I remember going as an early teenager to lectures every month in the Royal College.
I do have to disagree with you, I'm afraid, about The Hamilton and the Queen Mary. In my eyes, no contest - the Duchess of Hamilton was THE steamer. I suppose it had something to do with us heading off to Lochranza every summer for two months on board her ( the advantage of having teacher parents!) My devotion to her was such that I even wrote a poem about her - I have got over the embarassment felt when my sister recently resurrected a copy ( Ihave the excuse that I was only eleven at the time)so can share part of it:

" On the 29th of June when the sun is in the sky
we'll be sitting on the train that is bound for Fairlie High.
There we'll catch the Duchess, that proud and graceful steamer
and until you've sailed upon her, you've hardly even seen her."


Note the poetic license - the train actually went to Fairlie Pier - but hey ho!

I was later lucky enough to work part time on the Waverley when I was a student in the 70's- mostly in the bars- so remember fine the "going down to see the engines"!!!

I remember you mentioning once before about Campbeltown for holidays so thought you might like to see your beloved Queen Mary there once more. The other shot, hoping my big sister Mary in the red anorak will forgive me, is on deck - actually on the same day during a CRSC charter to Campeltown.







[/img]http://i147.photobucket.com/albums/r282/ranzaboy/campbeltown72.jpg[img]
[/img]http://i147.photobucket.com/albums/r282/ranzaboy/queenmary.jpg
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Postby duck » Sun Jun 03, 2007 12:01 pm

Anybody know what I did wrong there? - why are the pics not displayed?
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Postby Josef » Sun Jun 03, 2007 12:10 pm

duck wrote:Anybody know what I did wrong there? - why are the pics not displayed?


Aye, you have end markers at the start (/). Et Voila :)

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Postby duck » Sun Jun 03, 2007 12:12 pm

Many many thanks Josef.
By the way, sorry about the porr quality but it was 1972 and taken with a schoolboy's instamatic!!
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Postby Dugald » Sun Jun 03, 2007 9:30 pm

Thank you very much Duck, for the great picture of the Queen Mary II and the Campbeltown pier ( and thanks to Josef too!). Oh, and lest I forget, your wee poem about the Duchess... very good effort for an 11-year old.

"I do have to disagree with you, I'm afraid, about The Hamilton and the Queen Mary"

When it comes to "beauty" we all know it's as seen in the eyes of the beholder. They're both lovely ships, I just think the Mary has a wee bit of an edge. I sailed on the Duchess many times and I'll forever remember sailing from Lochranza pier on her with a piper on the pier playing "Scottish Soldier" on his pipes. She was, as the poets say, a "proud and graceful steamer ". (I last visited Lochranza in '98 and couldn't get accommodation and had to join the Scottish Youth Hostel Association... great digs! Alas, there was no pier, only a Cal/Mac ferry slip!).

I was in Campbeltown in the summer of '72 too, and the picture I have in my living room of the Queen Mary was taken as she was docking at the pier in your photograph... hey, maybe it was the same day! Note the immense number of passengers on the Mary. C/town certainly was a popular venue back in these days, even if it was a CRSC charter, or maybe it was just the sail that was popular.

"I was later lucky enough to work part time on the Waverley when I was a student in the 70's"

I sailed on the Waverley quite a lot back in the 70's. This was before the Portavadie ferry to Tarbert, Loch Fyne, and when touring and heading for C/town, we often used the Waverley if she happened to be doing the Tarbert cruise. And who knows again... maybe you served us at the bar!

Cheers Duck, enjoyable reading!
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