The election of Angus Ross as CRSC president was the highlight of the Club’s Annual General Meeting on 23 April 2014. Another key item of business was the decision not to raise the annual subscription from its present level of £23. At the end of the formal part of the meeting, attended by about 65 members, Roy Paterson gave another of his superbly evocative audio-visual presentations, allowing everyone to sit back and soak up a heart-warming sequence of image and music.
The meeting at Jurys Inn, Glasgow, was the last to be chaired by Deryk Docherty, president for the past two years. In his report on the 2013-14 session, Deryk referred to the high attendance at each of the monthly talks, the success of which he put down to the Club’s choice of interesting topics and knowledgeable speakers.
Deryk Docherty, flanked by Eric Schofield and Billy Tomlinson,
chairs his final meeting after two years as CRSC president
He paid tribute to all who worked in furtherance of the Club’s interests. Among those singled out were Iain Quinn and his team for advance preparation before each meeting; Charles McCrossan dealing with projection problems and Eric Schofield for back-up support; Gordon Law, Iain Quinn and Billy Tomlinson for a successful 2014 Calendar; Robert Cleary, Iain Quinn and others for organising the Club’s much-admired contribution to the Ship Ahoy exhibition; Stuart Craig for producing a special DVD for the event and, in his role as membership secretary, for keeping in touch with members worldwide throughout the year; Archie MacCallum for his dedication to and care of Club archives over many years; Neil Guthrie for producing the e-letter, now received by nearly 500 members and friends, and for his expert organisation of Club cruising trips; and other members of the committee who had “served the organisation with great loyalty and dedication”.
Commenting on the “phenomenal” development of crsc.org.uk, which was now “integral to the Club’s future”, Deryk said the very nature of expansion meant the Club’s website would have to be upgraded to cope with demand. Thanking Charles McCrossan for his unstinting work as webmaster, he said one of the website’s most important functions was to enable members to be involved in the life of the Club no matter how far away they lived.
Review 2012, compiled by John Newth, was “a wonderful resource, benefitting current members and future researchers”, thanks to “a style noted for its accuracy and detail.” Everything about Clyde Steamers, edited by Andrew Clark, “exuded quality”.
Deryk also thanked Eric Schofield, honorary secretary, and Billy Tomlinson, honorary treasurer, for their “outstanding contributions. They shoulder most of the responsibility for the Club on the business side, and carry out their task quietly and methodically.”
Among items mentioned by Eric in his secretary’s report were the committee’s ongoing efforts to find suitable long-term storage for CRSC archives; and the Club’s publication of Fraser MacHaffie’s book Scotia and Caledonia: Two Little-Known Paddlers, which had “filled a noticeable gap in our knowledge of early Clyde steamer history.”
As sole nominee for Club president, Angus Ross was duly elected and handed the president’s badge. Iain Morgan was elected vice-president. Both will serve a two-year term. All other office-bearers were re-elected unopposed for the next year.
Angus Ross (right) receives the
president’s badge from Deryk Docherty
After taking the chair, Angus thanked Deryk Docherty for his work as president, and paid tribute to the way “we’ve been willing [as a Club] to grasp the opportunities of change”. The core theme of membership was “getting together to enjoy this enthusiasm we share: doing it on our own is not quite the same as doing it with friends. Please keep it up.”
Angus Ross’s first duty as president
was to supervise the election of office-bearers
It became immediately obvious to those present that Angus is a natural chairman, handling the concluding AGM business with assurance and humour.
Angus Ross welcomes Iain Morgan (right)
as the Club’s new vice-president
After the formal part of the meeting, everyone relaxed to the sights and sounds of Roy Paterson’s 20-minute audio-visual presentation, “Past and Present Times”. This hypnotic collage extolled the beauty of ships, scenery and sailing on the Firth, accompanied by soothing Scottish airs. Roy’s technical finesse allowed him to zoom in and out of still images in a way that made them look like motion pictures — among the most memorable being his panoramic views from above Largs, and photos of Waverley from the Skye Bridge. When Angus, in a vote of thanks, described Roy’s work as “better than any TV producer could do”, there were many nods of approval.
For the second year in a row, Roy Paterson’s
audio-visual presentation was a highlight of the AGM
Some examples from Roy’s presentation are shown below (click on the images to see larger size)
ANGUS ROSS — an introduction to the CRSC’s new president
Born in 1956, Angus was brought up in Glasgow and Skye. Educated at the High School of Glasgow, he joined the Royal Navy in 1974, and after graduating from the Britannia Royal Naval College, he read for a joint degree in Law and Management at Strathclyde University. His father, William Ross, was a lecturer at Glasgow University and a longstanding member of the CRSC.
Clyde and Western Isles shipping has been in Angus’s blood from an early age, his most vivid childhood memories being the last ABC ferry call at Kirn and the first year of operation of MacBrayne’s Hebrides from Uig.
The latter was particularly memorable. Angus recalls how, after one trip across the Minch, he was ferried round all the “cousins” in Uist — eight visits in five hours, each accompanied by tea and scones. Within a few years he had got to know Hebrides’ two regular skippers, Jimmy Hodgson and Archie Macqueen: along with the rest of the Ross family, he tended to “live” on the bridge. On one occasion, after leaving Lochmaddy, Archie asked him “Angus, where is your Dad?”, as he was not on the bridge. “We looked at the pier, now some distance off the starboard bow, and there he was, standing talking to Usdean Iain [pier master and another Ross cousin]. Willie was most disappointed that we went back for him, as he had planned a night away when he saw us sailing off!”
Angus’s love for the Clyde steamer scene was consolidated during holiday periods not spent in Skye, thanks notably to 8-day cruising tickets and the encouragement of John Thompson and John Robertson, the latter becoming a close friend. Angus inherited John’s considerable steamer book collection.
Time spent on the Clyde was counterbalanced by weeks aboard Hebrides and her sisters in the Western Isles, and the occasional week in Oban, sailing on King George V and Claymore. It was around this time — 1970 — that Angus joined the CRSC.
After university he went deep sea and worked ashore in the Royal Navy. His first sea appointment came in 1981 with HMS Fearless, on which he served in the 1982 Falklands campaign. He later served at sea in three “Logistics Command” appointments with HMS Galatea (1985/6), HMS London (1986/7) and finally HMS Illustrious (1997/8), where he had group logistics responsibility for a fleet of 22 ships on a global deployment. He was promoted to Commander in 1992, Captain in 2000 and Commodore in 2006. Since leaving the Navy in 2011 he has pursued a varied career in consulting, crofting and as a non-executive director at the Scottish Association for Marine Science at Dunstaffnage.
Angus Ross (right) with Captain Andrew McCrindle
on the bridge of Clansman in March 2014.
Both men served in the 1982 Falklands campaign
Angus and his wife Irene have two daughters, both at university. They live in a working croft on the hill behind the pier at Uig, Isle of Skye. He says: “All are welcome once you have parked in the ferry queue — just put a note in the windscreen ‘Gone for coffee with Angus’ and you will not be hassled on return!”