CLANSMAN and Lunch – 18th January 2014


Normal Service sailing – Ardrossan; Brodick; Ardrossan
Coach tour around north of island,
lunch at Kinloch Hotel, Blackwaterfoot and return
to Brodick via String Road


 Photographs by Roy Paterson, Andrew Clark, the late A.E. Bennett and Charles McCrossan 

Clansman departing Brodick   

Clansman arriving at Ardrossan
before our sailing
Memories of winter sun –
Clansman at Ardrossain January 2006
Clansman arriving at Ardrossan
before our sailing

You may well ask why a large group of people should relish a trip to Arran on a rainy day in the dead of winter, with poor visibility and a return home in creeping darkness. Aren’t there better things to do? If you had asked the 71 souls who joined the annual CRSC outing to Arran on 18 January 2014, the answer would have been a resounding ‘no’.

Reality dawns – a damp winter’s
morning on 18 January 2014   
Issuing tickets:
CRSC cruising coordinator Neil Guthrie (right),
with two former cruising conveners, 
Ian McCrorie (left) and Eric Schofield 
CRSC president Deryk Docherty (left) with
Ian Wilson in the departure lounge at Ardrossan Harbour
 Boarding procedures
: Bob Lambie, Charles McCrossan and John Newth
Clansman’s crew wash down
the foredeck before departure 

The point of the excursion was hardly the boat — Clansman is by now quite familiar as winter relief on the Ardrossan-Brodick run — and it can’t have been the sights and scenes and photographic opportunities, for the weather forecast had prepared everyone for the worst. No, what gave the day its impetus was the camaraderie of meeting together, sailing together and talking together, and for that reason the trip yielded as much pleasure as any previous Club outing. Once again an essential ingredient was the organisational flair of cruising coordinator Neil Guthrie, who handed out tickets in CalMac’s waiting room at Ardrossan Harbour.

Clansman left promptly at 9.45am — though not everyone was on deck to witness the manoeuvre. A good number had made straight for the Mariners Cafeteria, there to consume a hearty breakfast of CalMac porridge and/or sausage, bacon and egg. The weather was actually not that bad: those who braved the open deck were rewarded with a gentle following breeze as Clansman bulldozed her way across the Firth.


Clansman’s onboard service manager Michael McArthur with his former shipmate on Iona —
CRSC member Eric Harcus 
Rainswept arrival in Brodick:
Ian Wilson,Alistair Deayton, Ian McCrorie and Colin MacNab 
Clansman departs into the gloom
John Beveridge was trying
to tell everyone that
it’s never as wet as this
on Loch Lomond 
But at Brodick the rain set in with a vengeance: Glen Rosa was shrouded in cloud, the Castle barely visible. Our two buses filled up quickly, there being little incentive to hang around in the drizzle to record the ship’s departure for Ardrossan. Once on our way northwards, however, the Arran scenery once more caught the eye. Corrie looked as pretty as ever. Glen Sannox cast its spell through the low cloud. The white poles past which great Clyde-built liners sailed on trial were duly noted. With no ferry in sight at Lochranza, few left the bus during a rain-swept stop at the slipway, but bus driver Iain Hendry reminded us of balmy summer days when as many as 23 buses would await the arrival of Duchess of Hamilton from upper Firth piers.

 The CRSC convoy
Bus driver Iain Hendry kept everyone
entertained with his good-humoured commentary 
Duchess of Hamilton at Lochranza in 1968 
Across the Kilbrannan Sound, the Kintyre peninsula seemed closer than ever as we motored past the villages of Catacol, Pirnmill and Machrie en route to Blackwaterfoot where, as in previous years, the Kinloch Hotel provided a warm welcome. A two-course lunch was served and afterwards, over coffee, CRSC president Deryk Docherty led a round of applause for Neil Guthrie.

Lunch was served at the Kinloch Hotel, Blackwaterfoot 
During his welcome address CRSC president Deryk Docherty
thanked cruising coordinator Neil Guthrie for organising the trip 
Unlike previous years, no one ventured along the beach for an afternoon walk. We were soon back in our seats for the return journey to Brodick over the ‘String’ road, during which we broke cloud level. Bilslands’ general store proved a popular destination for afternoon tea and shopping, and Clansman was soon espied emerging from the grey horizon. Hot conversation topics included CMAL’s planned redevelopment of the Brodick terminal, memories of Glen Sannox and the fate of Balmoral.

Memories of Glen Sannox   
By the time everyone had boarded Clansman for the prompt 4.40pm return sailing, the rain had mysteriously stopped. Many stayed on deck to enjoy the view north to the Cumbraes and south to Ailsa Craig. Disembarking at Ardrossan in the dark, the verdict was unanimous: weather notwithstanding, this had been a great day out.
Returning to Ardrossan, Clansman docked in the dark –
bang on time 

Meeting together, sailing together and talking together  – Onboard Clansman

 Graeme Hogg and Iain Morgan
 Jim Coull, Donald McColl and
Craig Osborne
Alistair Blair, Bob Begg and
John McIlvenny 
John Beveridge, David Scott and
Eric Smith 
Ian McCrorie, Harold Mills and
Robin Love 
Neil Guthrie and Paul Semple
 Davie Wright and Pat Marron
Elsie and Ken Hinshalwood
Charles McCrossan and Roy Paterson
(It’s the way Roy tells them!)
The Fisher family from Ayr
CRSC member James with
his wife Aileen and their children
Sandy, Iona and Iain 
Norman Crawford and Gordon Evans
Gordon Law and Tom Roberts
 Lee Gallagher and Allan Smith
 Carlisle-based CRSC member
Paul McVittie and his wife Wendy
 Robert Cleary (left) with Polish guest
Marcin Swol
Andrew Gilmour and
 John Malinkowski  

Meeting together, sailing together and talking together  – Lunch at the Kinloch Hotel

 The “Largs Table”