January 2012 Meeting – Loch Class:- The Second Quartette

In his talk Robert, in his customary well researched and thoughtful manner, addressed what some thought would be a very challenging topic and took us through the unfolding events which led up to the introduction of the original four Loch Class ferries (Loch Riddon, Loch Linnhe, Loch Striven and Loch Ranza)

While conceding that they were not the most attractive looking ships, he explained how they admirably fulfilled their purpose in coping with ever increasing volumes of traffic on their routes, so much so that the class has continued to evolve and develop ever since, with the larger Loch class vessels such as Loch Fyne and Loch Tarbert being very much based on the success of the “Second Quartette”.
He did not restrict his talk solely to the Loch Class but chartered for us the gradual change from the Maids, one of which – Maid of Cumbrae was converted to a small car ferry, then through the small 6 car Island Class and on up through the likes of Isle of Cumbrae, all the while increasing in carrying capacity.
This gave the audience a nice overview of this important, but somewhat taken for granted, part of the fleet.

After his talk on the original ‘Loch’ class quartette on January 11,
Robert Cleary (second from left) was photographed in animated
discussion with fellow CRSC members Andrew Anderson (left), 
Stuart Craig (second from right) and Douglas Brown (right).
Below are a few images reflecting the main subjects of Robert’s talk, and one or two of the supporting cast.
Proposing the Vote of Thanks, Richard Orr thanked Robert for achieving the almost impossible by giving us a such a satisfying evening from such a challenging topic.
Loch Linnhe Loch Linnhe Loch Ranza
Loch Ranza Loch Ranza Loch Riddon
Loch Riddon Loch Striven Loch Striven
Loch Striven Loch Tarbert Loch Tarbert
Loch Tarbert Maid of Cumbrae
(as car ferry)
Loch Alainn
Isle of Cumbrae Isle of Cumbrae Eigg and Raasay
Eigg Loch Fyne Rasaay
Loch Dunvegan