January 2014 Meeting – In the Bleak Mid-Winter, Part II

The first CRSC meeting of 2014 took place on January 8 at Jurys Inn, Glasgow.
Iain Quinn, presented another of his comprehensive slide-shows, which covered the periods of winter service provided by the ferries and their crews on the Firth of Clyde and in the Western Isles.  Iain explained that he had tested the definition of “winter” with a few friends and they had all given him a different view.  He was confident that the slides he was about to show would speak for themselves! 

Juno at Gourock 
Isle of Mull off Duart Castle
 Brodick Bay – CRSC Excursion 09/01/99
Juno at Wemyss Bay 
Clansman’s wake leaving Brodick – CRSC Excursion 09/01/99
 Isle of Arran and Jupiter at Gourock

There was a little self indulgence, together with some “adjustment of the boundaries”, as he took us on a winter sailing of Waverley heading south for annual survey in January.  A few photographs taken during summer seasons could have easily been mistaken for “Bleak Mid-winter”.  However, the vast majority of images with snow covered, sun-kissed hill tops in the back ground left us in no doubt that we were being taken back to a time when a very different kind of winter service was being offered in significantly different circumstances, to what services are operated under today.

Iona arriving at Ardrossan  13/02/1991 
Saturn at Rothesay
Saturn at Wemyss Bay  06/1/2004
Jupiter and Loch Tarbert at Rothesay
  Unidentified ferry inside pier 
Sound of Shuna McInroy’s Point 13/02/2001 
Puffer Kaffir  Gourock  16/11/1969
 Caledonia off to Brodick  at Ardrossan  02/01/1973  Countess of Breadalbane  Gourock   09/03/1971

Iain repeatedly paid tribute to the skills, experience and dedication of all the crews, past and present, who operate the lifeline services throughout the year and often in very challenging circumstances.  He also recognised that today’s passenger has somewhat different expectations from their predecessor.  A simple example being the Largs to Cumbrae service – would anyone today actually get on board Ashton or Leven for a winter’s trip to Millport?

Clansman off Mull 
 Loch Linnhe at Raasay
MV Dalmarnock off Garroch Head
Christmas 1999 
Jupiter in Northerly Gale at Rothesay 
During his commentary Iain explained that the slides he was showing came from within his own collection but they had been taken by good friends such as Hamish Stewart, Bert Scott, Donald Robertson and Jim Aikman Smith.

Isle of Mull and Eilean Dhura in Sound of Islay 
Coll at Lismore  25/02/1995 
Isle of Cumbrae at Lochaline   26/11/1996 
 Isle of Mull leaving Oban with Lord of the Isles
at the North Pier 02/01/2000
Lord of the Isles at Lighthouse Pier and Isle of Mull
in Oban bay  21/10/1998 
 Clansman in Oban Bay with Lord of the Isles
at North Pier  02/01/2001
A brief tour around some Western Isles locations showed some of the conditions which require to be dealt with in winter period, the flexibility of the fleet in covering winter overhaul periods, and some unusual locations for vessels as the travel to or from overhaul.  

 Isle of Arran at Aberdeen
 Coruisk at Sandbank   12/12/2005
 Lochmor at Rothesay   18/3/2000
Isle of Lewis and Lord of the Isles
at Stornoway  03/11/2001 
 Hebrides and Pioneer off the Cloch  25/01/2001
Isle of Mull and Trinty House vessel
Mermaiat Oban   10/02/2005 
Jupiter and Iona at Gourock 
 Pioneer at Wemyss Bay
 with Christmas Tree
above bridge  19/12/2002
Winter excursions and charters were are also shown during his presentation.

Clansman and Loch Alainn 
Clansman of Largs on CRSC charter
around Cumbrae from Brodick 
Cruiser at Arrochar 06/12/03
on charter 
MV Juno Rothesay 
  CRSC charter 
Maid of Cumbrae
at Rothesay  
on CRSC Charter 
Caledonian Isles  and Isle of Mull at Gourock   21/01/2005
Iain gave his audience an enjoyable view of winter after one of the bleakest mid-winter periods we have experienced for some time.
Roy Paterson gave the vote of thanks.
All photographs are from Iain Quinn’s collection; taken by Hamish Stewart, John Ramsay, Donald Robertson and Iain Quinn