March 2011 Meeting – Oban Entrepeneur Alexander Paterson, and his Princess Louise

SS Princess Louise (1898) was primarily a summer excursion vessel based in Oban.  This small single screw steamer was popular with her passengers and operated various trips from Oban to surrounding areas of population.  A number of her services were timed to connect with railway trains in order that her passengers could sail one way and return by train.  
She was taken over in 1934 by MacBraynes, who initially operated her from Oban to Tobermory, transferring her to Inverness in 1935. Here she sailed to Loch Ness and Fort Augustus before going back to Oban to act as a livestock carrier. She was sold in 1939 to Crete Shipping Co Ltd and renamed Bluestone. After a period being laid up in Ardrossan she was destroyed in May 1941 when she was bombed whilst in dry dock at Greenock. 
Fraser’s talk focused on her time under the ownership of Alexander Paterson of Oban and not only gave us an insight into the operation and deployment of this fine little vessel, but also provided much information on the life and history of Alexander Paterson and how he came to be the owner and operator of an excursion steamer in Oban bay.
Fraser MacHaffie (centre, after his talk on Oban entrepreneur Alexander Paterson and his Princess Louise), 
being congratulated by Steven Graham (left), who gave the vote of thanks, and Deryk Docherty (right).