CalMac operations chief heads CRSC winter line-up

Anniversary ship: one of many superb photographs of MV Iona taken by Lawrence Macduff near Dunskeig, West Loch Tarbert. Lawrence’s tribute to this much loved ferry, which was launched at Troon on 22 January 1970, is sure to be one of the highlights of the CRSC 2019-20 line-up

The man responsible for the smooth day-to-day running of CalMac services is the keynote speaker in CRSC’s winter line-up of talks.

Robert Morrison

Robert Morrison’s talk on 8 January 2020 is titled “Delivering Calmac Services”. Since last November Mr Morrison has been Head of Service Delivery Operations at CalMac Ferries Ltd, a role that puts him in the hot seat whenever ferry services face disruption.

Prior to his present position he was responsible for the northern sector of CalMac operations. Earlier in his career he held senior management posts with British Telecom and Openreach in the highlands and islands.

In his CRSC talk Mr Morrison is expected to illuminate the behind-the-scenes intricacies and challenges of running a monopoly service, buffeted not only by weather interruptions and mechanical failures, but also the scrutiny of a demanding and often unforgiving west of Scotland public.

Other highlights of the 2019-20 programme are Lawrence Macduff’s 50th anniversary tribute to MV Iona (12 February 2020), and the eagerly awaited return of Iain MacLeod, one of CRSC’s most respected speakers, whose talk, “Three Score Years and Ten” (11 March), promises an evening of multi-faceted reflections on the past and present.

Roy Paterson, CRSC President

The winter begins on Wednesday 9 October with Roy Paterson’s President’s Address — “From the Box to the Drone” — in which he is expected to show photographic gems from the CRSC Archive alongside some of the best recent film footage of CalMac ferries.

Two Past Presidents, Richard Orr (13 November) and Gordon Law (15 April), will be sure to receive the warmest of welcomes on their return to the podium — each with their own take on the life of a steamer enthusiast.

We are also delighted to welcome back Colin Tucker on 11 December to speak on the subject of “Royal Routes – Queen Victoria on Clyde and West Highland waters”. This is in place of the originally advertised talk by John Morgan.

Everyone (especially newcomers!) is welcome at these talks, which begin at 7.30pm on the first floor of Jurys Inn, Jamaica Street, just round the corner from Glasgow’s Central Station. Please arrive early, not just to bag a seat but to socialise in the ante-room, where photographs and other memorabilia will be on sale. All talks take place on the second Wednesday of the month, except for the Annual General Meeting, which is on the third Wednesday of April.

Isle of Arran in Campbeltown Loch


CRSC is promoting the last Ardrossan-Campbeltown return sailing of the year (29 September) by MV Isle of Arran as a Nominated Excursion. Please come along and enjoy the company of fellow enthusiasts. The ship leaves Ardrossan at 1.50pm and returns at 7.30pm. Please check CalMac’s online service status before setting out from home.

For October we are organising a special excursion to a Hebridean destination by bus and ferry. Date and other details to be published soon.


9 October 2019 President’s Address “From the Box to the Drone” (Roy Paterson)

13 November 2019 “The Enthusiast’s Tale — In Thrall” (Richard Orr)

11 December 2019Royal Routes – Queen Victoria on Clyde and West Highland waters” (Colin Tucker)

8 January 2020 “Delivering Calmac Services” (Robert Morrison, Head of Service Delivery, CalMac Ferries Ltd)

12 February 2020 “Iona – Indispensible Island Servant” (Lawrence Macduff)

11 March 2020 “Three Score Years and Ten” (Iain MacLeod)

15 April 2020 Annual General Meeting, followed by “An Alternative to Scottish Junior Football” (Gordon Law)

14 October 2020 First meeting of the 2020-21 session

Queen Mary’s funnels viewed from Waverley at the Science Centre, Glasgow: Richard Orr, Purser of the turbine in her CSP years, will take a trip down memory lane at CRSC’s meeting on 13 November

Have you joined CRSC? You can do so here for just £10.

Published on 15 September 2019