CRSC AGM — ‘a successful year’

Caledonia leaving Ardrossan in June 1963. Copyright CRSC/C. Kennedy Mills

Roy Paterson’s superb show of CRSC digital images was the highlight of an annual general meeting that will go down as one of the shortest, best attended and most entertaining in living memory. Report by Stuart Craig.

There was a good turnout at the CRSC AGM on 19 April 2017 at Jurys Inn, Glasgow. Perhaps the promised after-business ‘digital kaleidoscope’ brought out the crowds.

President Iain Morgan was starting his second year in the eminent role and at the start of proceedings promised to keep the duration of his opening report to within 15 minutes, thus eclipsing the previous incumbent, Angus Ross.

Iain Morgan, Eric Schofield and Bill Tomlinson field questions at the AGM

Iain thanked the committee for their hard work over the session and made positive comments about our new website. He said Review 2014 was at the printer and would be posted out as soon as it was available, and that a timetable had been agreed for the production of future Reviews.

He informed us that he had been looking at the geographical distribution of our members and pointed out that 50% live within an hour’s commute to Glasgow. Furthermore 30% live in England and overseas, with the remaining 20% spread across the more outlying parts of Scotland. This meant that 24% of ‘local’ members were at the AGM. Membership had risen from about 480 this time last year to the current figure of 510. On this encouraging note Iain sat down, just seven minutes after standing up, thus achieving his timely goal.

Next up was the Club’s Honorary Secretary, Eric Schofield, who gave a brief run down on the activities of the committee, which had met officially five times during the past year.

Bill Tomlinson, Honorary Treasurer, gave his usual, thorough elucidation of the Club’s finances. These are apparently in good order, so much so that there were no questions to the Treasurer. Bill reported that, despite the considerable expense of the new website, funds from the Club’s other activities had considerably offset this. “The Club has enjoyed a successful year financially.” He then reassured us that there would be no increase in subscription this coming session.

The election of office bearers came next. Eric, Bill and Stuart Craig were elected unopposed to the roles of Secretary, Treasurer and Membership Secretary respectively. Graeme Hogg was also readmitted as auditor.

Roy Paterson prepares to give his audiovisual presentation

Five ordinary members of committee were then elected: Robert Cleary, Robin Copland, Neil Guthrie, John Newth and Roy Paterson. This retains the complexion of the committee for another year.

Then came the fun bit. Roy Paterson provided us with a half-hour audiovisual presentation of digital images from the Club’s photographic collection, demonstrating — to occasional gasps of astonishment from the audience — how he had ‘cleaned up’ many of the digitised glass and 35mm slides to produce images that were unquestionably superior to the originals.

These images have been generously donated by various CRSC members past and present*, and will be used in productions such as the CRSC magazine, the photo offer and calendar. To date we have 14,000 such images, and in Roy we have someone who has not just the patience and skill to digitise and catalogue them, but the presentational skills to produce a show of the highest quality.

The images in Roy’s display merged, faded, zoomed and rotated in jaw-dropping sequences that held the audience in collective awe. I could swear his shot of Duchess of Hamilton was actually moving away from Rothesay pier.

“One of the fascinating aspects of working with this material,” explained Roy, “is that you never know what’s coming out of the box next.”

Well, Roy, you certainly kept our eyes on the screen in anticipation. It was an exceptional presentation and a thoroughly entertaining conclusion to our syllabus. Have a good, sailing summer.

* Leslie Clelland, Tom Duthie, Roy Hamilton, David Landale, Iain MacArthur, Dr Joe McKendrick, C. Kennedy Mills, J.W.C. Mills, Richard Orr, Harry Smith, John Smith, John Thomas and others.

Waverley and Queen Mary II at Bridge Wharf in June 1959. Copyright CRSC/C. Kennedy Mills

Maid of Ashton on a hazy summer’s day in 1969. Copyright CRSC Dr Joe McKendrick Collection

King George V departing Ardrossan in May 1971. Copyright CRSC Dr Joe McKendrick Collection

Queen Mary at Inveraray on 12 August 1976. Copyright CRSC Dr Joe McKendrick Collection

William Buchanan’s Eagle of 1864 at the Broomielaw, pictured after her 1878 rebuild. Copyright CRSC

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