Elsie Hinshalwood, CRSC’s First Lady

Elsie at CRSC’s 80th anniversary dinner in November 2012, proudly wearing the Club badge

The death of Elsie Hinshalwood has deprived the enthusiast community of one of its most devoted and well liked members.

Elsie captured the spirit of CRSC’s aim “to sail together, meet together and talk together”: she loved the sociable side of her interest in ships and the sea. A staunch supporter of Club events, she rarely missed a meeting or an excursion, and was always ready to play her part in a practical manner.

She died at home in Largs on Thursday 13 September after a long battle with cancer. She was 83.

As CRSC’s first female President (in the 1998-99 session), Elsie earned the respect and affection of the predominantly male membership, not by beating the drum for women but on account of her good humour and common sense. She was unfailingly gracious and unassuming.

These qualities were further manifested as a committee member from 1998 to 2012, and as organiser of numerous Members’ Nights, a task she accomplished with quiet aplomb.

Elsie’s presidential address, titled ‘Memories and Meanderings’, revealed how her early years in Largs and Glasgow had nurtured her fascination for the steamers. It also proved that she ‘knew her stuff’. The last time she gave a talk to the Club was in March 2010: ‘From the Mull of Galloway to Muckle Flugga’ took the form of a travelogue covering a wide range of ships, with Elsie’s excellently interwoven commentary bringing the whole picture together.

Despite failing health, she came on the Round Arran charter of MV Isle of Arran in January this year, underlining how much she relished going for a sail in like-minded company.

While Elsie was a keen Waverley follower, her shipping interests embraced fleets further afield. She used to talk of Isle of Lewis as one of her favourite ferries on account of the observation lounge layout: the windows were positioned at a height that gave everyone seated a perfect view out.

Born in Irvine and brought up in Largs, Elsie spent her early adult life working in an architectural practice in Glasgow, and was a member of the operatic societies in Paisley and Largs. She married Ken Hinshalwood in 1974. They travelled far and wide throughout Scotland, always bringing back a stash of quality photos: Elsie was an expert photographer, not just of ships. Away from her shipping interest, her fondness for the outdoors manifested itself in gardening and walking: she was a member of her local Flower Club and took part in a regular Saturday walking group.

We offer our deepest sympathy to Ken.

Among the mourners at Elsie’s funeral on Wednesday 19 September in Largs were CRSC President Roy Paterson, four Past Presidents and a good number of other Club members.

Elsie Hinshalwood — as we will remember her:

Elsie and Ken Hinshalwood aboard Clansman during the CRSC excursion to Arran on 18 January 2014

Elsie was always elegantly turned out. She is pictured here on the bridge of Isle of Mull during a CRSC trip to Colonsay in February 2010, with Captain Guy Robertson, Alistair Black, David Ritchie and Donald McColl.

With Valerie and Colin MacNab at Blackwaterfoot during the 2012 New Year excursion to Arran

Camera in hand: a chance encounter with Iain Quinn at Rothesay on 22 September 2012

Clear vision: the observation lounge of Isle of Lewis was one of Elsie’s favourite viewing points

With new committee member Roy Paterson (now CRSC President) at the 2013 AGM

In the cafeteria of Hebrides during CRSC’s 2015 New Year excursion to Arran

Elsie always enjoyed a trip on Waverley, especially with other CRSC members: she is standing third from left in the front row during a cruise to Tarbert in 2013

Ken and Elsie Hinshalwood (right) with Eric and Margaret Niven at the CRSC 80th anniversary dinner in Glasgow on 16 November 2012

Farewell: Elsie lived in Largs for most of her life and spent many a happy day on Waverley. Here the paddler sounds her whistle as she heads up-river on the final cruise of the 2016 season

Published on 20 September 2018