Graeme Hogg is elected CRSC President

It was ‘AGM time’ for the Clyde River Steamer Club on Wednesday 17 April, with about 35 members gathering at Glasgow’s Maldron Hotel and another 32 attending on Zoom. Honorary secretary Carrie MacKinnon gives her report on the business side of things, while her husband Iain reports on the ‘afters’ — a presentation by Eric Schofield, titled ‘More Hebridean Jaunts’.

A video of each part of the meeting can be viewed here in a separate ‘Members Only’ post.

Graeme Hogg, pictured after receiving his badge of office, has agreed to serve as CRSC President for the coming 12 months. He previously held the post in 2005-6, and has also served as Club Auditor. A regular contributor to the CRSC magazine Clyde Steamers, he was chairman of Waverley Excursions Ltd for several years, and currently chairs the Tighnabruaich Pier Association

Robin Copland opened CRSC’s 92nd Annual General Meeting at exactly 7pm, writes Carrie MacKinnon, and assured us that he had really enjoyed his two years as President: it had left him with many happy memories of his time in office.

He spoke of the cruises we had been on and the speakers we had listened to, and he thanked a whole raft of people, some on the committee and many outside of the committee. Robin paid particular thanks to Andrew Clark this year for taking on the massive task of getting Review 2022 published at very short notice.

Robin then invited us to hold a moment’s silence for the members and other notables who had passed in the last year, including former CalMac General Manager (and CRSC honorary member) John Whittle.

I then went on to give the Secretary’s report — my first one, and hopefully the first of many. As I said on the night, you will have to put up with me for a long time to break Eric Schofield’s record!

Next to the podium was our Treasurer, Billy Tomlinson, who gave a rundown of our finances. He confirmed the subscription would stay at the current £35. The finances were approved by Graeme Hogg as Auditor.

Then it was time to elect our new President. Due to other commitments Jim Stirling is unable to take on the presidency, and so Graeme Hogg has agreed to steer us through to April 2025. Gavin Stewart had already accepted his nomination as Vice-President. Both are well known to the Club and will be very welcome on the committee.

The rest of the office bearers were duly elected but, with publicity manager Colin Smith and magazine editor Andrew Clark stepping down, new appointments to these positions will be held in abeyance until further arrangements are made.

Two new ordinary members, James Fisher and Iain McCall, were elected to the committee, to sit alongside Allan Smith and Eric Schofield, who will be continuing in their role.

The AGM was wrapped up and the meeting closed shortly before 8pm.

By providing the post-AGM entertainment, Eric Schofield created two new records for himself, writes Iain MacKinnon. He is the only CRSC speaker to have presented twice at the Maldron, and on doing so had the distinction of being the first and last speaker of the winter session in the Club’s inaugural year at this venue.

The first photograph in his ‘More Hebridean Jaunts’ presentation was the 1955 Claymore, which Eric described as “a wee beauty” but then conceded that some described the ship as “a bit dumpy”. However, he followed this with his image of King George V, whose classic lines demonstrated an elegance which cannot be debated.

The AGM audience was enthralled by Eric Schofield’s vintage photographs, including one of passengers disembarking from Loch Seaforth at Tiree in 1972, a year before she met her untimely end there

Many of Eric’s photographs captured historic sights and scenes. Early examples were destination boards displaying the Inner Islands mail route, cars being hoisted over passenger gangways, sheep embarking Claymore and a classic scene of a busy Tobermory Pier. These joyful sights were soon contrasted by the sadness of a floating crane attending a sunken Loch Seaforth at Tiree in 1973.

But the audience was then taken on an adventure: a two-day trip to Lochboisdale on Iona. Eric enjoyed the crossing in sea-faring fashion, taking shelter between a ventilator and the deck house. He was thankfully dressed to face the elements and had wedged himself between two hard points for stability. The ship arrived in the darkness but Eric was able to observe a brave pierhand holding his ground at his station, defying the weather’s attempts to wash him away.

The landing resulted in a bash to the bow of Iona, and an announcement was made that the ship would go no further. Passengers overnighted in the ship’s lounges and a welder arrived the next morning, not only to provide an early wake-up call by hammering welding plates, but also to reinforce the bow door. Isle of Mull would be the boat to turn up and relieve Iona.

We soon accelerated through the years, and the modern-day Clansman posed in front of Maiden Isle and Loch Alainn took her place in a most dramatic vista sitting in the curve of the breakwater at Eriskay.

The next story was that of the fortunate photographer. Eric had booked a trip to the Treshnish Isles but the landing had to be aborted. So, with time on his hands, he headed to the vantage point above Rubha nan Gall Lighthouse. From there a photo of a vintage fighter plane was captured and then a classic of the lighthouse with Clansman and Lord of the Isles together.

Eric stated that ‘Loti’ is the ship which he holds in the highest regard. She was seen passing the Island of Gasay on some of the atoll’s final days, while it was undergoing a transformation process which would attach it to the South Uist mainland.

The final tale was that of the dedicated photographer, the one who cycled from Gott Bay to capture Clansman in the middle and at the exit of Gunna Sound. Even for Eric, having done all that, it was time to head for home.

As Eric concluded his talk, perhaps it was no surprise that he had chosen ‘Loti’ for his final slide: the ship was photographed having just passed Isle of Mull heading in to Oban in February 2012.

King George V’s classic lines demonstrated an elegance which cannot be debated’: many of the photographs shown by Eric Schofield (centre, next to screen) in his post-AGM presentation depicted historic sights and scenes

Published on 21 April 2024