A letter from CRSC President Iain Morgan

Isle of Mull, Coruisk and Waverley at Oban on 1 June 2016. Copyright CRSC

Dear Members and Friends of CRSC,

Iain Morgan

I hope you have all had a good summer, despite the weather, and I am looking forward to seeing some of you on Waverley when she gives her final sailings of the season on 14th and 15th October. Winter is almost upon us, and that is why I am writing to you now.

CRSC’s programme for the coming months has plenty to delight the eye and warm the heart, and my purpose here is to give all of you a sneak preview, because we want as many people as possible to enjoy the benefits of CRSC membership.

These include:

• Monthly meetings at Jurys Inn, just round the corner from Central Station, Glasgow. We have assembled a mouth-watering line-up of speakers for the coming winter, starting with Colin Tucker this coming Wednesday, 11th October. The title of his talk is ‘MacBraynes in the 1960s’. Colin is an acknowledged authority on the subject, and he is sure to delight us with his illustrations and memories. On 8th November Eric Schofield will deliver the second instalment of his ‘Passage to Arran’, this time focusing on the CalMac era — his beautifully illustrated account of the CSP era having been a highlight of last winter’s meetings. Another date for the diary is 14th February 2018, when one of CalMac’s best-known Masters, Captain Lewis Mackenzie, will gives us his ‘View from the Bridge’. Non-members are welcome at these meetings. For the full line-up of winter talks, click here.

• The annual Review. This lavishly illustrated publication has always been one of the most sought-after benefits of CRSC membership, because of its comprehensive coverage of shipping movements and developments over a 12-month period. Review 2015 is now at the printer, and members should receive their copy by mid November — either by post or by picking it up at one of our winter meetings in Glasgow. John Newth, who compiles the Review, has worked hard over the summer to finalise material for it, and he is now preparing Review 2016, which we hope to distribute next spring.

Queen Mary at her Science Centre berth in Glasgow September 2017. Copyright Charles McCrossan

• DVDs and photos. Our latest DVD is an expert compilation of rare-and-recent footage of CalMac and other vessels, complemented by fascinating archive clips from the 1960s, mostly derived from the cine films of the late J.T.A. Brown. These are real collectors’ pieces, featuring the likes of Duchess of Hamilton, PS Caledonia and the 1934 Lochnevis. Our photo offer comprises another 12 colour prints from the Dr Joe McKendrick Collection, including a beauty of Caledonia at speed in the West Kyle in her last season (1969) and one of the Hebridean car ferry Claymore leaving Rothesay in 1996. Click here to place your order for the DVD and here for the photo offer. Both are available to all-comers, but CRSC members get them at a discounted price.

• Special cruises. Neil Guthrie, CRSC’s Cruise Coordinator, has organised an attractive autumn excursion on Saturday 28th October to Loch Shiel for a cruise on Sileas. In recent months we have done our best to draw attention to this unique little vessel on the website — see Photo of the Month May 2017 and Three Lochs Tour with a differenceSileas has been running trips along this magnificently scenic loch for the past 20 years, and her owner, Jim Michie, has offered us a late-season charter. This will involve sailing from Glenfinnan to Acharacle in time for lunch, and then calling at various piers on the return journey. We will be laying on a special bus from Glasgow. The trip is already heavily subscribed, but there may still be one or two places left: if you are interested, please drop an email to Neil at info@crsc.org.uk  In early January we will have another of our popular New Year outings, and we also hope to organise a ‘members only’ visit to MV Glen Sannox next spring while she is fitting out at Port Glasgow.

• Exclusive access to selected articles on our website. We believe the website is now sufficiently well established to justify creating a ‘members only’ area. This means that, starting next month, a select number of articles in ‘News & Reports’ will be available only to paid up CRSC members — the people who have financed the site’s creation and upkeep. Our aim is to underline the benefits of membership, without stopping anyone from accessing the site. The aim of the website has always been to profile CRSC as a vibrant, outward-looking group with its finger on the pulse of west coast Scottish shipping. The creation of a ‘members only’ area will not alter this. The majority of ‘posts’ will still be open to everyone. To facilitate the introduction of a members-only section of the website, may I ask all paid-up CRSC members to email Membership Secretary Stuart Craig now at info@crsc.org.uk and simply state your name (because not all email addresses make clear the name of the sender).

Clyde Steamers 2017 front cover

• Clyde Steamers. This 54-page colour magazine comes out every April and is a ‘must’ for anyone interested in ships of the Clyde and Western Isles. The 2017 edition has features on the three MacBrayne car ferries of 1964, including an interview with the Master of the sole survivor of that trio — Captain Trevor Bailey of Hebridean Princess ex Columba. Plus articles on the 1966 Seamen’s Strike, the adventures of an Assistant Purser on Jeanie Deans and much more.

If you don’t have your copy, sign up here for membership now and you’ll be sent one free.

I look forward to welcoming you at Jurys Inn, just round true corner from Glasgow Central Station, on Wednesday 11th October at 7.30pm. Stuart Craig will be on hand for those who prefer to pay their subscription in person. Please bear in mind that newcomers get their first year’s membership for just £10.

Iain Morgan

CRSC President


One of the Clyde’s finest: Duchess of Hamilton at Tarbert, Loch Fyne, c1968. Copyright Eric Schofield

Catch up will all CRSC’s previous posts by clicking on News & Reports