On the Spot: Andrew Anderson

Next in the glare of the spotlight in our popular ‘On the Spot’ series is Andrew Anderson. Andy is a regular face at our Club meetings and never fails to turn up for a CRSC charter or excursion. He didn’t need much persuading to take part in some cross-examining.

Andy aboard a well known paddler


What is your earliest memory of sailing on a Clyde steamer?

The fine dividing line between personal recollection and what I have absorbed from family anecdotes dictates that my memory of my earliest sailings may be blurred at the edges. I do have a strong memory of a church congregation charter of a train from Pollokshaws East station to Gourock and off round Bute aboard T.S. Duchess of Hamilton circa 1953 (age 7). Equally I can remember running with my father from the platforms down the wooden walkway at Wemyss Bay to be at the front of the queue probably to board P.S. Jupiter to start our annual holiday possibly earlier. The said paddler was called ‘Jutiper’ in the family ever since in recognition of my mispronunciation!

What was the last sailing you took?

September 2017, M.V. Balmoral to Campbeltown from Largs.

Holidays: Dunoon, Rothesay or Arran?

Always Bute and invariably near Ardbeg Point or Port Bannatyne.

What is your favourite steamer?

T.S. Duchess of Hamilton.

Which was Waverley’s best livery, LNER, CSP or CalMac?

I have a soft spot for Caledonian Steam Packet — buff funnels/black top and white paddle box from my own era, but of course she looks good nowadays in preservation.

What was your favourite ‘Maid’ (if old enough) or ‘streaker’ (if young enough)?

Can’t say I have ever had a preference amongst these splendid little ships. As far as the ‘streakers’ are concerned a view over the bow from in front of the wheelhouse swings it for the Saturn.

Jeanie Deans or Waverley?

Jeanie Deans for me. Always looked more ‘elegant’. Straight stem/transom stern. I guess Waverley’s look would have been considered a ‘modernisation’ back in the day.

A new turbine has been built on the Clyde: what would you name her?

Caledonia as a mark of remembrance to CSP. Probably such a name would be almost immediately shortened and the ship would become known as ‘The Caley’.

What would you like to see happen on the Clyde ferry scene over the next few years?

Some improvement in the scheduling of the fairly limited Ardrossan/Brodick/Campbeltown roster.

The best point-to-point route you’ve sailed on?

Kennacraig to Oban via Islay/Colonsay, or Oban to Castlebay via Coll/Tiree and Gunna Sound. Couldn’t make up my mind.

Which pier would you like to see re-open?

Got to be Millport.

What inspired you to join CRSC?

More a question of ‘who’? My elder brother Gibbie in his Presidential year all but insisted I sign up! I had been on Club trips beforehand so sort of knew what to expect. An unexpected consequence of membership was that I was no longer to receive an annual gift of a CRSC calendar. I quote: “You are a member now, get you own!”

If CRSC had loads of money in the bank, what would you spend it on?

Given loads of money why not stump up for a re-engining of both Maid of the Loch and Queen Mary? That would indeed be “Loadsa money”! Of course smaller, i.e. thousands, could be donated to the upkeep of Waverley and Balmoral. On a lighter note, a free calendar for members would be a nice gesture (see previous question).

What makes you continue your membership of the Club, year on year?

Club publications are in themselves worth the subs. Meetings October through April are enjoyable, as are Club outings.

What could the Club do better?

I am happy with what the Club continually achieves for the membership at present. This is entirely due to the efforts of all office bearers and committee members. Thank you all.

Best livery: CSP yellow-and-black funnels, white paddle box. Copyright CRSC

Andy, arms raised, saluting the success of the 2013 Island Hop, a regular summer activity with friends. The others are (left to right) Stuart Craig, Ian McLaren and Gibbie Anderson

Previously ‘On the Spot’:

Robin Urie

Lawrence Macduff

Iain Dewar

Derek Crawford

Cameron Shaw

Graeme Dunlop

Why not join CRSC? It costs just £10 for the first year, and there are many benefits. Click here.