Anne Mitchell is CalMac’s Retail Sales Manager, a Gourock-based post that requires regular contact with onboard shop and catering personnel up and down the network. A CalMac employee for 28 years, Anne brings a palpable joie de vivre to her job, even though it has been ‘basically the same since 2005 with variations of title changes’.
Over the years her close links with the ferries have fostered an enjoyment of sailing that goes well beyond her managerial duties, for she has become a regular supporter of CRSC charters and group excursions. Her responses to Stuart Craig’s ‘On the Spot’ questions reveal that, while she may not yet claim to be a ‘nutter’, she enjoys the social aspects of Club membership and knows as much about the CalMac fleet as anyone.
What is your earliest memory of sailing on a Clyde Steamer?
Not a steamer but a ‘streaker’ — in 1985, going to Rothesay on Saturn with my aunt and uncle, who were visiting from South Africa.
What was the last sailing you took?
Monday 4 May 2021, Oban to Craignure on board MV Isle of Mull.
Holidays: Dunoon, Rothesay or Arran?
I’ve never holidayed in those places but, if I had to choose, it would be Arran.
What is your favourite steamer?
Has to be the old lady of the Clyde – The Waverley.
Which was Waverley’s best livery?
I like her current livery.
If young enough, what was your favourite ‘streaker’, or if older, your favourite ‘Maid’?
Has to be Jupiter. When I started in CalMac, the office I worked in faced onto the pier and I spent a lot of time staring out the window when I was meant to be working….
Jeanie Deans or Waverley?
Goes without saying, Waverley.
A new turbine has been built on the Clyde. What would you call her?
The Annie M (ha ha ha).
What would you like to see happen on the Clyde ferry scene over the next few years?
It will be interesting to see the plans for the replacements for Gourock–Dunoon and obviously the new boat for Ardrossan–Brodick coming into service.
The best point-to-point route you’ve sailed on?
On holiday, the Canary Islands crossing from Corralejo on Fuerteventura to Playa Blanca on Lanzarote. In Scotland, Port Askaig to Colonsay on a CRSC excursion — or shall we rename them a Neil Guthrie special!!
Apart from Millport, which pier would you like to see re-open?
Helensburgh Pier [which has been closed to all marine traffic since October 2018 and will be off-limits to Waverley this summer].
What inspired you to join CRSC?
I joined a few years ago when some members of the CalMac management team were invited to a CRSC lunch in Rothesay. I really enjoyed the day and chatting to members.
Would you like to see Zoom meetings become a permanent feature of the Club’s year, even once normal meetings are allowed again?
I love the Zoom meetings. It’s a good option to take part if you can’t make it up to Glasgow for the normal meetings.
What makes you continue your membership of CRSC?
Pre-Covid I really enjoyed the excursions. I’ve made new friends and it’s always great to see them.
What could the Club do better?
I think a great success for the Club has been the online Zoom meetings. The next step into the modern world could be sending literature in digital format for download as opposed to print.
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Published on 4 June 2021