On the Spot: Graeme Dunlop

Forever Talisman: Graeme Dunlop’s favourite steamer approaches Largs Pier on a glorious summer morning in 1965, her penultimate year in service. Copyright CRSC J.T.A. Brown Collection

In the latest of our On the Spot series, CRSC Past President Graeme Dunlop is cornered by Stuart Craig and becomes the next victim to be questioned! Graeme lives in Cumbernauld and is a frequent attender at our Club meetings in Glasgow. He and Stuart have a habit of bumping into each other unexpectedly on some remote CalMac sailing, but this time Graeme was cornered as he left a Jurys Inn meeting.

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

Walking down the covered walkway at Wemyss Bay and sailing from there to Millport aboard Talisman.

Graeme Dunlop. Copyright CRSC

What was the last sailing you took?

Just a few weeks ago from New York to Southampton aboard Queen Mary 2.

Holidays: Dunoon, Rothesay or Arran?

None of these. It was always Millport.

What is your favourite steamer?

This is an easy one — Talisman.

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

CSP (with blue hull).

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

This is difficult, but probably Maid of Cumbrae — for the name if nothing else. But they were all equally lovely wee boats.

Jeanie Deans or Waverley?

Without a doubt it’s Waverley. I can just vaguely recall the ‘Jeanie’.

Favourite ‘Maid’: the ‘Cumbrae’ on charter to CRSC leaves Inveraray on 30 April 1977. Copyright CRSC J.T.A. Brown Collection

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

TS Duchess of Hamilton sounds good to me.

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

Proper car ferries from Gourock to Dunoon again. I have no desire or inclination to sail on the current ‘ferries’.

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

Oban to the Inner or Outer Isles. The sail up the Sound of Mull is second to none.

Which pier would you like to see re-open?

It has to be Millport.

What inspired you to join CRSC?

When I joined in the early 1970s, information on the steamers was much harder to come by, so meeting and talking to fellow enthusiasts seemed a good idea.

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

Help keep Waverley sailing and help with the preservation of others such as Queen Mary and Maid of the Loch.

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

The Club’s magazine.

What could the Club do better?

Rent a better room for the meetings. It’s difficult to see the screen from the back. Also, make outings available to all members who wish to participate — not just first come, first served.

Graeme gave many years’ service to CRSC as organiser of the Club’s Shop and photo sales. In recent summers he has spent his free time manning the souvenir shop on Waverley. Copyright CRSC

Down the covered walkway at Wemyss Bay Pier — and then to Millport on Talisman. Copyright CRSC J.T.A. Brown Collection

Memories of childhood holidays at Millport: Talisman arrives at the Old Pier in the early 1960s. Copyright CRSC J.T.A. Brown Collection

Previously ‘On the Spot’:

Robin Urie

Lawrence Macduff

Iain Dewar

Derek Crawford

Cameron Shaw

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