Photo of the month: January 2017

Glen Sannox funnel c1970

Glen Sannox: view forward from the starboard side of the boat deck in 1973. Copyright CRSC Archive Collection

Recollections of Graeme Hogg, Junior Purser of Glen Sannox in 1973

This deck view of Glen Sannox takes me back to my time working on her in 1973, when she was the principal Dunoon ferry.

Built in 1957 for the Caledonian Steam Packet Company’s Arran service, the Sannox’ was a fine ship to work on with a friendly crew, but she was probably too big for the upper Firth runs, to which she had been transferred in 1970. Her capacity on the Gourock-Dunoon crossing was needed only on peak Saturdays, and she really came into her own at Cowal Games: she could swallow up the traffic. Otherwise it was like sailing on a ghost ship at times.

By 1973 her Sulzer engines were giving a lot of trouble. They had never been ideal for short ferry work and the 20-minute crossings from Gourock were too much for her, so she had several bouts of engine trouble through the summer.

The feature of the photograph which really chimes in the memory is the yellow funnel. That year, 1973, was the first of Caledonian MacBrayne, as the Clyde and Western Isles fleets were brought more formally under a single umbrella than had been the case since the formation of the Scottish Transport Group in 1969.

However, owing to the timing of winter refits, Cowal and Glen Sannox continued to sport the yellow CSP funnel throughout the 1973 summer, rather than the new red CalMac funnel colours. They both looked anomalous and a bit old fashioned. It felt as if they were clinging to their CSP identity as Clyde ‘steamers’. In Cowal’s case, she was thirled to the Clyde throughout her career but Glen Sannox was to become an important and much loved member of the Western Isles fleet.

Glen Sannox was withdrawn in 1989 and, renamed Knooz after her sale to Arab owners, operated as a pilgrim ship on the Red Sea until she was beached there and left to disintegrate in the early years of this century.

Glen Sannox funnel at Inveraray in 198

Glen Sannox’s lions, of a suitable size for her handsome large funnel, were first fitted in 1964, a year before the rest of the CSP fleet adopted more diminutive versions, but she was one of the last to receive the new CalMac livery in 1973, with red funnel and yellow disc. This photograph was taken at Inveraray on a CRSC charter on 26 April 1975 — her only visit to the town near the head of Loch Fyne. Copyright CRSC Roy Hamilton Collection

Brodick idyll: Glen Sannox as built, with yellow funnel and no lions. Copyright CRSC Archive Collection

Swallowing up the traffic: Glen Sannox leaves Rothesay Bay in September 1970. Copyright CRSC Dr Joe McKendrick Collection

See also ‘Photo of the month’ for

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016