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The provenance of this ‘rigging profile’ is not known, but it has the appearance of a builder’s draft to which particulars have been added after the ship’s trials on 24 June 1932. Among its anomalies are the position of the destination board (between the fore-funnel and bridge rather than aft of the second funnel, as in early photographs) and the specification of ‘oil fuel’ for the bunkers: Duchess of Hamilton was a coal-burner until converted for oil in 1956. The ferry ladder, secured to a top deck stanchion, is another curiosity for which there is no photographic evidence. Built by Harland & Wolff at Govan, Duchess of Hamilton served as Ayr excursion steamer for her first eight years (1932-39). It was only after the Second World War that she established herself as the premier Gourock-based turbine, with a cruise programme that took her to the farthest corners of the Firth. She was withdrawn after the 1970 summer and broken up at Troon in 1974, after the failure of a plan to convert her into a floating restaurant.
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