Two ex-CalMac masters top exciting CRSC winter line-up

Linda Ward took command of MV Argyle in 2007 for her delivery voyage from Poland, before introducing the ship to the Wemyss Bay-Rothesay run. Captain Ward will address CRSC at Jurys Inn in March

Two former CalMac captains, Linda Ward and Norman Martin, are the main attractions of CRSC’s programme for the coming winter months. Both will address the Club on the subject of their careers and shipboard experiences.

Captain Ward is the first — and so far only — woman to have commanded a CalMac vessel. After being promoted to master of Juno in 1994, she became a regular on all three ‘streakers’ as well as Pioneer and Coruisk, and she brought out Bute in 2005 and Argyle in 2007.

Retired since 2016, Linda was the subject of an in-depth interview in the 2020 edition of Clyde Steamers, CRSC’s magazine. Her talk at Jurys Inn on 9 March 2022 will take the form of a review of her onboard experiences, from deep-sea apprenticeship to ship handling on the Clyde.

This meeting gives CRSC members their first chance to meet at our regular Glasgow venue since before the pandemic.

Captain Norman Martin on the bridge of Hebridean Isles

All other talks in the 2021-22 winter programme will be by Zoom video link — including the AGM in April 2022, the aim being to get the widest possible circle of members involved in the Club’s annual business meeting (after which Iain Quinn will give the second instalment of his ‘Craigendoran steamers’ presentation, following a very popular first instalment in April this year).

CRSC members should renew their subscription here now. If you are not yet a member, please take advantage of our introductory £10 scheme here, offering membership with full benefits for your first year. Please note that you can now choose to pay your subscription by Direct Banking, as an alternative to PayPal. Details of the 2022 CRSC Calendar and other goodies can be found here.

Captain Martin, who speaks to CRSC on 12 January, will recall his extensive career with CalMac, mainly in the Western Isles. Indentured to the Clan Line direct from school in Glasgow in 1964, he later served as an officer with the Blue Star Line before joining David MacBrayne Ltd in 1971 on the old Loch Seaforth.

His first command was the Small Isles vessel Lochmor in 1985. Later commands included Claymore, Isle of Arran, Isle of Mull, Isle of Lewis, Iona, Lord of the Isles, Clansman, Hebridean Isles and Hebrides. Captain Martin retired in November 2015 and lives in Oban.

The December meeting (Wednesday 8th) will be addressed by John Riddell on the subject of ‘Girvan to Govan – Steamer Harbours and Piers of the Clyde’s South Coast’, and there will be a Members Night on 9 February.

The winter programme opens on Wednesday 13 October with Andrew Anderson’s presidential address, titled ‘An Appreciation of a Builder of Fine Ships’.

It continues on 10 November with a presentation by CRSC magazine editor Andrew Clark devoted to the genesis and evolution of David MacBrayne Ltd’s Inner Islands mail service.

Zoom codes will be communicated on the home page in advance of each meeting. We are hoping that it will also be possible to make Linda Ward’s talk at Jurys Inn in March more widely available by video on the Club website.


13 October — President’s Address: An Appreciation of a Builder of Fine Ships (Andrew Anderson)

10 November — On the Trail of the Inner Islands Mail (Andrew Clark)

8 December — Girvan to Govan: Steamer Harbours and Piers of the Clyde’s South Coast (John Riddell)

12 January — Presentation by retired CalMac Captain Norman Martin

9 February — Members Night (speakers will be announced nearer the time)

9 March — CalMac’s first female Captain, Linda Ward

20 April — Annual General Meeting, followed by Craigendoran Steamers Part 2 (Iain Quinn)

12 October 2022 — First meeting of the 2022-23 session

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Captain Norman Martin at his retirement send-off at Port Ellen in November 2015. He will address CRSC on 12 January 2022

Duchess of Hamilton on a CRSC charter to Girvan on 29 April 1967: the Ayrshire harbour is one of a number of Clyde ports that will feature in John Riddell’s Zoom talk to CRSC on 8 December

We look forward to seeing you at our first winter get-together on Zoom on Wednesday 13 October at 7/7.30pm. Zoom codes will be announced in ‘Forthcoming Events’ on this website’s Home Page in good time.

Published on 29 September 2021