Wonderful winter line-up for CRSC

NorthLink Ferries’ Hamnavoe at Stromness in August 2018. CRSC’s aim has long been to stimulate interest in all fleets around our shores, not just those on Scotland’s west coast, and the January 2019 visit of NorthLink Ferries MD Stuart Garrett brings a top professional into our midst. Comparisons with CalMac’s operation will be inevitable. Thanks to Mark Nicolson for this beautiful twilight portrait

Stuart Garrett, Managing Director of Serco NorthLink Ferries, heads a stunning line-up of guest speakers for the 2018-19 series of CRSC meetings at Jurys Inn, Glasgow.

Stuart Garrett, Managing Director of Serco NorthLink Ferries

Mr Garrett is expected to give a comprehensive overview of NorthLink’s ‘lifeline’ services to Orkney and Shetland, offering perspectives that will inevitably throw up comparisons with CalMac. Serco first won the multi-million North Isles ferry contract in 2012, and it was recently extended until October 2019.

Talks by shipping professionals have long been a highlight of CRSC’s winter meetings, and this one promises to be especially fascinating, given that Mr Garrett speaks with unique authority about a sphere of Scottish ferry operation that is often overshadowed by headline-grabbing Western Isles services.

Mr Garrett will be guest speaker at the Club’s 9 January meeting.

Other standout events in our winter line-up include Professor Donald Meek’s long-awaited first address to CRSC next February. The acclaimed author of The Kingdom of MacBrayne will talk about an unjustly neglected aspect of Hebridean shipping history — the story of McCallum Orme, owners of Dunara Castle and the first Hebrides, ‘all the way’ steamers that served countless small communities from Colonsay to Carbost with a fraction of the subsidy received by MacBraynes.

We are also thrilled to host a November presentation by Emily Malcolm, Curator of Glasgow Museums’ models and artefacts, outlining the wealth of Clyde steamer relics in the citys collections.

At the December meeting Tom Hamilton will give an illustrated talk appealingly titled ‘Heydays at Stranraer’, while in March, David Sinclair will trace the fate of the beloved little ‘Island’ class ferries that went to Ireland when their CalMac days were over. Earlier this year Eigg and Raasay became the latest — and the last — to leave Scottish waters for a new career on the Irish coast.

Gone from Scottish waters but not forgotten: Coll at Tobermory on 2 May 1992. Copyright CRSC Dr Joe McKendrick Collection

The 2018-19 season of meetings begins on 10 October with an evening of vintage cine-films collated and edited by CRSC’s very own Stuart Craig, who will introduce and comment on each clip. There will be no overlap between these clips and those on the Club’s hot-selling DVD of films from the 1960s and 1970s, drawn from the J.T.A. Brown Collection and available for purchase here.

All meetings begin at 7.30pm and take place on the second Wednesday of the month except for the AGM, which is on the third Wednesday of April. Our venue is the first floor of Jurys Inn, a few minutes’ walk from Central Station. Please come early and socialise in the ante-room beforehand — and remember, non-members are always welcome.

We also hope shortly to announce details of an autumn excursion involving Clyde and Hebridean ferries. Please keep Saturday 27 October free in your diary!

For those who are not yet CRSC members, this is an excellent moment to join (£10) and get all the benefits — a 56-page colour magazine, the annual Review of Scottish shipping movements, reduced price DVDs and photos, and a discount on CRSC cruises.

The full line-up:

10 October 2018  Clyde Steamers on Film — Stuart Craig

27 October 2018  Autumn excursion — details coming soon

14 November 2018  Clyde Steamer Models in Glasgow Museums Collections — Emily Malcolm

12 December 2018  Heydays at Stranraer — Tom Hamilton

9 January 2019  The NorthLink Operation — Stuart Garrett, Managing Director of Serco Northlink Ferries

13 February 2019  John McCallum and Martin Orme: their ships and services — Professor Donald Meek

13 March 2019  Built to Last: Island class ferries in Ireland 40+ years on David Sinclair

17 April 2019  Annual General Meeting, followed by PS Caledonia Picture Parade — Eric Schofield

9 October 2019  First meeting of the 2019-20 session

A 1930s McCallum Orme postcard of SS Hebrides of 1898. Donald Meek’s talk on 13 February 2019 is expected to be one of the highlights of CRSC’s upcoming winter series. A native of Tiree, Professor Meek speaks with special authority on the McCallum Orme era in the Western Isles, which ended in 1948 with the company’s absorption into the MacBrayne fold

Glen Sannox made her only visit to Loch Ryan on a 30th anniversary cruise in May 1987. Will this event feature in Tom Hamilton’s November talk on ‘Heydays at Stranraer’? Copyright photo Walter Bowie/CRSC

Join CRSC here for £10 and receive all the benefits.

Published on 9 September 2018