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identified by the steering wheel for her bow rudder, too lying alongside Gourock pier, an unknown figure, bound for Campbeltown, begins to film a record of his trip on board the 1926-built, single screw, "Dalriada", she having left Greenock's Prince's Pier at 9 am and now, some fifteen minutes later, closing her approach on Gourock.
TRIP ABOARD THE "DALRIADA"
Here the "Dalriada" arriving as the also 1926-built turbine steamer "King George V" leaves and this photograph taken from the stern of MacBrayne's 1878-built paddle steamer "Columba"
Another view of the "Dalriada" berthing, here at Gourock Pier's 'Berth A'
As she slides along the front of Gourock's pier, the mate, his hands on the rail, keeps a watchful eye on the pier's wooden-piled front and a seaman gets reading to throw the after mooring rope's 'heaving line' to the waiting piermen.
Another seaman on the main deck, his arms leaning on the rail, waits to pay out the after mooring rope and then 'make fast', his orders coming from a 'docking telegraph' on the bridge and the mate, ensuring that all is well, using a whistle to signal the captain on the ship's bridge if any extra engine orders, ahead or astern, are needed.
The heaving line safely caught and placed well clear of their feet, two piermen begin to haul in the heavy mooring rope. 4
Given five minutes to load passengers and cargo at Gourock and the morning wind light, this unknown clergyman, perhaps going to Arran, perhaps to Kintyre, takes the opportunity to have a quick look at the front page news on his broadsheet-sized morning paper.
Sharp at 9.25 am, the engine room telegraph rings and the "Dalriada" is under way, direct now to Lochranza, where she is due at 11.30 am, the "Duchess of Argyll" passing inshore of her as she heads for the berth left vacant by the "Dalriada" and her passengers getting a clear view of the "Dalriada" as she begins to work up to her normal service speed.
Like all the company's ships before here, the "Dalriada", despite the often 'inclement' weather of The Clyde, had a completely open bridge, the "Kinloch", which she replaced on the Campbeltown run, had been the first Clyde steamer to have a wheelhouse, b e l o w the ‘bridge-deck’ but, shortly after the "Kinloch" entered service, she was in a collision with a small rowing-boat. The accident was blamed on the restricted view of the helmsman in the 'new' wheelhouse and it was quickly removed ! It is now a two hour long run to Lochranza and, the course, almost directly from The Cloch Lighthouse to The Garroch Head, too far from the land to be of any interest to the camerman (or could it have been a camera-woman), there are no more scenes to record for a while and we can look round the ship. The 758-ton “Dalriada”, 230-feet long, 34-feet 8 -inches beam and 14-feet 10-inches in depth, was built by R. Duncan & Company in Port Glasgow and engined by D. Rowan & Company who gave her a 4 cylinder 22", 35½" and 2 x 40" x 33" triple expansion engine which gave her 18-knots and made her then probably the fastest single-screw steamer in The World, a claim disputed by The London & Edinburgh Shipping Company whose “Royal Archer” and “Royal Fusilier” were both credited with speeds of some 17½ knots.
The “Dalriada” was the only Clyde steamer to have four-crank triple expansion engine, a reportedly noisy ‘beast’, it’s thrust and throw of the cranks producing some vibrations, unlike the smooth- running machinery of the turbine steamers. The name of the new £42,000 ship, built for the company’s centenary, was the result of a competition entered by Campbeltown school-children and believed to have been won by a young Robert Taylor, later to become a “Campbeltown Courier” reporter. She was launched on Monday, March 15, 1926 by Mrs Hugh Mitchell of Seafield House, Campbeltown and on Wednesday, April 28, 1926, the “Dalriada” made her initial trip from Gourock to Campbeltown in less than three hours. The old graceful, yacht-like clipper-fiddled bow so long favoured by the company had disappeared, a sacrifice of beauty for utility and a sign of the times and she had been given a simple slanting stem and a well-rounded counter stern, her upper deck being carried right to the stern, above her after mooring capstan on the main deck below. While steerage class passengers were left to find themselves room on the sparred wooden seats running along the outsides of the boiler and engine-room on the main deck, the first class passengers were well looked after. The after deckhouse on the upper deck, below the bridge and boat deck, contained a smokeroom with comfortable leather seats and from outside, the deckhouse gave way to the main stair leading to the main first class lounge, on the main deck aft and the dining saloon, on the lower deck. Cargo hatches fore and aft were handled by derricks on the masts and opening doors on the main deck, at the after hold space, allowed passengers to reach the ferry boats which came alongside the ship at Saddell and Pirnmill. Given a black top, the main area of her gigantic funnel was painted equally into two parts, the middle red, the bottom black and, to the eye, no one colour appeared to dominate over the other. In common with all the company’s steamers, she was registered at Campbeltown, on May 1, 1926 and the new ship was quickly put out of commission by the prolonged 1926 coal 7
strike and only appeared again at the height of the 1926 season when she ran a number of highly popular excursions. On summer Fridays, particularly at the start of Glasgow July Fair and September Autumn Holidays, the “Dalriada” would take the morning 'down-run' from Glasgow to Campbeltown and then return, as a 'special sailing' to Gourock to take a second return sailing that evening, outward via Wemyss Bay to Lochranza and Campbeltown and then returning late, diect to Gourock and on 'up-river' to Glasgow to arrive well after midnight. In July each year, she would give a direct trip from Campbeltown, Carradale and Lochranza to the Inveraray Highland Games, lying off the village in company with the other excursion steamers and, in August and September each year, would operate evening cruises to the annual illumination and firework displays at Rothesay. In later years she would frequently find herself on charter in early season and every year, from 1930, usually on the second last Friday of July, gave a day trip from Stranraer to Campbeltown.
Lochranza Pier, approved by Parliament in 1886, was opened on Thursday, April 26, 1888 with the arrival of the “Scotia” There were two other ferries further down the west coast of Arran, at Machrie Bay and Blackwaterfoot. Both ferries, used only by opposition steamers, had come into operation just three years before the pier opened at Lochranza. Though calls at Blackwaterfoot ceased after 1893, the ferry at Machrie Bay lasted, in peacetime only, till the end of 1920, though there had been a break between 1902 and 1908 inclusively when the first turbine excursion steamers appeared.
In the shelter of Arran and, after leaving Lochranza, our cameraman, or woman, takes a tour of the ship's decks, the deck chair here perched on the after end of the port side's 'lifting 8
gangway' crossing the after cargo space, the ship's main mast and cargo derrick hidden to the left of the picture.
Looking aft along the port side of the upper deck, from the gangway crossing the forward cargo space, we can just see part of the slightly angled ladder to the bridge, the passenger decks on either side of the deck houses quite broad.
The sea is calm as the ship approaches Pirnmill, two ferry 'flit' boats waiting close by and the two boats needed just in case there was an excess of summer visitors and cargo.
The Pirnmill ferry was operated by the Cook family, related to other Cooks in Campbeltown, and Charlie Robertson. The Cooks operated Pirnmill's Post Office which had first opened in June 1872. Under the regulations of the day, the postmaster was obliged to go out in the ferry to meet each steamer and 'exchange outgoing and incoming mails' ! These were franked as 'Greenock'.
Here, before the start of WWI, the north-bound "Davaar", the 'running mate' of the "Dalriada", off Pirnmill In the 1920's, the Cook's son-in-law, Charlie Robertson, took over, running a big rowing ferry and, about 1930, the iron-wheeled gangway used to let passengers board the ferry-boat was replaced by a jetty, built with voluntary labour.
Archie Currie, with two big rowing boats and a 24-foot ex-ship's lifeboat powered by a 7.9 h.p. petrol/paraffin engine and a lugsail, took over the ferry just before World War II. When the wind was southerly, the ferry would sail northwards to meet the ship from Lochranza and be 11
towed back to Pirnmill as passengers and cargo were exchanged. The ships' engineers were also pleased to see the arrival of the ferries as with them too came the refreshing bottles of whisky, delivered to the engineers by ferry-boys running along the ship's rubbing strakes ! During World War II, Archie Currie continued to cross on the hour-long trip to Carradale to connect with the Campbeltown buses and give Arran residents the chance of a day's shopping in 'The Wee Toon' and his ferry too was well used for the annual Machrie Sheepdog Trials.
Here the forward end of the ex-ship's clinker-built lifeboat, the ring on the thwart (seat) for the ex-lifeboat's mast and lugsail.
Here, the passengers, mails and cargo safely exchanged and the "Dalriada" gathering speed, this view from her upper deck shows one of her seamen begins to pull on the heavy main deck ferry access door.
Comparing the 'before' and 'after' pictures of the boats, there are only five extra passengers here, the mother and baby, probably related to the ferrymen, seemingly just out for the trip
Here, the ferry access door shut and the ship rapidly gathering speed, we look astern to Pirnmill, the view of the village little changed from the sea today, despite the spread of new houses in recent years.
Here we pass by a Carradale fishing boat, with a Ballantrae registration, 'BA 54', the "Dusky Maid" and, interestingly today, we see that the boat is fitted for shark fishing, a harpoon gun clearly visible at her bow, the oil from the basking sharks extracted on the shore at Blackport, just north of Carradale's harbour, the story told in Anthony Watkins book 'The Sea My Hunting Ground' (several of the photographs following 'borrowed' from 'The Carradale Goat' http://www.the-carradale-goat.co.uk/ ).
The fishing boat "Dusky Maid", 'BA 54', equipped for shark hunting, a basking shark tied alongside. Anthony Watkins is on the left, John Paterson leaning against the mast and, it is supposed that the figure on the right is that of Bobbie Blue.
The shark processing factory at Blackport, just north of Carradale's harbour 15
Mary Fisher and John Paterson with a basking shark by the processing factory at Carradale
John Paterson with a basking shark at the processing factory at Blackport, just north of Carradale's harbour
This 1938 photograph of the "Dalriada" crossing from Pirnmill to Carradale, another of Donald Milne's from 'The Carradale Goat' website, might given the impression that the waters of Kilbrannan Sound are generally quiet and placid BUT, this is indeed far from the truth for, on Friday, January 28, 1927 the "Davaar", 'running mate' to the "Dalriada", was caught in a big storm off Carradale and, struck by a tremendous sea, was thrown almost on her beam end, broadside to the gale, a moment of extreme peril. Fortunately she righted herself and, running before wind and sea into the lee of Arran till the storm began to abate, she managed to reach Campbeltown shortly before midnight.
Here the open and exposed bridge of the "Dalriada", no shelter whatsoever from sun, rain or storm.
Carradale's original 1858-built pier in a BIG gale in 1949
The "Dalriada", with her new funnel colours, at Carradale sometime after May 1937 At midnight Wednesday/Thursday, March 3/4, 1937, Clyde Cargo Steamers Ltd. took over the “Davaar” and the “Dalriada” and The Campbeltown & Glasgow Joint Steam Packet Company and on Monday, March 29, 1937, Clyde Cargo Steamers Ltd. became The Clyde & Campbeltown Shipping Company Ltd.. Clyde Cargo Steamers Ltd., a co-operative of steamer owners including David MacBrayne Ltd., had been formed, at the behest of The Admiralty, in 1915, to provide a basic cargo service to the outlying Loch Fyne ports, Arran, Bute and Kintyre. In February 1937, their 18
cargo-passenger steamers, the “Ardyne”, the “Arran” and the “Minard” had painted their funnels red with black tops and now, though the Campbeltown steamers' hull colours would remain unchanged, on Thursday, April 22, 1937, the funnel of the “Davaar”, then equally divided into black - red - black bands, was repainted, the red band becoming crimson. A fortnight later, on Friday, May 7, 1937, her funnel was again repainted, now the lower and upper funnel bands were painted crimson and the funnel top given a, narrower than before, black top, later, the crimson would change to a 'MacBrayne red'.
In May, the funnel of the “Dalriada” was repainted crimson from the deck up, her black funnel-top remaining at its old height.
Being of deeper draught than the company's previous ships and therefore making it unsafe to come close inshore when approaching the pier from the north, the "Dalriada" always berthed with her port side against the pier at Carradale, the face of the pier being angled so as to give a safe line in and out and clear of the rocky point which had to be rounded to the south of the pier and even to berth with the starboard side of the vessel against the pier, it is still necessary to make a considerable sweep shorewards for, even if the bottom is sandy rather than rocky, the water shoals quite considerably. Thus, the “Dalriada” would come in at steep angle from Kilbrannan Sound and, using the sideways thrust of her right-handed propellor, going 'full astern' to push her stern quarter to port, would draw quickly alongside the pier at Carradale, her bow now facing north, up Kilbrannan Sound. To clear the pier, she would simply let go the forward rope, go 'slow astern', while keeping the after spring rope tight, 'let go' and, making a very tight starboard turn to keep her propellor in the deeper water, go 'ahead' on her way again, to Pirnmill or to Campbeltown. Until the building of Carradale's pier, there was a ferry at Torrisdale, it operated by Alexander Ritchie and his family, Alexander and his wife, Isabella, married at Ayr in 1811 and had 14 children. He was boatman for a number of years at Torrisdale Estate and the southern headland at Torrisdale Bay, to the south of Carradale, is named after him, 'Ritchie's Head'. The family took up the tenancy of Sanda Island in 1845 and on December 26, Boxing Day, 19
1850, Alexander and his 21-year old son, church service in Southend.
were drowned when returning from a
When the first pier was built at Carradale in 1858, it was natural then that the Ritchie family too become involved in its operation but, unable to accommodate steamers except at certain states of the tide, a new location was sought, just to the south of the present harbour. The new pier, the first iron pier built in Scotland and the only pier on the Clyde to be built on two levels, the higher level to berth steamers and the lower level, for fishing boats, connected to the upper pier by a sloping ramp. A 'punt', a small rowing boat, hung in davits on the pier and intended for emergencies, it frequently rescued sheep, fallen into the water as they were being shipped on board steamers.
The pier was opened in 1870 with John Ritchie being duly appointed its piermaster and given a rent-free house and a comfortable salary by the then Laird of Carradale, Col. D. C. R. C. Buchanan of Drumpelier, who had come to Carradale House in the summer of 1861 and was the owner of some 18,000 acres of estate in Argyll. One of the Carradale piermaster's jobs was to issue gale warnings to passing ships. A black tarry cone-shaped bag was hoisted on a tall mast (seen in the photograph above, on the hill beside the 'Pier House'), its foundations and tabernacle fitting still to be seen, the cone pointing upwards for northerly gales, downwards for southerlies. Too there was a mercuryfilled barometer in the pier's waiting-room which had to be reset daily to warn of any impending storms. It was the weather which led to John Ritchie's fate for his wife had a chronic asthma condition, he was never allowed her to smoke inside the house and one night, John as usual had taken his pipe outside to have a smoke while checking the fishing boats' mooring lines. A few minutes later, it had suddenly grown dark as a south-westerly squall hit the village, the rain hurling itself viciously at the windows and shaking the very chimneys of 'Pier House'. No trace of John Ritchie was ever found, except for his pipe, firmly wedged between the pier’s wooden decking planks. 20
John's son, Duncan Ritchie, then a first mate with the British India ships, was now called home to take over as piermaster. He came home to find Pier House now bulging at the seams with his mother, his post-mistress sister Maggie and his fishing-boat skipper brother John and his wife and their eleven children and it wasn't long before Duncan, in 1886, married 'the- girlnext-door', Lillias Kerr, the daughter of Captain Thomas Kerr, master of one of the Campbeltown steamers who too was then building Ardcardach House, above Carradale Pier. Later, in January 1898, the Post Office, with the village's then only telephone, was opened beside Carradale Pier and The Met Office would then confirm gale warnings by telegram. Carradale’s Pier Post Office, run first by John Ritchie's daughter Maggie, closed in June 1941, more than a year after the departure of the final steamer call on Saturday, March 16, 1940. On November 20, 1894, the birth of Duncan's daughter, Elizabeth, came at the same moment that one of the Campbeltown steamers arrived and the baby welcomed into The World her ears resounding to the sounds of the steamer’s whistle and the ringing of the steamer and pier bells. The Saddell ferry, in the 1900's, till it closed at the end of the 1929 summer season, was in the capable hands of Lachlan Galbraith whose brothers John and Neil were captains of the Campbeltown steamers. Saddell ferry was a 'pain-in-the-neck' for the mates of the steamers as there were occasionally large cargoes for trans-shipment into the ferry boat, a motor-boat in later years, the wool cargoes from High Ugadale farm, often 25 large and very full bags and from Ifferdale Farm, 45 wool bags, each bag as big as a man ! On one occasion, Lachie, the Saddell ferryman, thinking himself helpful, told the ship’s mate that he would have a big wool consignment for the ship next day. "She'll be loaded up to the funnel tomorrow," laughed the mate. "Well, you can just put it all down the funnel then," replied Lachie ! Getting aboard the steamer from the ferry could be a pretty dodgy affair. Lachie's approach at Saddell was to row madly across the steamer's bows as she swept down towards him and then, when she was almost on top of the ferry-boat, he would level off alongside her, grab for the mooring heaving line and slide alongside the steamer to snub off the line on the boat cleat and bring the ferry boat up, 'all-standing' as they say, right beside the steamer's big double ferry loading doors on her main deck. With the strong practised of the steamer's seamen, standing on both sides of the ferry doors, the passengers felt a sudden lift as they were whisked aboard the ship, twenty passengers in often fewer seconds. Despite sometimes big sea swells and sometimes really heavy weather, there were few reported, if any, accidents. Also with the company for many years, in charge of the old “Kinloch”, Saddell ferryman's brother, Captain Neil Galbraith. was Lachie, the
The story is told that once, Neil, well known for his dry wit and in command of the “Kinloch” at Carradale Pier, was tooting the whistle and shouting at a lady hurrying down the pier, "Come away, Mistress. The last man wass aye a wumman !" Captain Neil Galbraith had command of the new “Dalriada” when he died and he was buried in the old churchyard at Saddell. His successor on the “Dalriada” was Captain Alexander M'Niven who, after considerable coasting experience around Britain, joined the company after World War I. The company's last master at the beginning of World War II is thought to have been a Captain McKillop.
The "Dalriada" now turning into Campbeltown Loch, the movie camera now comes out for one final and very brief sequence as the ship passes Davaar Island's lighthouse, the "Dalriada" reaching Campbeltown's Old Quay a few minutes later, at 2 pm and, after giving her 'day tripping' passengers an hour ashore, leaves on the 'up' run at 3 pm.
The passenger trains to Machrihanish, 'On The Shores of The Atlantic', 'faded' away in 1932, nobody even bothering to record a date for the railway's final closure. The locomotives, like those of The North British Railway, were painted olive green - 'dark gamboge' - and lined out in black, yellow and vermilion, both passenger engines, the “Atlantic” and “Argyll”, given the Campbeltown coat of arms surrounded by a white ring 22
lettered with the full company name, their coaches painted olive green, with white roofs and the line's coal wagons painted grey.
Here, both ship and pier packed with people, the "Dalriada" leaves on her return trip, the stern of her 'running mate', the "Davaar" protruding from the far end of Campbeltown's Old Quay. Just a month after war was declared on Germany, on Monday, October 2, 1939, shortly before 8 a.m., the “Davaar” left Campbeltown for Greenock’s East India Harbour to be laid up and leaving the newer “Dalriada”, her funnel and lifeboats all now painted black, to carry on the service alone to Carradale, Lochranza and now, because of the anti-submarine boom between Dunoon and The Cloch lighthouse, to Wemyss Bay.
The shadowy shape of the "Dalriada" and the "Marchioness of Graham" at Wemyss Bay pier in early January 1940 In January 1940, the “Dalriada” collided with an armed yacht, some said a destroyer and, following repairs at Lamont’s yard, she was laid up where the “Davaar” had been, the “Davaar” herself now again back on the service and remaining there until Friday, March 15, 1940, when the Campbeltown to Wemyss Bay service was finally suspended and withdrawn, 23
the “Davaar” then being laid up with the “Dalriada” in Greenock and the cargo-passenger steamer “Ardyne” then continuing the cargo service till October 31, 1949. With the final sailing of the old “Davaar” on Friday, March 15, 1940 and the consequent closure of Carradale Pier, Campbeltown's West Coast Motors stepped in to provide a service up the east side of Kintyre and on to Tarbert to connect with the MacBrayne steamer. Running daily during July and August of the war years but only on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays otherwise, a West Coast bus left Campbeltown at 10 a.m. for Carradale at 11 a.m. and then on to Tarbert for 12.20 p.m.. Leaving Tarbert on the return run at 2 p.m., the bus reached Carradale at 3.20 p.m. and arrived back in Campbeltown at 4.30 p.m.. To compensate for the withdrawal of the steamer-rail service connection to Glasgow, MacBrayne's were given the licence to operate a direct bus service from Campbeltown and to 44 Robertson Street, Glasgow. Leaving at 7 a.m., the bus reached Glasgow at 1.15 p.m. and, two hours later, at 3.15 p.m., left on the return journey to arrive back in Campbeltown at 9.33 p.m. ! The single fare 13/-, the return £1.3/-. The service was operated under as "Express Service", the licence granted only to serve the interests of those who would have travelled between Campbeltown and Glasgow by steamer and rail and no stops to pick up or set down passengers at intermediate points along the 138-mile long route was allowed ! In July 1940, the “Davaar” was requisitioned and sent to Newhaven where she was kept, with steam up, ready to be sunk as a block-ship in case of invasion. In July 1943, unneeded, she was broken up on Newhaven beach. The “Dalriada” remained at Greenock till April 1941 and then, requisitioned as a wreck dispersal vessel, was sent to The Thames Estuary.
Working on the wreck of the “Stokesley”, which had been loaded with 1,600 tons of sulphate of ammonia bound for London, she was mined, two cables off The North Shingles buoy, about 51° 32’ N 01° 20’ E, on Friday, June 19, 1942. All the 34 crew of the “Dalriada”, including 8 gunners and 2 army personnel were safely rescued and she herself was subsequently blown up in June 1946 to clear the channel. Sixty-one years after the withdrawal of the “Dalriada” and the “Davaar”, purser Jim Goodall, passed away peacefully, in his 94th year, in Rothesay on Christmas Day, Tuesday, December 25, 2001. The only other known survivor of the company's employees, descended from Chief Steward Sam Campbell, is Miss Betty McGeachy of Campbeltown, her sister, Mrs Mary Blair passing away on October 10, 2002, both served as stewardesses on the company's last ships. Of the ships themselves there are but three known reminders. 24
Now, proudly displayed in Armitage Shanks’ Staffordshire works, is one of the original 1868 white porcelain toilet bowls which had been fitted in the ill-fated little “Kintyre” sunk off Wemyss Bay in 1907, the bowl brought to the surface the late 1990's by divers. The ship’s bell of the “Kinloch”, which was broken up in 1928, was acquired by Kintyre historian Duncan Colville and presented to Campbeltown Sailing Club by his grandson, Rory Colville of Kilchenzie, after his death. A triangular ship's pennant flown from the foremast and bearing her name, “Kinloch”, in red, is in the possession of Springbank Distillery, the family proprietors being closely involved with the Campbeltown ships. Though the “Davaar” and the “Dalriada” had been withdrawn and lost on account of the war, the company continued to operate the “Ardyne”, “Minard”, “Arran (III)/Kildonan” and the little second-hand, former fish carrier, “Marie”. On October 1, 1949, the financial responsibility for these remaining company services passed from David MacBrayne Ltd. to the control of the British Transport Commission, the formal control of the company's capital not being transferred to The Caledonian Steam Packet Company Ltd. till March 1951. The last ship, the “Arran (III)/Kildonan”, being withdrawn in July 1957 and sold for breaking up at Port Glasgow in January 1958, the company, ceasing trading, became dormant until January 20, 1960 when its name was changed to Caledonian Steam Packet Company (Irish Services) Ltd. in order to operate British Transport Commission's London Midland Region's Stranraer - Larne ferry service, the company's capital then transferred from The Caledonian Steam Packet Company Ltd. to the British Transport Commission with Caledonian Steam Packet Company (Irish Services) Ltd. then becoming a British Transport Commission subsidiary. Caledonian Steam Packet Company (Irish Services) Ltd. ceased to act as owners and managers of the Stranraer - Larne service on December 31, 1966 and the company now became a dormant subsidiary of British Transport Commission. Then, as a consequence of The Transport Act 1968, which severed the link between the British Transport Commission and The Caledonian Steam Packet Company Ltd., the company again changed its name to The British Transport Ship Management (Scotland) Company Ltd., resuscitated for management purposes in preparation for the transfer of The Caledonian Steam Packet Company Ltd. to the Scottish Transport Group from January 1, 1969.
On June 24, 1971, the company took delivery of the Stena Line's new vehicle ferry “Stena Trailer” which, in view of her long term charter for the Stranraer - Larne service, they renamed “Dalriada (II)” to reflect the company's links with the ancient kingdom and the company’s roots being laid down in the founding of The Campbeltown & Glasgow Steam Packet Joint Stock Company. In February 1972 The Caledonian Steam Packet Company Ltd. and David MacBrayne Ltd. formed an 'association' known as Caledonian MacBrayne Services and then, on January 1, 25
1973, The Caledonian Steam Packet Company Ltd. was renamed Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd., responsible for all the vehicle ferry operations of the Scottish Transport Group without direct subsidy. In 1980, the 'red lion' emblem, hitherto found superimposed on a yellow disc on company funnels and flags, was found 'a heraldic infringement' and the offending 'rampant pussy cat' was duly removed. The full story of 'The Campbeltown Steamers', from the company's founding in 1826, is online at http://www.scribd.com/doc/6323792/Campbeltown-Steamers-2004 .
The new quay at Carradale opened in September 1959 and the “Rhum”, on charter to The Clyde River Steamer Club, called on Saturday, May 15, 1982. On Sunday, September 29, 1991, the twin-screw “Balmoral” made the first real passenger ship visit for half a century and on Sunday, September 27, 1992, the paddle steamer “Waverley” called at Carradale's Harbour, probably the last occasion when a steamer will ever be seen there for, underwater and just three or four feet from her forefoot, there lies a sharp outcrop of rock, it unidentified until after the ship's arrival when, fortunately, the sea conditions were calm.
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