Video History Scotland: DVD Clyde Steamer Memories Part 3 1950 – 1968
DVD: Clyde Steamer Memories Part 3 1950 – 1968
It’s 1953 Glasgow Fair fortnight on a bright summer’s morning as the graceful steamer T.S. Duchess of Hamilton, her decks packed with excited passengers, casts off and pulls away from Glasgow’s Bridge Wharf. There’s a shrill blast of the horn as we set sail, carving an arc of white foam as we make our way out into the main river. We pick up speed I can feel the steady reverberations of her powerful engines from the deck beneath. Heading downriver we pass the Yoker Ferry and the numerous bustling shipyards on the River Clyde; their massive cranes and giant steel hull structures slowly emerging from each dock.
Passing the Erskine Ferry, the river broadens and soon the dramatic Dumbarton Castle comes into view. With the wind in my face, and absorbing the familiar taste and smell of salt and soot, we gradually enter open water heading for our first stop – Gourock.
The pier is crowded with freight, luggage porters and passengers eagerly awaiting our arrival. With our complement of fresh faces, luggage and cargo safely aboard, we pull away from the pier and out into the bay – our next destination Dunoon.
Once more in open water and escorted by screaming gulls, we are soon at speed – passing the familiar landmarks of Toward point and lighthouse as we approach Dunoon. Its picturesque Victorian pier and red roofed buildings coming into view with Burn’s Highland Mary keeping an ever-watchful lookout over the scene below. With passengers and luggage exchanged and freight cast off, we are soon once more churning water and steaming out of Dunoon towards Rothesay – which will be my most cherished holiday destination for the next two weeks.
Passing Craigmore we steam gracefully into “Sweet Rothesay Bay” passing several steamers as we approach the pier. Steaming ashore we are welcomed to Bute as we pass beneath Rothesay’s “Floral Arch, en route to our B&B.
The next morning we are once more at the pier queuing to board that old favourite the TS Duchess of Montrose for a memorable day cruise to Inverary. Sweeping out of Rothesay Bay to the sounds of the band on board, we are soon cruising amidst breath-taking scenery as we sail up through The Kyles of Bute .
After a brief stop at Tighnabruich we are soon passing Kames and rounding Ardlamont Point , surrounded by the beautiful scenery of Loch Fyne and our final destination of Inverary; the seat of Clan Campbell, Duke of of Argyll.
Having taken in the sights, shops and lunch, all too soon it’s time to leave and return to the steamer. Back at Rothesay Bay, at the end of a wonderful cruise and memorable day, it’s a busy scene as we berth beside the steamer, PS Jupiter, with her large contingent of passengers disembarking.
As we clamber ashore, the truly elegant, TS Queen Mary II sweeps into the bay on her final call of the day, with yet more passengers eagerly awaiting the start of their holiday. As we make our way along the esplanade after a wonderful day, we are treated to the majestic and popular appearance of David MacBrayne’s magnificent TS Columba cruising into Rothesay Bay.
This is but one of many nostalgic cruises, steamers and destinations preserved on this unique archive. Cruise and recall many of the other beautiful steamers and trips including those aboard the PS Jeanie Deans, The Talisman, PS Caledonia, TS Queen Mary, The Gay Queen, The Keppel, M.V. Glen Sannox as we call at Arran, Dunoon, Kirn, Sandbank, Fairlie, Craigendorran to name but a few.
Whether you are passionate about these beautiful Clyde Steamers, or want to rekindle and rediscover the golden memories of places and trips of days gone by, you will be utterly captivated by the nostalgic scenes and memories in this unique production.
Narrated by Iain Anderson BBC Scotland
Running time 60 mins
This section: Travel
Filed under: Travel
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