fleetfeatures...
Main The Fleet Fleet Features Traditional Mail Boats

TRADITIONAL MAIL BOATS
A fairly rare reminder of the pre Ro-Ro days when David MacBrayne Ltd operated traditional mail boats to the Western Isles...
 

Larger Image

Larger Image

In this view from summer 1972 the Inner Isles mailboat Claymore and the hitherto Stornoway mailboat Loch Seaforth are berthed at Oban Railway Pier. Both vessels were products of the famous Dumbarton shipyard of William Denny & Brothers, the Seaforth in 1947 and the second Claymore, 8 years later. Both vessels carried MacBraynes' famous Highlander on their bows - something that didn't return until the recent Clansman.

A rather dull but nonetheless evocative view of David MacBrayne's mailboat Claymore being towed out of James Lamont's East India drydock on 31 December 1974. She was to berth alongside Caledonian MacBrayne's turbine steamer King George V on the right. It was a raw, dreich Hogmanay that one!



Larger Image



Larger Image

Claymore alongside KGV in the East India Harbour on a rather nicer day, 12th October 1974. In the left hand drydock in the car ferry Arran with the MacBrayne cargo boat Loch Carron in the new drydock.

View looking the other way on the same day, 12 October 1974 - Claymore, King George V and Queen Mary II - all Denny-built.



Larger Image


Larger Image

The last time that I saw the 1955 Claymore in service - at Oban Railway pier on 1 Nov 1975.

Claymore's (by then) archaic method of loading cars for the Isles, typical of the unhurried and relaxed lifestyle that prevailed in the Hebrides until the early 70s.
Everything was about to change, forever.



Larger Image


In 1976 the car ferry revolution rendered Claymore redundant at the tender age of 21 years. So she forsook the Sea of the Hebrides for the more temperate waters of the Mediterranean Sea, where, transformed into the small cruise ship City of Andros - later City of Hydra - she offered cruises in the Greek islands. Although she was significantly altered in appearance her Denny funnel was still recognisable. By this time she was sailing for Cycladic Cruises SA and boasted a small swimming pool on her upper deck - not something that would have been particularly well utilised on her winter sailings to Lochboisdale.After several years laid up in Pireaus she sank at he moorings 2-3 years ago.
 

Finest of MacBrayne's three Claymores - the 1881 Glasgow - Stornoway mail steamer built by the Thomson brothers in their new Clydebank shipyard in 1881. This vessel was the favourite of the great doyan of Scottish West Coast shipping Graham Easton Langmuir. In his 'West Highland Steamers' Mr Langmuir compared the vessel in beauty with the larger Denny-built Antipodean steamer Rotomahana of the Union Steamship Company of New Zealand. This fine picture of the first Claymore in Oban Bay was the work of the late John Nicholson.

Larger Image
 
 SHIPS PROFILES
LOCH SEAFORTH
CLAYMORE
KING GEORGE V
LOCH CARRON
ARRAN
QUEEN MARY II

All 'Larger Images' open a .jpg file link.
All photographs of the above ships by Stuart Cameron. The picture of CLAYMORE 1881 by J. Nicholson.


All material on this site Ships of CalMac 2001 - 2017, unless otherwise stated.
Join us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Join us on Flickr View us on YouTube SoC AIS SoC Forum Site NOT linked to Official Company
This site is NOT connected to the Official Company Site - www.calmac.co.uk
Contact Us
Read our Privacy Policy