Friday, 23 September 2016

MV Balmoral

Built in 1949, MV Balmoral is now a heritage pleasure steamer but was originally used as a car ferry operating between Southampton and the Isle of Wight.

Once owned by the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society, who also own the paddle steamer Waverley, Balmoral is now operated by White Funnel Ltd, mostley around the coast of Wales and the south of England.

Having come up to the Clyde for September Weekend and Millport Illuminations, I managed to get some  pictures as she dropped off some of her passengers before returning to Glasgow overnight.

The latest reports are that Saturday and Sunday's sailings have been cancelled due to high winds forecast.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Avro Lancaster flying over Largs

The sound of four Rolls Royce Merlin engines is not often heard over Scotland nowadays, but one of two remaining airworthy Lancasters flew over the seaside town of Largs as part of their annual Viking Festival.

The aircraft had been due to take part in other events over the weekend but technical issues and bad weather had delayed her departure from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

The WW2 bomber gave a special salute to local resident Duncan Currie who had been a navigator in the heavy bomber during the war. The promenade was crowded as locals and visitors watched the iconic aircraft provide a wonderful display.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Puck's Glen & Argyll

I often look towards Argyll from Greenock, but I don't often enough take the ferry across to visit this beautiful county which lies a couple of miles away on the other side of the Clyde.

Argyll marks the start of the Highlands with magnificent hills, lochs and islands.

Our first stop was the scenic Puck's Glen, a short drive from Dunoon. The path crosses streams and goes over bridges as you make your way up the side of the hill past little waterfalls which could possibly look even better during rainier seasons.

After leaving Puck's Glen we headed north past Strachur and eventually found ourselves at Old Castle Lachlan on the east shore of Loch Fyne.

Before returning for our ferry home we headed towards Tighnabruaich . By this time the weather had started to deteriorate, however we managed some photographs before heading back to Dunoon.

Tighnabruaich Pier
Tighnabruaich RNLI station
Casual sightseer ignoring the rain
Two figures relaxing on deckchairs

As we reached the top of Loch Riddon we stopped at a viewpoint to look out towards the Kyles of Bute, On a bright clear day this must surely be a spectacular view, but by the time we passed the light was poor and the visibility was greatly reduced.

Monday, 4 July 2016

The Lancashire Fusilier

I hadn't realised how long it's been since our last trip up the West Highland Line.

The rain had almost put off our trip but the forecast was for drier weather by early evening.

Hopefully, we set off for up the A82 and made it to Tyndrum before steam loco 45407 "The Lancashire Fusilier" was due through Upper Tyndrum Station.

The rain had about ease off by the time we arrived, however, the dreaded midges had also come out to enjoy the still evening air.

After a short stop at Tyndrum, she made her way to Crianlarich where the tour ended. As 45407 headed back to Fort William, the coaches were hauled back south by West Coast Railway's own diesel loco "Loch Laidon" 

Saturday, 11 June 2016

P1 Powerboat racing

The Scottish Grand Prix of the Sea has arrived at Greenock.

A crowd of over 20 thousand spectators lined the Esplanade to watch the spectacle as powerboats and jetskis provided the day's entertainment and enjoy the warm sunshine. Many more watched from small craft anchored in the river.

Having other places to go, I only stayed for one P1 race but enjoyed the competition.

I hope this event becomes a part of the regular Powerboat calendar.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Disney Magic

All the Disney magic couldn't make Greenock warm and sunny for the cruise liner's first visit to the Clyde.

The Esplanade however, was packed to a capacity usually reserved for the Cunarders when she was due to depart.

As she left around 6pm there was a row of people along the full length of the Esplanade, with many children among them, waiting for the expected musical departure.

Slowly backing away from the berth she played the familiar opening notes of the Disney anthem "When You Wish Upon A Star" as she backs up to No 1 buoy to start canting.

The cold and dampness were forgotten for a short time as Disney Magic sailed away from the Clyde to a second and third blast of her musical horns.