Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

City of Adelaide clipper fly-around post move

I’m not really sure what triggers some of the bots I have watching for relevant material, but I did get a few videos flagged up, and this one from January 2017 (a year ago) seemed relevant.

It’s worthy of note after the news that the ongoing development work in the port area saw the hull being moved a couple of hundred metres from the dock where it was resting as the various discussions/debates/demands/requests/wrangles carry on regarding a final acceptable home somewhere in the midst of the continuing developments and plans for this area.

Last video I saw of this spot was bare, with only the barge moored in this berth, and gangway for access.

This slightly later one looks more interesting.

Coincidentally, I also heard of a local media source having a short item by someone who was able to go for a look:

From Ayrshire to Australia … Largs Bay and other connections

I recently received a little ‘postage stamp’ thumbnail said to be of The Carrick during one of its sinkings in the River Clyde.

But there were no details given, not even a date (or source of the original).

I blew it up to the usual blog pic size, and was surprised at how well it came out (OK, I did play about with it to try to smooth it out and make it more viewable).

I’ve no reason to doubt the subject, and from the days I spent working around some of the dry docks on the river, recognise the stepped area which can be seen on the right of the image, which also leads me to believe this is The Carrick floundering to the left.

The background is just rubble, and a fairly anonymous lorry, so not really much to go on.

But if anyone does recognise the scene, or has seen a proper full-size version of this image, it would be nice to pin it down and identify the date and/or location.

Sunk Carrick

Sunk Carrick

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January 16, 2018 Posted by | Maritime | , , , | Leave a comment

‘City of Adelaide’ still sailing around after some 130 years

Saved from the farcical efforts of a Sunderland based madman, who stated in his own video that he hears the old clipper speaking to him – and who has also stated he will be bringing the hull back from Australia to Sunderland (despite not even raising enough interest or money to even move it from Irvine to Sunderland) – the ‘City of Adelaide’ (better known to Glaswegians as The Carrick) has been sailing again recently, as the hull of the former 1864 passenger ship had to be relocated about 200 metres to make way for housing development.

The hull remains on a barge (2,600 tonnes total weight with the hull on board) while work to preserve the remains continue as funds allow, and while local politicians and developers debate the location of the hull’s final home.

The new, temporary, site is expected to be the City of Adelaide’s home for the next two years after which it will most likely move to Dock Two — the State Government’s preferred site for a heritage shipyard.

But project organisers say they are open to other options such as Cruickshank’s Corner, where Alberton-based firm Southern Sea Eagles is planning a $5 million maritime tourist attraction.

The move — paid for by Renewal SA — cost about $50,000 and required the electricity to be disconnected, the gangway removed, and the barge to be turned around so it could be moved, involving some serious construction work requiring the hire of cranes, semi-trailers, trucks, and tugs, plus new construction around the resited barge.

Via The Port’s historic clipper ship is on the move and/or The Port’s historic clipper ship is on the move

There’s an amusing moment in a video included in the above article, where the presenter informs viewers the clipper sank and spent a year at the bottom of the ocean – in reality, it sank (many times in fact) while moored next to a bridge on the River Clyde in the middle of Glasgow, during the time it served as the RNVR Carrick, resting against these two piles.

Carrick berth

Carrick berth and former car parking area

Pictured below at the start of the first move to Australia, rescued from being ‘deconstructed’ (cut up and scrapped) at the Scottish Maritime Museum in Irvine.

January 10, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, Maritime, Naval, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

How is the Carrick, or City of Adelaide, faring in Australia

Far from being loaded onto a barge and returned to Sunderland (as some loonies who don’t have a penny to their plans promised a year or two ago) from Australia, once known as the Carrick in Scotland, the last surviving clipper ship, City of Adelaide, miraculously seems to be surviving life in Australia, and has neither burst into flames, or collapsed into a pile of dust, despite the scorn of those who failed to rally any tangible support or funds to keep the historic hull in this country – where the last fate it was promised (prior to rescue by the Australians) was to be cut it into pieces to get rid of it (it was blocking some development land in Irvine) in a ‘historic deconstruction’, a process we were told would allow historians to see how it was built. Little was said about the fate of the pile of firewood this vandalism would have left behind.

Despite the contempt with which those who claim to have better plans, but no serious backing or support, apparently continue to hold the Australians, and attempts to discredit them (by suggesting they have no money for their plans – which is really a bit silly, since few projects have ALL the funds in place up front, and do as the Australians are doing it, by raising what they can when they can, and proceeding as funds permit), have continued to look after the hull, and attract visitors to view the relic. Oh, and donations.

Probably the main hassle has been finding a permanent home, but that’s not really in their hands, as development of the potential sites is yet to be approved or carried out and is, unfortunately, down to politicians and competition, as commercial and tourist demands (amongst others) argue. It’s been almost a year since they last received any news on the site(s), with only one update during the year. Things are still not settled with the landowners.

From halfway around the world it’s hard to be accurate, or even make a decent guess, due to lack if freely available information.

While I do have some search bots that watch online for any news articles, one of the disappointing results has been that almost every news item I get alerted to only lets me see the first few lines of any story, since the media source carrying the story is locked behind a 100% paywall. There’s no offer of a free article, or a sample subscription for a week – the only option is a full subscription, or nothing.

There are, however, occasional radio interviews, and this one was released recently:

Interview on Radio Adelaide from 5 December 2017

Visit the clipper’s web site to stay up to date.

Clipper Ship City of Adelaide

I can’t ‘Pop along the road/beach’ for a quick pic, so it’s back to one taken before the hull departed.

Thankfully, this REAL oldie is shared on Flickr (thanks).

Said to be 19 April 1960.

Glasgow, 19 April 1960

Glasgow, 19 April 1960 – allhails (Allan)

 

December 19, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Maritime, Naval, Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

UK’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) passenger ferry built and launched on the Clyde

I have to confess to a miserable failure, having spent too much time looking at the detail behind the first hybrid ferries launched and operated on the west of Scotland to follow up on their story.

Built for Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) at Ferguson Shipbuilders, Port Glasgow, the hybrid ferries MV Hallaig and MV Lochinvar were announced back in 2012, and I gave the early details here The hybrid ferries of CalMac are real

However, after their completion and entry into operation, I forgot about them (since I no longer ‘float’ around the Clyde) until I received a message to the effect that there had been some sort of problem with their batteries, and that they had failed to operate as expected.

Since I don’t like to rely purely on hearsay or a single unsubstantiated source, I never got around to finishing that story as I (then at least) couldn’t find any news reports or accounts of the problem.

Maybe somebody knows better, and will point me/us at proper details (or I might have another look).

But, this is really about the arrival of another new (here at least) technology for our ferries, unveiled at Ferguson Marine Engineering Limited’s Port Glasgow shipyard.

MV Glen Sannox

MV Glen Sannox can accommodate up to 1,000 passengers, is 102 m (335 ft) long and can carry 127 cars or 16 lorries. It can operate on marine gas oil (MGO) as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG), and is the first of two such ferries being built as part of a £97 million Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited (CMAL) contract. The second LNG ferry (as yet unnamed), is still under construction at the yard, and is planned for the Tarbert/Lochmaddy/Uig route.

Intended for the Ardrossan/Brodick route, the new ferry is set to begin operating in winter 2018/19, and will contribute to meeting emission  reduction targets set by the Government.

This sees the return of the name Glen Sannox to an active vessel, having been seen on a car and passenger ferry serving Clyde routes between 1957 and 1989.

Via UK’s first liquefied natural gas ferry launched on Clyde

Glen Sannox Port Glasgow

Glen Sannox Port Glasgow

Thomas Nugent’s catches are often rewarding, and it seems a shame not to offer credit for the research done regarding this particular (sole surviving) Clyde shipyard:

A series of photos of the construction of MV Glen Sannox, taken from the same spot over a period of eight months.

Shipbuilding is still thriving in Port Glasgow, 237 years after Thomas McGill opened the first yard in the town in 1780.

Ferguson Marine shipyard is the last shipyard on the Lower Clyde and is also the last yard in the UK capable of building merchant ships. Shipbuilding started on this site at Castle Road, off the A8, in 1791.

Things could have been very different; the yard entered administration in 2014, 70 staff were made redundant and it appeared that the town’s proud shipbuilding history had come to an end. However, East Kilbride based Clyde Blowers Capital, owned by Jim McColl OBE, purchased the yard and have invested millions of pounds in an on-going modernisation project that will see the yard enter a new era and seek out new markets.

The building on the left is the new shipyard new office complex. The ship under construction, now known as “Glen Sannox”, is a 102m long LNG (liquefied natural gas) powered car and passenger ferry for Caledonian Macbrayne. Part of her sister ship “Hull 802” can be seen on the right.

See the rest of his pics at: Building a ship in Port Glasgow :: Shared Description

LNG and a Scottish loch

There is, perhaps, a slight irony in the arrival of these ferries, as Loch Striven on the west of Scotland was once used to hold giant gas tankers, which lay dormant for some 14 years:

Nestor and Gastor were two refrigerated LNG (liquefied natural gas) carriers completed during 1976 and 1977, intended to transport LNG from Algeria or Nigeria. The discovery of North Sea oil/gas in 1969, followed by the start of production on 1975, effectively rendered the tankers redundant, and they were laid up in the loch the with only a skeleton crew on board, They remained there until 1991, when Shell purchased them to transport LNG from Nigeria. Prior to undertaking the sea journey to France, the tankers were taken to the pier at Inverkip Power Station, where engineers reactivated the vessels and restored them to safe operation for the trip.

In the 11th November 2011 edition of the Dunoon Observer in the 20 YEARS AGO column an item,”Ghosts leaving” appeared:- “The twin ‘ghost ships’ of Loch Striven – giant gas tankers, the Castor (stet) and Nestor – were to be recommissioned after lying dormant in the Loch for 14 years. After a refurbishment by Shell UK, the Bermudan registered ships were to be used to transport liquefied natural gas between new gas fields off Nigeria and Europe and the USA. The 274 metre-long vessels were to be re-named the LNG Lagos and LNG Port Harcourt.”

Via our Loch Striven page

November 24, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Maritime, Transport | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Clyde Tidal Weir – still working

Sad to say, this is actually the first opportunity I’ve had to get anywhere near the Clyde Tidal Weir since its recent disaster.

Not that there was really anything new to see, since it was repaired within a few days.

There might have been more to see if I’d remembered about the damage reported to the nearby south bank (near the distillery and flats), but I was concentrating more on the road home, thinking I was going to be close to walking 20 miles by the time I finished the day, and not wanting to overdo it by adding another couple (turns out I could have, as my estimate proved to be a couple of miles light after I saw the GPS log).

Still looking good, especially with that nice clean stonework (and no more soot to turn it black).

Clyde Tidal Weir From West

Clyde Tidal Weir From West

 

Clyde Tidal Weir From East

Clyde Tidal Weir From East

These pics (or the originals, and the top one, from the west) were weird when I processed them.

Although I would have sworn both were perfectly level when I hit the shutter, the originals are way off the horizontal (15-20 degrees).

Don’t know about anyone else, but I find this often to be the case, and I should perhaps be clear that I’m referring to the camera (or pic) being at an angle to the horizon or horizontal, NOT converging verticals or similar perspective distortion (which I deal with separately).

While the second pic looks just about right, the first one was a real problem to correct.

It was taken off-centre, standing near the left bank.

When I aligned the vertical, the image looked worse than the slightly rotated original, and the alignment still looked ‘off’.

Although it was not horizontal, I tried setting the top of weir horizontal – this actually looked better, and the weir no longer appeared to be trying to slide out of the pic – but the building and chimney were now lying at an angle.

Time for a compromise – I split the difference, with the bias being on the verticals. Well, verticals HAVE to be vertical, don’t they?

In this case, they lean a little to the right, but when I made them true verticals, the slope of the weir seemed to create the illusion that it was at the wrong angle.

 

October 14, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, council, Maritime, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Inland boatyard found in Westburn

I find some odd things lying around – this time, dead boats in Westburn.

The last time I saw anything like this was in Shettleston, where somebody with a bit of fenced off spare ground stores assorted ruined cars, but on one occasion picked up half-a-dozen or so various small speedboats. Not fast ones, just small craft with cabins, and better than rowing boats. They disappeared after a year or two.

Those boats were ‘Gin Palaces’ compared to the ones I spotted in the back lot of factory in Westburn.

These have definitely seen better days, and aren’t likely to be snapped up by anyone out for a quick bargain.

I actually thought it was just one boat there, but as I walked further along the road and got a better view, realised that two boats had been dumped there.

I doubt these are going to be restored any day soon, or see water – other than rain – again.

Westburn Derelict Boats

Westburn Derelict Boats

July 21, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Maritime, photography | , , | 1 Comment

Anstruther exhibition honours fishermen killed in the First World War

submarine

World War I was not confined to the more well known venue of The Front, but also extended into the sea, with German submarines deployed in order to disrupt supplies – fishermen working off the coast were potential targets:

A new exhibition has been launched to honour the fishermen who died in service during the First World War.

Anstruther was one of the fishing communities affected when war broke out, as fishermen were called to fight.

Many men from Scotland’s fishing industry went to fight in the conflict, and fishing regions were highly affected by the injuries and casualties they suffered.

David Christie from Anstruther sank a German U-boat in 1918. His granddaughter Davina Knox has the casing of the shell and his medal.

She said: “They were on a drifter patrolling the Irish Channel and they only had one gun on board the ship and this U-boat must have come up and they had a wee battle seemingly and they fired a direct hit and they took the 36 men prisoner. There was no loss of life.”

David Christie’s story features in a new exhibition at the Scottish Fisheries Museum in the town.

via Anstruther exhibition honours fishermen killed in the First World War | Dundee & Tayside | News.

The First World War had both personal and collective impacts on those involved, whether they were away fighting or at home.  In this exhibition we explore the specific effects that the war had on those who made their living from the sea.  Using objects from our collections and individual stories of those affected we paint a national picture of the war in Scotland’s coastal communities.

At the beginning of the war many fishermen entered the services and swapped the familiar hazards of life at sea for the dangers of the trenches or naval work.  For those who stayed at home fishing became severely restricted.  Fishermen were left with very small areas left to fish in and many boats were requisitioned for the Navy.

Exhibition Dates:

28th June – 26th October

Entry : included in museum admission, accompanied children FREE

A Shared Experience · What’s on · Scottish Fisheries Museum

June 30, 2014 Posted by | Maritime, military, Naval, Transport, World War I | , | Leave a comment

Helensburgh submarine museum funding on council agenda

submarine

I’ve been watching out for mentions of the proposed submarine museum in Helensburgh, and waiting until something positive appears that suggests it is moving forward and will materialise one day.

I’ve jumped on earlier mentions of forthcoming project of a similar nature in the past, because I want information about their existence to be out there, as it might be spotted by somebody who matters, but so far, feel as if I am getting my fingers burnt, as they all seem to fizzle out.

I’m not going to mention any specific past project, in case I say something wrong, as I am not privy to any special knowledge, but on the other hand, do know that one or two of these projects are still being pursued, but perhaps by different people and/or in slightly different directions.

So, back to the submarine museum:

Funding to the tune of £140,000 is also expected to be released by councillors for the Scottish Submarine Trust specifically towards the development of The Submarine Museum in Helensburgh. The condition of the funding mean the cash must be split evenly and released in two instalments of £70,000 when the following milestones are achieved; proof of legal ownership of the building; and receipt of Listed Building Consent. The museum aims to tell the history of the Royal Navy’s Submarine Service will be told using new media and immersive 3D projected imagery and exhibits.

A 39 tonne ‘X’ Craft – or mini submarine – will be displayed as the centrepiece to the museum, which will also house an interactive electronic memorial in Remembrance of the 5,329 submariners who have given their lives in the Royal Navy Submarine Service.

The project, which aims to attract 10,000 visitors to the Burgh, is spearheaded by Visit Helensburgh.

The museum will be within the hall of the former St Columba’s Church, and the company will take formal ownership of the property on March 28 of this year.

Via: Submarine museum on today’s council agenda | Helensburgh & Lomond | News | Helensburgh Advertiser

May 14, 2014 Posted by | council, Maritime, military, Naval, World War II | , , , | Leave a comment

Web site dedicated to Bute at War returns to the Internet

Bute at War

Memorial web site returns

I was really pleased to see a media article which announced the return of a web site which had unfortunately evaporated due to unfortunate circumstances some years ago, and which I therefore thought had been lost forever, which would have been sad.

The site had been created as part of a much wider effort to mark the 60th anniversary of celebrations to mark V-Day on Bute. Considerable material was collected at the time, much of it not generally known, and a book was also published at the same time.

“Bute’s War”, a book by Jess Sandeman, who was a War veteran, former Chief WREN, and a long-time voluntary genealogist at the Bute Museum, was launched early in June 2005 to coincide with the island’s V-Day festivities. I was able to obtain a copy from the author, who ultimately passed away only a few years later, in August 2009.

Bute's War by Jess Sandeman 2005

Bute’s War

Circumstances, changes, and losses in the years following this event eventually saw the site disappear from the web, and my contacts were also lost, so I had no idea what happened to the content – fortunately, the person who actually organised it retained a copy, and the material is now back online.

There is a wealth of local information regarding the part the Isle of Bute played during the war – and it’s now so long since I saw the site I dare not try and summarise, rather just recommend it for a good trawl if you are at all interested in the area and its war time history:

Bute during World War II

See also: New website keeps Bute’s WW2 story alive – The Buteman

May 3, 2014 Posted by | Maritime, military, Naval, World War II | , , , , | 2 Comments

Arctic Convoy naval hero leaves Bute for final journey

I was unaware of the presence of one of the recipients of the Arctic Star medal, who lived in Rothesay on the Isle of Bute until 2011, and passed his 100th birthday there.

Commander Ian Hamilton joined the Clyde division of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) in August 1932, then served in the Royal Navy from 1936 until 1957.

During World War II, he saw service in the Atlantic, the South Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the battles of Taranto and Matapan, the D-Day landings, and took part in the Arctic Convoys which carried supplies to Russian ports between 1941 and 1945, described by Churchill as “‘the worst journey in the world.’

His Arctic Star medal was presented at Erskine in April 2013 following approval by the Queen of an award to recognise the service of Royal Navy and Merchant Navy personnel. Commander Hamilton’s campaign medals already included the Naval General Service Medal, the 1939-45 Star, the Italy Star, the Africa Star, the Defence Medal, the War Medal, the Defence of Malta Medal and the Soviet Union’s Arctic Convoy Medal.

The body of Commander Ian Hamilton, who passed way in the Erskine home for former service personnel at Bishopton in Renfrewshire on February 9 at the age of 103, was piped on board MV Argyle, en route to his funeral at Greenock Crematorium.

Rothesay naval hero dies aged 103 – The Buteman

VIDEO: Lone piper gives Rothesay naval hero a fitting send-off – The Buteman

Seems this is another video source I can’t embed.

Fortunately, Zak was on hand to record the event (and I’m grateful for permission to use the occasional image):

February 21, 2014 Posted by | Maritime, military, Naval, World War II | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Poppyscotland 2013

Looks like I have reverted to my old habit of giving Poppyscotland Home Page and Remembrance a late reminder – I think I’ll stop worrying about it.

However, and as usual, other things arose unexpectedly about a week a ago, and diverted my attention.

Poppyscotland

I’m crossing my fingers this year, as I have not been able to look at many news feeds recently, so hope that the usual stories seen in the past few years, telling of the sort of scum that steal collection boxes and money for the appeal, have actually not appeared, and not just been missed.

However, that does not mean that all is well, as we have seen a very bad year for thefts of metal from memorial and similar.

Sadly, while England has enacted new laws recently to make anonymous metal trading more difficult, Scotland is lagging behind, and has delayed moving on this, although we actually reported in last year’s article that “The Scottish Government proposed changes to the rules for scrap metal trading, removing the option of cash-in-hand payments in casual transactions“. Other than noting the deferral of this proposed deterrent, we have not noted any more positive actions against this growing theft.

Last year, we ended this with: Perhaps there will be something different to mention in a year’s time.

I’ll try something more imaginative his year…

Perhaps there will be something different to mention in a year’s time.

November 9, 2013 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, Maritime, military, Naval, World War I, World War II | , , | Leave a comment

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