History - On This Day

On this day in company history...

Select a month below to show our selected events that occurred on the date in question.

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1

May

In 2018 due to assisting the coastguard with a search, Isle of Arran had to cancel a number of her sailings between Ardrossan and Brodick.

1

June

In 1946 Queen Mary II started her passenger service again after World War Two,

1

November

In 1971 Scalpay was taken over by Timbacraft Ltd on 1st November 1971 and her hull was stripped for use as a floating pontoon, the engines being scrapped.

1

January

In 1973 Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd (CalMac) was formed by the amalgamation of two companies - the Caledonian Steam Packet Company Ltd and David MacBrayne Ltd whose histories stretch back through two centuries.

1

October

In 1972 MacBraynes took over the short crossing to Iona from Fionnphort.

1

July

In 2008 Canna commenced her charter to Rathlin Ferries and Caledonian MacBrayne ceased to operate their only Northern Irish route.

2

March

In 2016 Clansman's 1410 Oban to Lochboisdale sailings was delayed until 2300 due to weather!

2

September

In 1981 Arran was sold to Orisot Ltd for use as a floating restaurant-cum-nightclub – the enterprise was owned by TV personality Eamonn Andrews – and left under tow for Dublin later that month, by the tug Ardneil.

2

December

In 1974 Juno entered service on the Gourock – Dunoon service, partnering Jupiter and spelling the end for Maid of Cumbrae which, having previously been converted to a rather crude car ferry design, had been partnering the first of the Streakers (as they were to become known).

2

July

In 1981 Jupiter was caught up in a political storm. The new Conservative government had no natural love for State-subsidised transport. On that day the Secretary of State for Scotland, George Younger, decreed that henceforth he was withdrawing all subsidy for Caledonian MacBrayne's Gourock-Dunoon crossing and, instead, the Scottish Office would lend a helping hand to Western Ferries (properly known as Western Ferries (Clyde) Ltd.) They would be granted £300,000 to obtain an additional car and passenger ferry if, in addition, the private concern would deploy their much-publicised passenger-only hydrofoil Highland Seabird for direct Gourock-Dunoon commuter runs. After two weeks recovering from this shock, Caledonian MacBrayne Ltd had no portion but to announce their full withdrawal of a Gourock-Dunoon ferry service from 17th October 1981.

2

October

In 1946 Waverley was launched (by Lady Matthews, wife of the LNER Chairman) and a brass plaque was fitted on board in memory of the new paddle-steamer's gallant namesake.

2

June

In 2007 Loch Shira Started service between Largs and Cumbrae.

3

May

In 2019 there was a Man Overboard situation on the 1330 sailing by Isle of Mull from Oban to Mull. Clansman assisted in the recovery.

3

July

In 2017 CMAL announced the contract for the construction of their smallest vessel in service, Carvoria, which serves the island of Kerrera.

3

January

In 2016 Caledonian Isles berthed at Oban for the first time in her career. (Picture from SoC Forum user Syntax)

1

February

In 1934 Caledonia was launched for the LMS-owned CSP by Mrs Harris, whose husband was the new LMS Chief Marine Superintendent.

1

April

In 1993 Coll made a special sailing from Kilchoan to Eigg. A bull in a horse box was left on Eigg and seven wild ponies were removed.

1

September

In 2006 a coach became stuck on the car deck of Bute, and two of its windows were smashed. Bute had to be temporarily taken out of service.

1

August

In 2003 the first SoC reports about CalMac were reported online. Now look where we are!! Thanks for all your help and support.

1

March

In 1974 Maid of Argyll was sold to a company trading as Cycladic Cruises of Piraeus, and duly quit the Clyde for Greece.

1

December

In 2006 Stormy weather meant that Tayinloan slipwaywas rendered unusable. As a result, Loch Ranza operated a limited service between Gigha and Kennacraig. Passenger numbers were limited to 12, with bookings being essential.
Sailings were timetabled as follows:
Depart Gigha: 0835, 1145, 1500
Depart Kennacraig: 1015, 1330, 1630

2

April

In 1953 Maid of Skelmorlie was launched from A & J Inglis at Pointhouse, Glasgow, just by the mouth of the River Kelvin, by Mrs T F Cameron. Her husband was the British Transport Commission's “Scottish Region” manager.

2

February

In 2005 a public inquiry into the plans for siting CalMac’s second Oban linkspan opened.

2

January

In 2006 Lord of the Isles had an interesting day. She sailed from Tobermory to Craignure, took a run to Oban before a return to Colonsay was undertaken. She then returned to Tobermory for her temporary lay up for a few days more.

2

August

In 2000 Hebrides was launched by the Queen from Ferguson Shipbuilders at Port Glasgow.

2

May

In 2016 the Lochranza to Claonaig service operated between Lochranza and Tarbert due to the weather.

2

November

In 2003 Isle of Lewis arrived at A&P drydock, Birkenhead today for her annual overhaul. MV Clansman was covering on the Lewis service.

3

November

In 2006 Juno took over the Gourock - Dunoon service for today only, while her sisters Jupiter and Saturn lay at the wires. Jupiter was having maintenance today and will return to service tomorrow, while Saturn was laid up spare. The photo opposite was taken this morning and marks what will probably be one of the final times that we will see all three Streakers together.

3

April

In 2006 CalMac’s Chairman, Dr Harold Mills confirmed the name of the new vessel to serve Rothesay. He said: “the name Argyle is singularly appropriate for the new Wemyss Bay - Rothesay ferry. It is important for safety reasons that the name is not held by any other vessel and Argyle, with the old spelling, fits the bill. MV Argyle will be the seventh vessel to bear the name. The best known of all the Clyde paddle steamers named Argyle was actually the successor to the first Bute on the service from Wemyss Bay to Rothesay, as well as to Innellan, Largs and Millport. Coincidentally, the seventh Argyle will be the sister ship of the seventh Bute”.

3

August

In 2009 Isle of Cumbrae's suffered a bit of a technical problem. Loch Riddon was sent from Largs early this morning in order to step in and keep the cross-Fyne link open. Her Noisiness the Loch Bhrusda was then sent down from Gourock to Largs and took up the secondary Cumbrae roster from 1330, partnering Loch Shira.

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