16th September 1974
18th May 2011
2 inflatable dinghies, inflatable liferafts, float-free liferafts
Current / Last Route
2nd December 1974
Mrs W. M. Little the then wife of the STG's Managing Director
Roman God. Previous Juno's: Glasgow & South Western fleet 1898 paddle steamer / CSP 1937 paddle steamer, both were turned into mine sweepers
James Lamont & Co. Ltd., Port Glasgow
Mirrlees Blackstone Ltd, Stockport
2 x 4SCSA 8 cylinder diesel engines, 1000 bhp each, driving Voith Schneider propellers, one each end on centreline
Hoist & Lifts:
2 x passenger lounges
Gourock - Dunoon
Wemyss Bay - Rothesay
On 16th September 1974 the second of the new Upper Clyde ferries was launched from Lamont’s yard in Port Glasgow. Named MV Juno, continuing the trend started off by the naming of her elder sister Jupiter, the new ferry was built incorporating the odd design modification here and there.
The most noticeable difference was in her appearance. The new ferry was built with a flying bridge level above the main wheelhouse. This was added to the design after Jupiter entered service the previous year when it was found that the master could do with greater visibility when manoeuvring, especially when moving astern. The hull on the Juno was completely black, whereas her sister had her aft bulwarks painted white, and it was this new all-black colour scheme that was adopted (Jupiter having hers painted on her first overhaul). Other differences were largely confined to internal aspects of the vessel such as the layout of her lower lounge area and ticket office.
After running successful trials on the Upper Firth the Juno entered service on the Gourock – Dunoon service on 2nd December 1974, partnering Jupiter and spelling the end for Maid if 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). The two new ferries could now carry the Dunoon service forward, operating a half hourly service and a crossing time of just 20 minutes.
This pair soon became institutions on the Upper Firth, with their high degree of manoeuvrability and relatively high speed on the service for which they were designed. By comparison, the rival Western Ferries route was of the same duration – approximately 20 minutes, however it was only half the distance covered by the Juno and Jupiter in the same amount of time.
Like Jupiter, Juno also became closely linked to natural gas tanker runs from Gourock to Rothesay which operated until the introduction of roll-on roll off operation and the third Streaker; Saturn towards the end of the decade. Another extra duty that Juno performed was that of conveying RNAD workers to and from between Gourock and Kilcreggan in between Dunoon sailings.
From the end of 1978 the Juno was able to spread her wings that little bit more. Once the Saturn had settled in to her new routine the Juno was able to assist on the newly converted Rothesay crossing at busy periods and during the newer vessel’s overhaul periods. She was to remain more closely linked to the Dunoon route however, as political ramblings intervened in the early 1980s which threatened the very existence of Jupiter and more seriously, threatened to hand a virtual monopoly of services to Cowal to the private sector company on a plate.
Following a massive 376 official objections to this plan, the outcome was that Jupiter would stay in the fleet albeit as a relief and back-up vessel while Juno would continue to serve Dunoon as the main ship, with Jupiter providing only peak period extra sailings and the timetable being cut to just an hourly service.
Things remained this way until 1986 when a new rostering system was established. The three streakers would no longer be confined to their regular routes – instead they would alternate between duties. This of course meant that the Juno once again saw a more varied routine which included much more service on the Wemyss Bay – Rothesay crossing.
Cruising also became part of Juno's routine in the 1990s following the demise of the Keppel. With the introduction of Pioneer on the Clyde routes during the summers, one of the streakers would be freed up to carry out a series of cruises on weekday afternoons, with destinations being those such as Loch Long, Tighnabruaich, Tarbert and the Kyles of Bute. These cruises would be carried out by whichever ship happened to be on the back-up Dunoon roster (known as the 1A roster). Cruising did not appear in the Calmac publicity from 1999 and from that season the Juno remained solely a car ferry – the only change being in the frequency with which she and her sisters would change from one route to another.
2003 saw the end of the 1A roster due to Pioneer being required at Mallaig for the whole season. For some years there had been the necessity for two ferries operating a 45 minute frequency timetable on the Rothesay route and so with two ferries on that crossing and the other on the Dunoon run, chartered tonnage had to be brought in to operate passenger-only sailings from Gourock on weekday mornings and evenings for commuters.
JUNO remained on a continuous three-week cycle, spending two weeks on the Wemyss Bay - Rothesay crossing and then one week on the Dunoon crossing, taking over from Jupiter every third Sunday and the returning to Bute after being relieved by Saturn seven days later. 2005 saw a change to this roster system when the new MV Bute commenced service in mid July. Juno and Jupiter then alternated between their two routes every week while Saturn was moved to Ardrossan to become the secondary Arran ferry. Come the start of September, only two streakers were needed and Juno alternated with Saturn for the end of the summer timetable; Jupiter being laid up at Rosneath until May 2006.
During the 2006 season Juno became one of the dedicated Rothesay ferries, alongside Bute. This remained the case until the winter timetable commenced and Coruisk was available to take her place. She spent the first part of the winter laid up at Rosneath alongside Saturn, but the pair won a reprieve in January 2007 when work commenced on the new end-loading linkspan at Rothesay. The initial installation of piles meant that Bute and Cruisk had to be withdrawn for safety reasons, handing the route back to the far more manoeuvrable streakers. What should have been a six-week return to service turned into around three months, with the building work running very late. For Juno this caused a problem as her passenger certificate was due to run out. The only solution was for the MCA to inspect her at Gourock early in the spring and grant her an extension to her certificate. This was duly granted and she was clear to return to service and continue until 22nd April at the latest.
Although there was no sign of the new Argyle being ready to commence her delivery voyage, let alone enter service, Juno was indeed withdrawn on the weekend of 22nd April, her place being taken by Saturn. This really was the end for the second of the Streakers. Juno lay at Rosneath for four years, never again to sail for Calmac. Her last journey on 18th May 2011 saw her moving under her own power onto the beach at Rosneath and she was dismantled on site.