9th July 2005, 12:54
I visited the Scottish Maritime Museum in May of this year.
Saw the work on MV Spartan. She was still sporting the Glenlight Colours and the characteristic Glenlight "G" on the Funnel.
Here are 3 of the 50 shots I was able to take.
Hope you like them
12th July 2005, 10:35
THE PUFFER SPARTAN
The “Puffer” was an form of small coastal trading lighter which developed from the sail gabbart into a small (usually around 66 feet long to give access to both the Forth and Clyde and Crinan canals), flat bottomed (so the vessel could beach itself at remote coastal locations lacking proper piers) vessels which gained their distinctive name from the manner in which their original single expansion steam engines vented exhaust to the atmosphere with a “puff” at each stroke. Puffers were the ubiquitous inshore craft for transporting grain, coal, slate, gravel and whisky from the west coast highland and island ports, as well as general building and trade cargoes, and were a well loved element of island life even before they were celebrated in Neil Munro’s tales of the “Vital Spark”, Para Handy and his crew.
The puffer “Spartan” was built in 1942 by J Hay & Sons of Kirkintilloch for war service as VIC (Victualling Inshore Craft) 18. The admiralty had looked at various vessel types before deciding that the “puffer” suited their purposed best, and after drawing up plans based of the Hay vessels “Anzac” and “Lascar” nearly one hundred of these little craft were built at yards around the country, though only one, VIC18 was completed in Scotland.
After war service the VIC fleet was sold off and Hay’s (who also ran a puffer fleet) bought back VIC18 and registered her as “Spartan” on the 24th September 1946. Spartan was the third vessel of the Hays fleet to hold that name and continued their tradition of naming vessels after peoples or tribes - other vessels owned by them carried the names Saxon, Celt, Briton, Trojan, Slav etc. Spartan was soon employed in carrying coal and general cargoes around the Firth of Clyde and as far as Mull, Iona and Islay.
In 1959 the continuing decline of the coasting trade encouraged Hays to convert their fleet to diesel power for efficiency and Spartan was fitted with a Scania diesel engine in 1961. She continued to work for Hays, and their successors Glenlight Shipping Company until 1980, when she was laid up at Bowling. In 1982 she was acquired by the enthusiast group the West of Scotland Boat Museum Association and became the focus of the nascent Scottish Maritime Museum, set up in Irvine in 1983. An ever-popular exhibit she has taken part in classic ship gatherings and appeared in the 1990s series of the “Para Handy” tales as the “Golden Star”.
Dimensions: Length 66ft 9ins, breadth 18ft5ins, depth 9ft6ins.
Construction: Welded steel hull and deck, part pitch pine deck. Most of the hull is original. Her steam engine was replaced by Scania diesel in 1970s, cabin fittings in 1950’s.
She is included in the “Designated List” of the National Historic Ships Committee.
12th July 2005, 11:22
Well Rev, these ship history's are really interesting, just what we need; I love em!
12th July 2005, 11:28
Keep 'em coming Rev, great stuff !! :)