Sunday, 20 July 2008

Glasgow River Festival - 1

Some of the vessels attending the Glasgow River Festival are seen in this, and the following post. SPARTAN, which has recently been given a major refurbishment at Irvine, is the last remaining vessel built at the Hays shipyard at Kirkintilloch, on the Forth and Clyde Canal, once a prolific builder of puffers. Originally steam driven, she was built in 1942 as VIC 18 for the Admiralty, and was purchased by Hays, who also operated puffers themselves, after the war ended. Like many other VIC type vessels, she was later converted to diesel power, and given improved accommodation for her crew. As built, her profile would have been simlar to that of VIC 32. SPARTAN now belongs to the Scottish Maritime Museum.

Berthed beside SPARTAN was the Dutch three-masted schooner LOTH LORIEN, an interesting old ship built in 1907 as a Norwegian ketch-rigged herring lugger. She lay neglected from 1944 until a new owner from Holland took her over in 1989, and restored her. Measuring 37.6 metres in length, and 48 metres including her bowsprit, she has been adapted for cruising and can now carry parties of up to 90 people on day cruises, or she can accommodate 34 passengers in luxurious cabins for longer sailings.

In the former Princes Dock, the former Fleetwood trawler JACINTA was berthed, and like many of the ships present, was open to the public. Many of her crew are former fishermen, and they explained how she was operated, visitors being able to view much of interest aboard JACINTA, now preserved as a museum ship dedicated to the harsh working life of a deep sea fisherman.

Also berthed in Princes Dock was the Scottish Fisheries Protection Agency's NORNA, also open to the public. NORNA, built in 1987, is normally based at Greenock and is a regular sight on the Clyde as she heads out on patrol.