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Firth of Clyde, Scotland
David Hutcheson & Co : David MacBrayne Ltd
David MacBrayne was of three partners in David Hutcheson's company and eventually took exclusive control in 1879 after the retirement of David Hutcheson in 1876 and Alexander Hutcheson in 1878. MacBrayne died in 1907 , aged 92, having worked up until the previous year, by which time the operation had become David MacBrayne Ltd. It was reconstructed in 1928 as David MacBrayne (1928) Ltd, owned jointly by Coast Lines Ltd and the LMS railway. As David MacBrayne Ltd from 1934, 50 percent remained with the private Coast Lines Ltd until it was purchased by the Scottish Transport Group in 1969 and on January 1, 1973 was merged with STG's other subsisiary, the Caledonian Steam Packet Company to form Caledonian - MacBrayne. MacBrayne's territory was the Western Isles with Oban as base, but a regular service was run from Glasgow (later Gourock) to Tarbet and Ardrishaig on Loch Fyne for delivering mail and passengers for onward connections to the Western Isles. Marketed since the 19th century as the "Royal Route" with reference to an earlier visit to the area by Queen Victoria, MacBraynes ran some well-known, well- loved and long-lived steamers on the Clyde until the end of the 1969 season when the diesel-electric vessel Lochfyne was withdrawn.


MV Lochfyne (1931) was built by Denny of Dumbarton, which built, amongst others, the turbine steamer Queen Mary and the paddler Caledonia for Clyde service in subsequent years, but the ship built for summer cruising in the Western Isles and the Ardrishaig mail service in winter, was a most unusual vessel. She was the first British passenger ship with direct drive electric motors driven by a diesel generator. She became the year-round Ardrishaig boat after the withdrawal of St Columba in 1958, spending most of her time on the Clyde, but has since spent some early summers cruising out of Oban with MV Lochnevis substituting on the Clyde.
Photo by Alexander Bain, courtesy of Donald Bain. 
For details of the turbine steamers (denoted TS below) please click here to go to the associated website of the
Clyde Turbine Steamers


Regular Summer Vessels
PS Iona
PS Columba
TS Saint Columba
MV Lochfyne

Winter and Main Relief Vessels
PS Mountaineer 
MV Loch Nevis 
TS King George V
MV Lochiel

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Firth of Clyde
Clyde Steamers of the 1930s
Hutcheson / MacBrayne - Western Isles Services
Clyde Turbine Steamers
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