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Firth of Clyde, UK
London Midland & Scottish Railway
The amalgamation of Britain's various private railways into four main groups took place in 1923 and included merging the oprations of the two companies (Caledonian and Glasgow & South Western) which had competed fiercely from piers on the Ayrshire and Renfrewshire coast. The vessels of the G&SWR had been directly railway-owned and were transferred directly to the new LMS. The parliamentary powers granted to the G&SWR were less extensive than those to the Caledonian Steam Packet Company which had operated as a subsidiary of it's railway parent, yet after 1923, the LMS and CSP fleets remained separately registered. This situation, which did not allow LMS boats to visit certain parts of the Firth, especially the longer-haul cruise destinations, remained unchanged until the LMS boats were re-registered with CSP shortly before the Second World War. The LMS was absorbed into the nationalised British Railways in 1948.

Mercury (1934) was the last (and only) paddle steamer purchased by the London, Midland & Scottish Railway on their direct account rather than through their Caledonian Steam Packet subsidiary. The reason for this is unclear because Mercury's near-sister Caledonia was registered with the subsidiary and was therefore allowed a greater range of services due to a legal technicality. She sported the enclosed paddle-box design favoured by the company in the 1930s - part modern art-deco style and part concealment of what was by then a decidedly old-fashioned form of propulsion.
An Anderson family photograph of the paddle steamer calling at Lochranza by kind courtesy of Bill Anderson  
Vessels transferred from the Glasgow & South Western Railway in 1923
PS Glen Sannox
PS Mercury
PS Glen Rosa
PS Jupiter
PS Juno

Turbine Steamer :  Atalanta

New Build 1923 - 1938
Turbine Steamer : Glen Sannox

PS Mercury

Vessels transferred to the Caledonian Steam Packet Company : Glen Rosa, Mercury  and turbine steamer Glen Sannox

Note : For details about turbine steamers, please go to the  Clyde Turbine Steamers website

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