WSS Firth of Forth Newsletters


NEWSLETTER 2021- No. 2 Spring

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Our final meeting of the current session took place in April when Ann Haynes gave us an excellent talk on her life as a Purserette with Union Castle Line, sailing on their iconic lavender hull ships from Southampton to South Africa. She was both entertaining and informative, giving a personal insight into a way of life now gone.

Looking ahead I circulated members and others who had attended meetings in the period from October 2018 to January 2020 with a view of planning our future. The full results are attached as an appendix. The key fact is that the number able or willing to attend has dropped and thus I would encourage anybody who may be reading this and interested in attending to get in touch. In the interim we will continue with online meetings for the period October to Christmas 2021.


On the 10th of April Forth Ports announced that a major marine operation would take place in the estuary, commencing on the Saturday evening, and finishing on Sunday the 11th, when Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit, transferred her cargo of the topside drilling platform (Morecambe DP4) to the 200 metre long cargo barge, Iron Lady.  At 382 metres long and 124 metres wide, she is specifically designed for the single-lift installation and removal of large offshore platforms and has a lift capacity of 48,000 tonnes, being the largest construction vessel in the world. The work involved the removal of first of two 11,000 t disused gas production platforms and connected subsea infrastructure from the Irish Sea and their transportation to the disposal yard in Methil for recycling. The Iron Lady was towed by EN AVANT 30 from ROTTERDAM MAASVLAKTE. On the Sunday morning the Iron Lady and its cargo disengaged from the Pioneering Spirit and were towed by Forth Ports’ tugs, Craigleith, Inchcolm and Fidra, to Rosyth where she will be moored for approximately six weeks, after which it is scheduled to depart for the Energy Park Fife in Methil where its cargo will be unloaded prior to its disposal. The second is expected to arrive in June, with the topsides going to Methil.


On the 8th of April the tug Forth returned to Grangemouth after nearly seven years away working on the Tyne and commenced working on the 13th. (Photograph below left from August 2007). SVITZER LYNDHURST departed Grangemouth on the 12th for dry docking arriving the following day on the Tees.

Sanmar Shipyards has delivered two line-handling pusher crafts to Targe Towing as part of their ongoing fleet upgrade its vessels servicing the Hound Point oil export terminal on the Firth of Forth. The Iyidere series are workboats based on the RAmbler 1200 design from Canada-based naval architects Robert Allan Ltd. and are named GANNET and CORMORANT (above right). The main task of the new additions to its fleet will be line handling operations assisting the berthing of large crude oil tankers up to VLCC. They will also support pollution response and safety patrols’ and will transport crews and light stores to and from the terminal. GANNET and CORMORANT are both powered by two main engines each producing 224kW, providing a speed ahead of 9.5 knots and a bollard pull of 7 tonnes; have a LOA of 11.95m, moulded beam of 5.5m and navigational draft of 1.6m. They are able to carry 12 passengers.


The Offshore Supply Ship SEA GULL [IMO 9692624] has been joined by SARTOR [IMO 9087312] Offshore Supply Ship, 5,001 gt, 4,568 dwt, built 1994 Offshore Supply Ship, 4,983 gt,  5,200 dwt, OSM OFFSHORE AS, built 2020  to load casings out to the SAIPEM 7000 [IMO 8501567] at the mouth of the estuary (below left). TROMS CAPELLA [IMO 9480722] 4,059 gt, 4,800 dwt, built 2011 as reported in the last issue underwent sea trials on the 6th May prior to departing for Aberdeen. KOMMANDOR SUSAN and OCEAN VANTAGE both continued to using the port as their base for operations. The general cargo ships ARKLOW BANK, EMMA JANNEKE, ERIC HAMMANN, LINGEBORG and PLUTO, as well as the now regular ZIJLBORG (five visits in total from Mukran, Germany in both April and May), also put in an appearances. VESLETS [IMO 9621883] Bulk Carrier, 24,167 gt, 36,940 dwt, built 2012, is seen on the 5th May 2021 having arrived from Barcelona.


The Cefetra agri-hub saw a number of shipments: LABRADOR [IMO 9415222] Bulk Carrier, 19,814 gt,      30,899 dwt, CANFORNAV INC, built 2010 arrived 5th April 2010 from NIKA TERA (Ukraine) (Top left). Along with the larger GOLDEN IOANARI [IMO 9586344] Bulk Carrier, 44,625 gt, 81,827 dwt, built 2011 on the 20th April 2021 from SAN LORENZO Argentina, via Immingham (top right).She was followed by TANAIS FLYER [IMO 9186479] Bulk Carrier, 18,061 gt, 28,674 dwt, built 1998 from Riga (Latvia) 10th May 2012 . The MATTEO BR [IMO 9556844] Bulk Carrier, 15,545 gt, 25,035 dwt, built 2010 arrived from GYALI (Greece) on the 29th April (above left), and entered Babcock Rosyth’s basin; as did the 2005 bunkering taker FOYLE [IMO 9317676] on the fourth of May to go alongside Fred Olsen’s Balmoral.  General Cargo Ships included ARKLOW VALOUR from IJMUIDEN and WILSON SUND in early April. The new build UNITAS-H [IMO 9858682] (shown on Marine traffic as CF3850 2)  General Cargo Ship, 2,518 gt, 3,850 dwt. HINSCH REEDEREI GMBH & CO KG, from Goole arrived on the 14th.


Both the Shell and the ExxonMobil jetties have been empty since the eleventh of April when the regular callers, the 2010 built LPG Tanker, GASCHEM BREMEN, 22,977 gt, 26,645 dwt, and MYGAS built 2017, 13,549 gt 15,119  dwt, departed, after the ExxonMobil Mossmoran plant was shut down prior to the installation of a new flare tip. The work began on the 7th April as part of a £140m upgrade. It will take about 60 days before the plant is powered back up.  The Shell Fife NGL Plant jetty reopened on the 13th May with the 2019 HOURAI MARU [IMO 9796585] 28,894 dwt. who departed on the 14th for Le Havre (below left). She was followed by the 2008 built BRO AGNES on the 18t, who departed for Amsterdam the following day. GASCHEM BREMEN [IMO 9471032] 22,977 gt, with a capacity of 34300 cubic meters Liquid Gas docked on the afternoon of the 20th. At the time of writing the ExxonMobil jetty is yet to re-open.


The Hound Point Oil Terminal continued to see a number of VLCCs loading for China and Korea, all returning vessels –  Baltic Sunrise on the 4th April, Andromeda on the 12th and DALMA on the 21st.  One other, ELANDRA EVEREST, expected on the 29th went to SCHEVENINGEN, Netherlands. Two Aframax tankers docked in April and three in quick succession in early May: NS CONCEPT docked on the 8th April, departed for Murmansk, arriving 23rd and returned to Hound Point on the 17th May. NS AFRICA berthed on the last day of April, departing for UST-LUGA (Russia). MINERVA KALLISTO, docked on the 2nd May, with final destination VYSOTSK (Russia). NS COMMANDER on the 6th, leaving for PRIMORSK (Russia), these four being some of the few Aframaxs that have berthed so far this year. The Capital VLCC, APOLLONAS docked on the 9th May, departing to stand off Dunbar. The three VLCCs in April are fewer than might have been expected as the Crude Tanker market has continued to show signs of volatility, with rates still suffering and cargo miles faltering after a short period of recovery towards the end of last year. Oil production cuts imposed by Saudi Arabia and Opec, and floating storage numbers returning to pre-pandemic levels although these are now diminishing, but sustained low demand suggests a recovery for the Crude Tanker market is still a way off yet.


The naval jetty at Crombie saw the RFA FORT VICTORIA arrive on the seventh of April on route from Portland to Southampton, pictured passing under the Forth Bridge with tugs Fidra and Craigleith in attendance. Craigleith remained at Crombie as the stand-by tug. She departed on the 23rd  April. (below bottom left).

HMS ALBION, amphibious assault ship, docked on the afternoon of the fourth May prior to moving to Rosyth on the fifth and departing the latter on the seventh. She then returned to Rosyth for nine hours on the 11th, (below bottom left).  As Flag Ship she will head the Littoral Response Group (North) task group which is heading to the Baltic. The task force is made up of HMS Albion, the landing dock RFA Mounts Bay, plus the Type 23 frigate HMS Lancaster, Wildcat helicopters from 847 Naval Air Squadron, and Royal Marines from 45 and 30 Commando. The Littoral Response Group (North), will provide forward presence in the North Atlantic and Baltic Sea region this spring.

HMS ARGYLL (F 231) headed for Crombie on the 10th May, (below top right) staying until the 14th. RFA Mounts Bay (L 3006) visited Rosyth on the 14th leaving on the morning of the15th (below bottom right). The second Type 23, HMS WESTMINSTER (F 237) docked Crombie on the morning of the 16th , departing on the 19th.


Grangemouth had an eventful weekend at the start of April.  It’s not every day that you see a ship spin around in the shipping channel as far up as Bo’ness, but that was the case for Anne Sibum on Sunday 11th April.  There was an issue with the lock gates at Grangemouth and as they couldn’t get them open, she was sent back to the main anchorage. However, just as she had turned to head back down the gates got fixed, so she turned again to enter the lock. (Charlie Simpson and Paul Mitchell)

Anne Sibum [IMO 9396696] with a carrying capacity of 1036 TEU is typical of the regular feeder services from Europe – hers being Rotterdam, Antwerp, Tilbury, Grangemouth. The slightly smaller Dream [IMO 9322578] with a carrying capacity of 804 TEU comes from Waalhaven (Netherlands) via Hull, while others arrive via the Tyne or Tees.  These provide a daily visit with one or more vessels. Similarly the regular flow of LPG, Chemical and product tankers came and went on a daily basis. There were five of the Ineos fleet including JS Ineos Ingenuity and Invention bringing in shale gas from Marcus Hook (USA) between the start of April and 15th May.  STOLT tankers were represented by four ‘birds’ with Stolt Redsahank making two visits.One interesting vessel on 1st April was the 2020 live fish carrier Marsali [IMO 9855886] 1,629 gt, 1,500 dwt, which arrived from Toft. Another was COSCO’s General Cargo Vessel DA CAI YUN [IMO 9451367], built 2012, 20,454 gt, 28,377 dwt, which arrived at the end of April from Bilbao and departed for Haugesund, Norway on the 4th May. General Cargo ships included BIRGIT G, built 2010 [IMO 9536064], 2,545 gt, with wood pulp pellets from Ridham Dock, EIKEFJORD [IMO 8417259] built 1985, 1,254 gt,  with fishmeal from Bremen and the 2010 built Warber [IMO 9467201] 2,862 gt delivering timber from Rauma. 


The former BiFab fabrication yard has sprung back to life after owners Forth Ports secured its first tenant. Aberdeen-based dive systems specialist Orca Oceanic Systems has set up a new operations facility at the site following a six-figure contract win.

The yard has lain empty since Bifab went into administration last year.

April saw ELLEN RODGER (above left) the ex RNLI lifeboat, “Lil Cunningham”  RNLI I2 -24, enter the water after being refurbished as a motor yacht.  She arrived at the start of December 2020 after a voyage of seven days from Conway. The All Weather Mersey Class lifeboat had been based at Rhyl from 1992 to 2019 being replaced by the All Weather Shannon Class Lifeboat ‘Anthony Kenneth Heard’, 13-34, who took up station duties on the day 4th December 2019.

Briggs Marine’s Cameron was busy at various points on the Forth undertaking maintenance of ‘ATONS’ – aids to navigation. (above right seen at work off Port Edgar). Also present has been the 2004 built tug BATTLER [IMO 9157959] which arrived on the 27th March  from MACDUFF, in support of the dredger CAPALL MARA. On May 4th, SINE BRES [IMO IMO: 9364150], built 2006, 2,658gt 3,750 gt brought in sawn timber from RIGA.


Coasters bringing wheat to Kirkcaldy over the period were: SEA RUBY [IMO 9006447] 1992, with two visits bringing in cargoes from Shoreham and Tilbury, CELTICA HAV [IMO 8422022], 1984,  from Sheerness, the 2007 LIANNE [IMO 9422275] from Rye and Selene Prahm [IMO: 9100059], 1994, from Wolgast


April saw the 1986 General Cargo Ships IDA [IMO 8613358] and  NIKAR G [IMO 9197777] built 2000, bring in timber from Varberg. Fertiliser was brought in from Brunsbuettel by the KAJA [IMO 9130200](2007) and from Klaipeda by the 1993 built Eems Cobalt [IMO 9130200].  May saw the 2007 built dredger VITRUVIUS [IMO: 9485459] joining the Hopper Dredger [IMO 9591416] TIGER built 2012, 3,843 gt, and the tug SMS SHOALBUSTER (2009).    


Saw TINTO on her regular run from Norway and three small General Cargo Ships, HANNA L [IMO 9370276], built 2006 and the 1986 KRISTIN [IMO 8519241] in April both departing with scrap for Ferral, Spain and MEIKE-B [IMO 9105841], built 1994 for Aviles Spain.

Thanks to Alan Dowie for the details of cargo movements.

Comments, corrections and contributions are more than welcome!

Editor and photographs © W IAIN H McGEACHY   20th May 2021


NEWSLETTER 2021- No 1  Winter / Spring

Branch Secretary: Iain McGeachy, 30 Clerwood Terrace, EDINBURGH EH12 8PG



With the lock down of last March the Branch cancelled the remaining meetings for the 2019 – 2020 season. We started again in October with monthly zoom meetings. Maurice Napier provided the back bone for these by continuing his series on ‘Ex … What was her name?’ A look at frequent visitors and British built or owned ships photographed from 1967 on, in all corners of the world.  In December he started with L’ASTROLABE ex- FORT RESOLUTION built by Fergusons/Townsend Marine continuing through many well known vessels to Pacsai, ex-Tyne Fisher.  We delighted in seeing a wide range of ships dating from the COUNTY OF PEEBLES of 1875 to the 55 year old Marco Polo photographed leaving Rosyth.  Nostalgia reigned viewing what might be considered a golden age for ship enthusiasts. He continued in January starting appropriately with Papamaurice and finishing with Southern Surveyor. As mentioned previously one of the delights was to see well known ships, their conversions and what became of them. In this episode it included several Escort Carriers in their post war roles – HMS Attacker as the casino ship PHILIPPINE TOURIST and HMS NAIRANA rebuilt as intended as a fast cargo-passenger ship for Port Line; and Scottish ferries such as Claymore as a cable-layer.  There was an insight into a ship’s progression from a new build for a reputable company, through resale until in one extreme case being lost in an insurance scam. He completed his series in March with SPARTA ex IRISH WILLOW (1956) and ending with ZANNIS ex EMPIRE PATRIOT (1942) at Antwerp in 1967. He finished the section with NORTHERN ENDEAVOUR which went to the breakers, appropriately with the removal of letters to become The End. With time to spare Maurice also went back to the start with the letter A moving from ABA PRINCE to AZURYTH.

Alan Dowie also favoured us with two talks, firstly with a roundup of coaster movements in Leith in October followed in November with a fine presentation on the Associated British Ports TimberLINK service. He outlined the history and rationale, explaining the logic behind the granting of funding for the movement of up to 100,000 tonnes of round timber from Argyll to wood processing plants in Ayrshire.  A sea journey of 30 miles but one which could save up to 190 miles of timber traffic on the roads with a cost benefit analysis showing how the country gained in terms of traffic flow, infrastructure, not to mention air pollution. He went on to outline the ships involved over the years and the introduction of a floating pier on Loch Fyne.

Iain McGeachy gave a number of presentations, too often with a ‘bumpy’ start covering the major South African ports of Cape Town and Durban in January of 2020, ending with a look at the current state of the shipbuilding market in Durban. He also covered shipping in the Forth in the later part of 2016 and in 2017.

Members were joined by other branches, mainly Dorset, Haven Ports and latterly Cobh in Ireland who also extended an invitation to us to join them.

Covid also had an impact in photography with travel restrictions and the closure of the key vantage point on the roof of Ocean Terminal in Leith.


Forth Estuary Towage’s (FET) new build Inchcolm, seen returning to the tug base in Leith after acting as the standby and escort tug at Braefoot. Ordered from the Damen Shipyards Group at the end of February, the ASD Tug 2312 was built in Vietnam and transported to Rotterdam on the heavy lift ship Frauke.  She arrived in Leith at the start of December and commenced work at the Braefoot Gas Terminal on the ninth. She replaces the 1983 Seal Carr which was ordered for the role at Braefoot and which is now up for sale.

A FET spokesman said that ‘Her combinations of versatility, size and 70t bollard pull will make her a useful addition to our fleet’… ‘Our new tug Inchcolm has proved herself to be very useful in the tighter spots of the port, especially in the locks.’ “

Inchcolm entering Leith

In January Forth Ports announced they had acquired Targe Towing.  Targe owns a fleet of nine vessels, including five tugs, which operate in waters throughout the East of Scotland, as well as managing a further three tugs which operate at the Hound Point marine terminal on the Firth of Forth. Forth Ports’ fleet includes four tugs. Targe has worked closely with Forth Estuary Towage for a number of years and both companies believe the acquisition represents an opportunity to build on Targe’s reputation whose name will be retained. Forth Ports and Targe have each made significant investments in their towage assets recently, with Forth Ports adding the tugs Craigleith and the Inchcolm to its fleet and the Kittiwake and Peterel, the latterly normally based in Aberdeen but photographed at Hound Point, joining Targe’s fleet.


One interesting vessel at the end of last year was the OCEANIC PINTAIL [IMO 8601408] Nuclear Fuel Carrier, 5,271 gt, 3,865 dwt, built 1987, seen in Leith 22nd November 2020 waiting to be scrapped at Dales.   The 5,300 gt ship was built in 1987 & named ‘PACIFIC PINTAIL’.  It is tradition that nuclear cargo vessels are retired from service before their 25th birthday, but controversially after being laid up for 2 years, the vessel was brought back into service​ bearing a new name, ‘OCEANIC PINTAIL’ with the intention of operating for 3 more years. (Below left). A regular visitor delivering parts from Volos for the Neart na Gaoithe (NnG) Offshore Wind Farm wind farm development in the Forth estuary has been ZUIDVLIET [IMO 9629809] General Cargo Ship, 2,597 gt, 3,850 dwt, GEERVLIET SHIPPING CO CV, built 2013, seen Leith 16th Feb 2021.  As has SEA GULL [IMO 9692624] Offshore Supply Ship, 4,983 gt,  5,200 dwt, OSM OFFSHORE AS, built 2020  (below right) who then loads the casings for the piles to take out to the giant SAIPEM 7000 [IMO 8501567] 11,7812 gross ton Pipelay Crane Vessel at the mouth of the estuary which has been there since August 2020.


Other long stay vessels in Leith are the Dive Support Vessel SEAWELL [IMO 8324567] 9,158 gt, built 1987 which arrived just under a year ago on the 6th of April 2020 and the Offshore Support / Supply Ship CALEDONIAN VISION [IMO 9329928]  5,448 gt, built 2006 which has been docked since September 2020.

A move from her layup berth for TROMS CAPELLA [IMO 9480722] 4,059 gt, 4,800 dwt, built 2011 who arrived on the 6th May 2020 took place on the 30th of March and saw her cross the basin to enter Dales dry dock.

The Research/Survey Vessel KOMMANDOR SUSAN [IMO 9177844], 3,388 gt, built 1999 and OCEAN VANTAGE [IMO 8405440] Offshore Supply Vessel, 2,191 gt, built 1985, have both been regular visitors, using the port as their base for operations.


 Rosyth has seen a number of interesting visitors including PIETERSGRACHT [IMO 9448384] General Cargo Ship, 17,644 gt, 19,863 dwt, SPLIETHOFF’S BEVRACHTINGS BV, built 2012 as HHL Kobe and renamed 2019. She arrived on the 13th Feb 2021from PORT MORSKI POLICE (Portugal) and stayed for 25 days to load a cargo from the Texas-based oil and gas services company, Umbilicals International’. They design and manufacture complex cable and umbilical products for harsh environments and have a quayside complex which allows direct loading. She departed mid March for Kakinada, India via the Suez Canal.

Eddystone [IMO 9234070] and Hartland Point [IMO 9248538] Ro-Ro Cargo, Foreland Shipping Ltd, built 2002 were present on the 27th December and 21st March respectively, the later making a brief appearance in transit from Sorreisa, Norway to Southampton. The heavy lift ship ANNA [IMO 9501887] 11,473 gt, 10,040 dwt, SAL HEAVY LIFT GMBH, built 2010 as PALEMBANG and renamed 2018, arrived from Egersund on the 6th March and departing for Hammerfest (both Norway).

The Cefetra agri-hub saw a number of shipments: the CANADIAN BULKER [IMO 9855422], 25,189 gt, 39,300 dwt, SAFEMARINE CORP SA, built 2019 from MYKOLAIV (Ukraine). 21st January 2021 and HTK DISCOVERY [IMO 9374349] 22,697 gt, 37,322 dwt, HTK SHIPPING & IMPORT EXPORT (Vietnam) built 2007 as Cielo Di Amalfi and renamed 2019, also from CHORNOMORSK (Ukraine) 12th January 2021  (Above right).  Rosyth also saw the larger YASA SATURN [IMO 9848144], 34,508 gt, 61,082 dwt, YA SA SHIPPING INDUSTRY, built 2019, arrived from San Lorenzo via Immingham.


The import of animal feedstock comes after Forth Ports invested in deepening the river berths to allow the berthing of 50,000 dwt vessels and in a new mobile harbour crane with a 144 tonne grab in conjunction with Cefetra to create the multi-million pound agri-hub for Scotland which opened in November 2019. This sees part loaded 75,000 dwt bulk carriers like Yasa Saturn (above) bringing in soya from the Argentine in a second stop in the UK. 

 Fred Olsen’s new additions, BOLETTE ex Amsterdam and BOREALIS ex Rotterdam seen at the end of February with their funnels repainted in Fred Olsen livery. (Above right)


The Hound Point Oil Terminal saw a succession of VLCCs loading for China and Korea including a number of new builds. One from last year, ANDRONIKOS [IMO 9830812] 161,983 gt, 298,998 dwt, Capital Ship Management, built 2019, loaded 19th Nov 2020 for YEOSU (Korea) made a return visit in March along with her sister ship AMYNTAS [IMO 9830800]also a 2019 build, who departed for Rizhao, China. (Below left) C.GUARDIAN [IMO 9851854] Crude Oil Tanker (VLCC), 156,452 gt, 300,000 dwt, SK SHIPPING CO LTD-KRS, also a 2019 build departed for Singapore then Dongjiakou (China).  (Below right – note the built in scrubber). A maiden voyage was that of DELOS [IMO 9877767] 156,293 gt, 299,986 dwt, EURONAV, built 2021 and in service on the fourth of January. She departed for  DAESAN (Korea) on the 2nd of March


The naval jetty at Crombie welcomed the Lewis and Clark-class Replenishment Vessel, USNS WILLIAM MCLEAN [IMO 9552006], 43,758 gt, 19,574 dwt, built 2011 on the 1st of March 2021 from Rota (Spain). (below).

The LPG Tanker MAINGAS [IMO 9108843] 3,932 gt, 3,466 dwt, built 2001, photographed 22nd March 2020 on her regular Grangemouth – Antwerp run.


Grangemouth had the normal container liner services from the continent with regulars such Anne Sibun, BG Ireland, Conmar Gulf, Dream, Pengalia, Spica J and Vanquish all making appearances. While on the LNG/chemical/product tankers a similar pattern existed which included Clyde Fisher, King Arthur, Maingas, Stolt Redshank, Stolt Sandpiper, and Tristar Shamal, and members of the Ineos fleet including JS Ineos Ingenuity and Invention bring in shale gas from Marcus Hook (USA).  General Cargo ships included Wilson Monsoon from Bremen.



Apart from the normal coming and goings of the Briggs Marine fleet the most  notable visitors were the dredger Capalla Mara  [IMO 9696307], 496 gt, 992 dwt, ABCO MARINE IRELAND LTD, built 2013 as Bucephalus and renamed 2017, who was working at small east coast harbours during February and March; and the general cargo ship FRI SKIEN [IMO 9148192]  2,780gt, 3,740dwt, KOPERVIK SHIP MANAGEMENT AS,  built 2000 as Polar Sun, renamed Frisian Sun (2004) current name since 2010, on the 16th of  March with timber from Riga (Latvia) for SCOTTS PALLETS.


The timber quay saw her regular caller – the general cargo ship TINTO [IMO 7369168], 1,739 gt, 1,175 dwt, NORWEGIAN SHIP ASSISTANCE,  built 1974. Current name since 2011, ex Tello (2006), ex- Zafeiri (2004), ex –Harlan (2001), (Until 2004 Dec), ex- Tello (1985), ex- Nornanborg (1980), ex- Lysholmenfrm from Torangsvag, Norway.  The scrap iron quay of Robertson Metals Recycling saw Blue Note and Petra depart for Jorf Lasfar, Morocco, while Suna departed for the more common destination of Aviles, Spain.


It was with great sadness that we learnt of the death of Ian Duff at the beginning of February.  Ian was Branch secretary from 2007 to 2015 and when I joined my first impression was of somebody who was totally committed to the role with vast knowledge in general and especially of European Ferries, a particular interest.  His contacts were considerable and his evening briefings were always full of information.  These combined with his courteous manner and gentle humour meant his presence was sorely missed after his accident as he had not only been Secretary but a true friend to many members over the years. I can only quote from one of the emails I have received: ‘… we all were touched by the kind, helpful person he was.’

On a personal note he made me very welcome and I was so pleased when he suggested I accompany him to external meetings with a view to sourcing out possible future speakers. He took on the role of mentor to ensure that all went smoothly in my first years.

Comments, corrections and contributions are more than welcome!

Editor and photographs © W IAIN H McGEACHY   31st March 2021