One day in 1983 I was in a cafe under a railway bridge in Greenock. On the wall was a miscellaneous collection of pictures and photographs, some for sale. I’m not in the habit of buying art but I bought this picture for £20. I liked view of the Sound of Iona ( have sailed through it a few times ) and the little ship with the waving figures on the fore deck had a certain appeal.
Eventually my father in law who thought it deserved a decent frame reframed it. I had thought it was print or a coloured etching but it turned out to be a very good pen and ink according to FiL who was a principle teacher of art and Glasgow School of Art alumni and knew about these things.
I eventually found out that the vessel was the Dunara Castle ( named after Du Ara Castle on the island of Mull ). She was built in Paisley in 1875 and traded from the Clyde to the Outer Hebrides until 1948. She was the vessel in which the last of the St Kilda islanders were evacuated from the Island in 1930 and there is further Scottish Screen Archive of ‘A Voyage To St Kilda on the SS Dunara Castle’ (1946 ?).
It is surprising to me that such a long career (73 years) should have left so little trace, some of the crew must have spent their entire careers aboard her and she traded through both World Wars.
Anyway the picture has hung above my desk for the last 30+ years and I still enjoy looking at it.