The 1950s was the heyday of the Clyde pleasure-steamer when hordes of ordinary folk went "doon the watter" to Dunoon, Largs and Millport to the strains of accordian and fiddle. Others went with full suitcases to Rothesay for the fair, while the well-to-do filled brass-bound trunks and headed for the boarding houses of Brodick and Whiting Bay. The resort piers were hives of activity and the crack was good as the steamers' arrival heralded the main talking point of the day. Duncan Graham's memoir of his days as a student purser aboard "The Talisman", "Prince Edward" and the "Caledonia" is filled with characters such as the dashing skippers who raced for the best berths, the frustrated chief engineers, the wheeler-dealer stewards and the ladies with more than a mere day trip on their minds. This biography recounts the last days of the steamers on the Clyde as they really were.
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