The 1950s were 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 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 frequently hilarious memoir of his days as a student purser aboard The Talisman, Prince Edward and the Caledonia is filled with larger-than-life characters including dashing skippers who raced for the best berths, frustrated Chief Engineers, wheeler-dealer stewards and ladies with more than a mere day trip on their mind! In this paperback edition of Graham's best-selling biography, the last days of steaming on the Clyde are recounted as they really were.
Duncan Graham, CBE, is a retired professional who lives in the Lake District. He was the former CE of the National Curriculum Council and considers his time working on the Clyde steamers as the happiest working days of this life.