Jump to content
  • 0

Clyde Puffers

Rate this question


Question

Am interested to know if the coasters known as Clyde Puffers made their way around Ireland?

 Reason is that in Chatham Maritime, there resides Vic96 (see photo below), a stunning little ship that would be ideal as a modelling project at just 80' long and 19' wide. A former Admiralty supply ship, it is now preserved and has its own websites. Amazingly, it wasn't built until 1946, but the fact that it looks much older is because the design was based on the Clyde Puffers.

 Langley models do a kit of a Puffer, though it is a fairly eye watering £198 - rather a lot for a static, waterline model methinks. However, one of our Lockdown walks takes us past Vic96 and it is becoming an itch I may need to scratch!

IMG_20201013_121654191_HDR.jpg

  • Like 2
  • WOW! 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

12 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

Certainly visited eastern seaboard of Ulster eg Carnlough where there was also a steam and cable powered tramway....the scene is still recognisable....I think steam had gone by the 20s but the last cable working was in the 70s I believe..

36CBB744-8AE5-4673-9A48-6C1B0C3DDD40.jpeg

47BF7119-15BA-4940-A10C-E86B67115B74.jpeg

AA8B26E9-8B4F-43EC-8883-9210D6B39462.jpeg

Edited by Galteemore
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

The larger Puffers (89 ft long as opposed to the earlier 66 ft long) certainly traded to Northern Ireland and probably down the east coast to Dublin but probably not round Malin Head and down the west coast. They traded to the Western Isles in Scotland but went via the Crinan Canal to avoid the rougher seas around the Mull of Kintyre.

The Langley kit is the smaller 66 ft version which were built to fit the locks of the Forth & Clyde Canal and around the Firth of Clyde

If there was a chance of making a few bob on the side Para Handy and the Vital Spark would have taken it though!

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Puffers did make an occasional foray over to Ireland, and from recollection there is the remains of one over the Glaway direction.   I had intended making a model of one, however I was gifted the drifter instead.  It suits my purposes as a drifter was used as a supply ship for the Irish Navy in the 40's, (MV Shark) hence why it is making an appearance on Port Bréige.

Scalescenes do a model of the Puffer which is quite detailed and would work for a static waterline model.  It is in 4mm, however with judicious use of scaling on a printer, it may be possible in 7mm? 

1556436180_ScalescenesPuffer.thumb.jpg.91e0e9bb4deebe46cf1931cdccc907e9.jpg

If you want to go scratch build, I have a set of plans which may be of help.

 

Ken

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

What a joy and mine of information this forum is! Thanks everyone, and yes please to any plans, Ken. The drifter looks fun too, but will certainly get the Scalescenes one to see if I can enlarge it.

 As I said earlier, £200 is more than a bit steep, plus I can always pick Gordon Gravett's brains - he made model ships for a living back in the day.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

There were plans for a puffer published in an edition of the Railway Modeller 20 years or so ago.

I have the edition somewhere, I'll dig out and let you know what month and year.

I do love the puffers but they are a bit ubiquitous in the model railway world appearing in all sorts of inappropriate places!

I would guess a trip across the Irish sea in one would not be a trip to relish unless calm. They were really designed for near shore coastal waters around the Clyde and West Coast of Scotland.  

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Re puffers in Ireland, there was one rusting against Letterfrack pier for many a year. Found the following re that vessel on another site

Mark

 

Remembering The old Clyde Puffer Pibroch at Letterfrack, Connemara...

Puffers were once a familiar sight on the West Coast of Scotland and the Clyde. But times have changed and nearly all have disappeared.
The Pibroch was one of a few puffers which was still afloat, well at least for some years. There was hope in the early 2000’s that she would sail again one day, but over the years nothing happened to restore her and so she rotted away. There were interests in saving the puffer but it is not known why nothing came out of it so in the end Pibroch was scrapped in Letterfrack in 2010.
The 87ft Pibroch, a 157-ton coaster built for the whisky trade by Scott & Son of Bowling was still dodging in and out of Ireland's Atlantic islands including Inishbofin and the Aran Islands with cargoes of sand, tar, and farmer's flittings, when she was the oldest surviving working puffer, before resting rustily against the pier in tidal harbour in Connemara awaiting her final fate.
The Pibroch was commissioned from Scott & Son of Bowling on the Clyde in 1957 by Scottish Malt Distillers and was used by White Horse to carry coal and barley to distilleries in Islay and return with casks of the finished product. She carried a White Horse emblem at her masthead.
She was the first puffer to have steel hatches, which went some way towards stopping the ''evaporation'' of the return whisky cargoes, an occurrence which was not unknown in the trade.
In 1974, the Glenlight Shipping Company bought her for cargo use in the Clyde and the west coast. In 1982, she was chartered to the US Navy's Holy Loch base, where she was tied alongside the nuclear submarines' support ship and used as a floating dustbin, with American detritus dumped into her hold. What was abandoned by the Americans was picked over at the docks in Greenock when the Pibroch unloaded.
In 1987 she was sold to John Hawco of Beauly, who tried to employ her in the coastal trade, but after a year was sold to Eamonn Mylotte, who worked her during her final years.
Strictly speaking, the term puffer applied only to steam lighters which had non-condensing steam engines, which made them puff like a locomotive leaving a station.
The term continued to be applied after condensers were introduced and has passed on even to diesel-engined coasters like the Pibroch.
Edited by ei6jf
  • Thanks 1
  • Informative 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
1 hour ago, ei6jf said:

Re puffers in Ireland, there was one rusting against Letterfrack pier for many a year. Found the following re that vessel on another site

Mark

 

Remembering The old Clyde Puffer Pibroch at Letterfrack, Connemara...

Puffers were once a familiar sight on the West Coast of Scotland and the Clyde. But times have changed and nearly all have disappeared.
The Pibroch was one of a few puffers which was still afloat, well at least for some years. There was hope in the early 2000’s that she would sail again one day, but over the years nothing happened to restore her and so she rotted away. There were interests in saving the puffer but it is not known why nothing came out of it so in the end Pibroch was scrapped in Letterfrack in 2010.
The 87ft Pibroch, a 157-ton coaster built for the whisky trade by Scott & Son of Bowling was still dodging in and out of Ireland's Atlantic islands including Inishbofin and the Aran Islands with cargoes of sand, tar, and farmer's flittings, when she was the oldest surviving working puffer, before resting rustily against the pier in tidal harbour in Connemara awaiting her final fate.
The Pibroch was commissioned from Scott & Son of Bowling on the Clyde in 1957 by Scottish Malt Distillers and was used by White Horse to carry coal and barley to distilleries in Islay and return with casks of the finished product. She carried a White Horse emblem at her masthead.
She was the first puffer to have steel hatches, which went some way towards stopping the ''evaporation'' of the return whisky cargoes, an occurrence which was not unknown in the trade.
In 1974, the Glenlight Shipping Company bought her for cargo use in the Clyde and the west coast. In 1982, she was chartered to the US Navy's Holy Loch base, where she was tied alongside the nuclear submarines' support ship and used as a floating dustbin, with American detritus dumped into her hold. What was abandoned by the Americans was picked over at the docks in Greenock when the Pibroch unloaded.
In 1987 she was sold to John Hawco of Beauly, who tried to employ her in the coastal trade, but after a year was sold to Eamonn Mylotte, who worked her during her final years.
Strictly speaking, the term puffer applied only to steam lighters which had non-condensing steam engines, which made them puff like a locomotive leaving a station.
The term continued to be applied after condensers were introduced and has passed on even to diesel-engined coasters like the Pibroch.

Pics here, I did take some shots of her back in the 90's but no idea where they went to.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/ruthann/sets/72157624434223944/with/4766955043/

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
8 hours ago, Angus said:

There were plans for a puffer published in an edition of the Railway Modeller 20 years or so ago.

Actually it was only just over a decade ago.

March 2009 is the edition, a nice 3mm scale drawing with detailed drawings of the winch and a few other items plus a potted history of the vessels.

  • Informative 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use