Sunday, December 21, 2008


Originally uploaded by Neil F King.
Many thanks to Neil for posting this busy picture of Lochiel at Port Ellen on this Flickr site - hadnt seen it before.

Bristol Warehouse Demolition Explosion (1988) 4 of 9

This looks suspiciously like the Lochiel

Many thanks to Shorty who made contact through my Flickr account

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

More Lochiel Film

Many thanks to Armin for finding this clip - the Lochiel sailing into Port Askaig comes in at 5 minutes 10 second. A real gem - as is Armins blog.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Thanks Alasdair

And thanks Alasdair for this picture

Great blog -

After a long period of silence.......

After a long period of non posting.....
Apologies to people from all over who have made contact about their Lochiel memories. Its been a hard 2007/8 - and hard to talk openly about Islay. My dad died in March 2007. He was brought up on the island during the 1940's and 50's - and was the reason for so much good in the world! The Lochiel being a minor footnote.

In March 2007 after a random tragic traffic accident. Everything changes - since then things turn over in your mind, over and over again, trying to make sense of it all.

This week my brother Mike and I will visit Islay to relive some memories - especially the camping and fishing. Posts will follow. In the meantime many thanks to Alasdair Macneil for these 2 pictures of the Lochiel memorial park in Port Ellen.]]

Monday, January 14, 2008

Massive Lochiel Picture Archive

This slide show has an amazing selection of Lochiel pictures. It is part of the gallery sent to me by Janet in Lochgilphead last year. Also below are other slide shows of Dan Macleod - Janets stepfather.

Pictures of other Lochiel crew members during the 1960's.

And a selection of pictures from the Lochiels final Islay run in 1970.

Many thanks Janet - this archive is tremendous.

Also want to say thanks to Ally and Donnie MacNeil who both been in touch to say their grandfarther/father, John Alex MacNeill was quartermaster on Lochiel. Donnie was involved in creating the memorial garden in Port Ellen which has Lochiel Memorabelia - can't wait to see when we are visiting Islay in June. Thanks both and look forward to keeping in touch.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

University of Edinburgh - School of Law

Many thanks to Alastair (

for connecting me to this post from the University of Edinburgh - School of Law It is more information on the legal precedent that the Lochiel sinking set. Alaisdair has explored this angle in quite some detail and I am going to revisit this for this post. Here is how it is explained to law students in the School of Law newsletter:


Scots Law News has never been shy of old news and is accordingly more than happy to go back to a leading case of the 1960s which some readers may remember from their days of studying contract law, McCutcheon v David MacBrayne Ltd 1964 SC (HL) 28. Fewer may recall that it arose out of the sinking of the good ferry ship Lochiel in West Loch Tarbert in October 1960, and the resultant question of the liability of the owners (MacBrayne's) to Mr McCutcheon for the loss of his Ford Popular car which the ship was carrying from Islay to the mainland. Lots of exciting legal issues about the significance of not signing contract notes, exclusion clauses in notices posted on the wall, and courses of dealing, but the law report, while not without human interest, doesn't convey the full flavour of events on the day of disaster. Steve Cranston who, aged 13 months, was also on board the ill-fated ferry, but happily survived, unlike the Ford Popular, is now working on a blog about the incident and has gathered together some excellent material, including film of cars and other vehicles being winched into the Lochiel before it sails off into the Western Isles sunset. All is accessible at the following URLs, brought to our attention by roving reporter Scott Wortley: and

Scots Law News particularly enjoyed the following bit of the story, beautifully combining elements of the Titanic sinking, Whisky Galore and Para Handy:

The bar was in those days in the forepart of the vessel, the part which was disappearing under water. The valiant barman stuck to his post, with water nearly up to his armpits, salvaging the contents of the bar and handing out bottles of booze to all comers although the sea was lapping their waists, prompting one daily paper to headline the event 'Drinks for All As The Ship Goes Down'.''

Lots of other stuff well worth reading, and no doubt more to come in due course.''

It is so good to see Donald's Kintyre site getting a good mention. It is gold mine.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Captain Dan Macleod

This really does shown how the Internet can connect people on. Janet emailed me after tracking this blog down.

She made contact to say that the Lochiel was one of her favourite ships. Her stepfather was Captain Dan MacLeod - and she spent a lot of time on her from 1963 to 1970, including many hours at the wheel. Janet copied over some amazing newspaper articles - 2 of which are poster here.
This really is remarkable. Since starting this site I have been contacted by amazing people with stories to tell from all over Scotland, England -and as far flung as Canada and Australia. This is the first some from someone who was close to the crew of the Lochiel.

Many thanks Janet.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

More Lochiel Pictures

Some new pictures of Lochiel compiled by Stuart Cameron on the Clyde Shipping and Shipbuilding -Past Present and Future site.
These ones have slipped past this radar and are quite special - especially ones of the low point in the history of the boat. She was renamed Northwest Laird after finishing on the Islay run and spent a short and unsuccessful period on the Fleetwood to Douglas (Isle of Man) run. There are 2 quite sad pictures of Lochiel painted in appaulingly depressing rust coloured preservative paint at docks in Cornwall.

Stuart writes about the background behind this picture: 'While on holiday in Cornwall in 1976 I went in search of Lochiel (still Norwest Laird at the time) I found her behind a retail warehouse in Hayle painted overall in this preservative paint'

Stuart Cameron posted this along side this post - 'Close inspection of this picture - at least the full size one reveals the name Norwest Laird on her bows. It seemed a long way from Port Ellen'.

You couldn't get more of a contrast with this superb 1939 picture of a fresh faced Lochiel sprinting along during trials off Skelmorlie - the 'Skelmorlie Measured Mile'.
Not being familiar with this i did a google search and my friend Donald's site came straight up -
A feast for later.