SS Perth re­mem­bered

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - COMMENT -

Fol­low­ing the re­cent fea­ture in The Courier’s Weekend mag­a­zine about the model ships ex­hi­bi­tion in the McManus, Don­ald Ab­bott has writ­ten with a mem­ory sparked by the SS Perth.

“My in­ter­est in this ves­sel stems from rec­ol­lec­tions as a very wee lad, when vis­it­ing Vic­to­ria Dock, Dundee with my mother and her fa­ther Martin Cully who was about to sail on her, as a don­key­man.

“My own fa­ther was over­seas serv­ing in the RAF and it must have been 1941, when the SS Perth, of the Dundee Perth & Lon­don Ship­ping Com­pany, was head­ing for the Clyde to take up her du­ties as a part of the res­cue ser­vice for the mer­chant mavy con­voys.

“I was a mere three years old and the huge dock­side crane (long since de­mol­ished) along­side ‘Perth’ seemed to dwarf her.

“Look­ing up at both the height of the ship and this even larger crane, a feel­ing of be­ing over­awed came over me as a slip of a lad, and that is per­haps why this very early mem­ory is so vivid.

“She was berthed where ‘Uni­corn’ sits to­day and so she sailed for the Clyde, on the start of her wartime mis­sion of sav­ing souls in the At­lantic.

“Grandad waved to us as she slipped away from her berth and out into the Tay.

“Mum had helped her fa­ther gather to­gether some ex­tras in ra­tions and cloth­ing, as well as a sup­ply of his beloved to­bacco for his trusty pipe, which seemed to steam al­most per­pet­u­ally just like the ships he served upon.”

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