SS Perth remembered
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.”