I FOUND Captain Sparks’ article on his boyhood days on the TS Atalanta at Blackpool both amusing and informative, reminding me of younger days on the Clyde steamers.
Atalanta was built in 1906 for the Glasgow & South Western Railway by John Brown & Co Clydebank. Her turbines were said to have been a test bed for the engines of the 1907 Lusitania which was being built alongside her. She served as a trooper and minesweeper in the First World War, passed to the LMS Railway in 1923 and went to Blackpool in 1937. She was a boom defence vessel in World War II and was laid up at Methil in 1945, being subsequently scrapped at Ghent. Although she was never one of the most popular Clyde steamers, having the propensity to roll, noted by Capt Sparks, she nevertheless had a varied career and served her country in two World Wars.
DR GILLON C FERGUSON
39 Vicarage Lane, Kingsthorpe, Northampton, NN2 6QS