Robert Straughton’s Ferry World Feature on the Campbeltown ferry link in the November 2015 issue of Sea Breezes was most enjoyable.
It contained a couple of succinct features when referring to the geography of the location and to the tedious 138 miles by road to get to Glasgow. When one adds to that the torturous rail journey to Stranraer, one could wonder was the journey really necessary.
During the 1970s, a ferry service was introduced between Campbeltown and Red Bay, North Antrim and operated, I think, by Caledonian Ferries. At that time, my uncle lived in Campbeltown and his sister, my aunt, lived in a bungalow overlooking the Sealink berth in Stranraer. When making a visit to his sister, my uncle travelled by ferry to Red Bay where I collected him by car. We then drove to my home in Larne overlooking the entrance to Larne Lough.
When one of the inbound ferries arrived, I took my uncle to the harbour to board. Roughly two hours later I would receive a telephone call from my aunt’s house saying he had arrived safely after his short walk from the ship to her house. After his stay in Stranraer, my uncle made the return journey, but in reverse and always enjoyed his visits.
Had he been doing this journey overland he would have been arriving many hours later and completely exhausted. When I told his method of travel to friends, few could really understand it, but having toured in Kintyre and sailed in the waters surrounding there from Larne, I know how remote and beautiful the area is. My father, being born in Stranraer, subsequently married a Larne girl and set up home here.
My father had begun his seafaring career as a Deck Boy on the Larne/Stranraer ships before WWI. My own son, Captain Alistair McCarlie, followed the seafaring tradition and is now Master of Stena Superfast 7. A most enjoyable feature by Robert Straughton and an excellent magazine.