Front cover of the 13th March 1963 Dinner Menu of British India
Steam Navigation Company passenger - cargo liner KENYA (1951-1969).
the painting depicting a Clyde Puffer vessel arriving at the small town of
Port Askaig, on the Isle of Islay in the Western Isles of Scotland..
"Puffers" were 66 feet (20m) general cargo steam coasters which carried
all sorts of cargo from, generally Clyde ports, to every island and
settlement and croft in the West of Scotland.
The crews of 4 men, were tough and hardy and as well as sailing these
small slow ships actually discharged the cargoes by hand at the
Talking about Port Askaig on Islay a well known old story is :
A puffer arrived at Port Askaig with a cargo of bags of malt for the
local whisky distillery. The master, a gruff and experienced and
thoroughly competent man, went to the distillery office to telephone
to the puffer owners in Glasgow to report his arrival in Port Askaig.
The Shipping Manager was not pleased. "Why are you at
Port Askaig ? I distinctly told you to go to Port Ellen. The
Lagavulin Distillery there is waiting for your cargo."
.... (Port Ellen is another small township in Islay, quite a distance
along the coast from Port Askaig)
"There's no need to be annoyed" replied the master, "at least
Port Askaig and Port Ellen are on the same island and I didn't
go to Port Said in Egypt"