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The day the MV Isle of Arran came back home

The MV Isle of Arran has left at the end of another summer season, but there is a fascinating history behind the oldest vessel in the CalMac fleet. Here NORMAN BROWN tells of the vessel’s construction and how it was brought into service 34 years ago.

At the time of the construction of the MV Isle of Arran I was the production director in the Ferguson yard, which was then known as Ferguson Ailsa Ltd, being a subsidiary company of the nationalised British Shipbuilders.

In the early days of nationalisation, Fergusons were part of the Lithgow group of Port Glasgow and as such benefited from the support of the parent company in respect of pipe work, joinery work, pipe manufacture and fitting. Most importantly also, the use of the Lithgow outfitting quay.

With Scott Lithgow, a merger consisting of Scott’s of Greenock and Lithgow’s Ltd, designated as an offshore facility, resulting in Fergusons becoming independent from its parent company, during the time of the Isle of Arran’s construction had to set up in-house pipe, joinery work and fitting while at the same time being amalgamated with the Ailsa Shipbuilders of Troon.

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