If there’s one thing that I remember from my childhood it’s being told stories about my relatives. Some of them would be about my grandfather and stories from World War Two but there would be others too. In my grandparents home, there were always pictures and items that had been passed down which meant there was always something to ask about. On one occasion, this would be about the large painting hanging in the sitting room of my great, great, great grandfather who was a shipbuilder on the Clyde in Glasgow. T.B. Seath built many boats in Rutherglen, but there are a few that need to be mentioned here and include one that helped me secure a summer job.
The Lucy Ashton was a paddle steamer on the River Clyde and was launched in 1888 and was most often on the runs on the Holy Loch and between Garelochead and Craigendoran. Paddle steamers were a familiar sight on the Clyde and we still have the P.S. Waverley doing journeys “doon the watter”. There was a tradition of leaving the city for a week in the summer and sailing down the Clyde to the smaller towns and villages for a holiday. There were a huge number of the steamers and for those of you that have seen one before will recognise that they all have a similar design. Thankfully, this knowledge came in handy when I went for an interview where I’d be selling tickets for excursions on the Waverley.
Paddle steamers weren’t the only ships built by my relative, we both have something in common in that we’ve both been involved in the production of a movie. While I was in the accounts department and not really understanding how the work I was doing related to the actual production of the film (it’s ok, I’ve figured it out now but at the time it wasn’t that apparent).
If you’ve read Swallows and Amazons then you’ll know that a major part of the story revolves around a houseboat and yes you’ve guessed it correctly, it was built by my relative. I have no idea how this came about but it’s a tiny bit of history that I love being able to share.
The last ‘famous’ ship built by T.B. Seath that I’d love to share is My Lady of the Lake who was one of the Ullswater Steamers. She was transported from Glasgow to Penrith in three sections and then fully built at Ullswater. Unfortunately, that’s where the good news for this ship ends. She sank on at least three different occasions and was refloated several times too. She is, however, believed to be the oldest working passenger ferry in the world and is also a part of the National Historic Fleet.
As well as me telling my story there are more untold stories* being shared with the hashtag ‘my_untoldstory’. I’ll be sharing this post with the hashtag and I hope that after reading my story, you’ll be inspired to share something with the world too. I really enjoyed writing this post and may do some more if I can think of more family stories to tell.