View Full Version : Delightful Old Photo Album Cruise in the 1920's?

03-01-11, 14:51
I have this old album of pictures of an old cruise in what I assume is Scotland. The yacht is called Alcyone I think as it is crewed by someone wearing a sweater with Alcyone embroidered on it and a what I assume is a club initials RCYC. I assume it's the 1920's but I suppose it could be earlier or later. If anyone has any info about dates, yacht, club, owners or location please let me know. Some of the pictures follow but a direct link to the album is here http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v693/remoteconnection/Alcyone/

A slection below:














03-01-11, 15:07
The last photo looks like the 'Iolaire', lost outside Stornoway harbour on New Years Day 1919- at least 205 men lost- still the greatest loss of life in a peacetime maritime accident in UK waters.

This is the first of many links google will find-

and a brief history of the end-

The seafront with the big house on the hill looks like Tobermory before the trees grew.

03-01-11, 15:24
This is a closer view


03-01-11, 15:30
Certainly looks like the same ship.
Tobermory was a wartime base, to further connect the photos.
More here-

Probably more accurate. There have been several books written about the disaster.

03-01-11, 15:44
So if it is the Iolaire the album must be earlier than 1914 as I assume there wouldn't have been people swanning around in yachts during WW1.

03-01-11, 20:35
rcyc is royal clyde yacht club (no surprise there then!) later merged with royal northern

03-01-11, 21:34
They stopped making yachts like that in the 1890's. She's big too. I wonder if the old Bloodhound had her name changed when she stopped racing around 1910? What one needs is a 1914 copy of Lloyds.

03-01-11, 21:53
Just doing a bit more digging a'la tinterweb.

Bloodhound was a William Fife design from 1874. After a life of racing she was converted to a cruising boat up until 1907, when her original owner brought her back and refitted her for racing, which she did up until the outbreak of war.

Now I've not found anything to suggest that her name was changed, but it's not unlikely is she was sold and taken cruising. I'm just making assumptions going on the look of the boat, it's length of a 59ft waterline looks very likely and the fact she's cruising from the Royal Clyde before the war. So if this is the same boat, it puts the date of the pictures as pre 1907.

Iolaire was built in 1881, so doesn't narrow down the date much further sadly.

03-01-11, 23:18

Upper picture, Tobermory............I'm fairly sure

03-01-11, 23:26

Lefthand image
Looking northwest through the narrows at the southern end of Calve Island into Tobermory Bay.................I think

Righthand Image
Rubha nan Gall lighthouse, north of Tobermory,Mull

Ewan G Kennedy
04-01-11, 09:50
A fascinating album and a great puzzle for the New Year break.

I agree with Fascadale, absolutely no doubt about Tobermory and Calve Island shots, also the light- house. I also recognised Duart point. One of the shots is Port Ellen on Islay I think, row of white houses and the distillery chimney to the left.

I'm thrown by the images of quite a big town with distinctive white building such as a hotel. Doesn't seem to be Oban or Stornoway. Could be Rothesay maybe?

re the year, definitely pre First War, style is Edwardian. Telephone poles mean it couldn't be much earlier than ??? phones in Glasgow about 1905/6, but in the Hebrides?? maybe cruise was about 1910?

re the yacht, lots of big cutters built late 19 Century, so she's not necessarily Bloodhound with a name change. Will keep looking for Alcyone.

Great fun this sort of thing, I blog about it on www.scottishboating.blogspot.com please visit

04-01-11, 09:55
I'm not quite sure of the logic behind her being Bloodhound as there were lots of boats similar to her I would have thought. I have a copy of "Hunt's Universal Yacht List 1892" Bloodhound is listed as a Cutter, 62ft L 12ft 3in B, 40 Ton, 37'83 Registerd Tonnage, Owner A. Bain, Built 1874, Builder Fife, Sailmaker Laphorn
Clubs are shown as Royal Northern, Royal Clyde, Royal Western (Clyde) as Commodore and Clyde Corinthian. Her flag was Red and Blue horizantal. and her signal letters M S J Q

There is no listing at this time for an Alcyone.


04-01-11, 13:30
The details in the real Iolaire picture look different:

Longer bowsprit, with more rake
Sits lower in water
Structure on top of bridge looks different
Funnel less raked? or that could be just the photo angle.

Ewan G Kennedy
04-01-11, 14:16
A quick look at the British Library online showed that in the 1890s Alcyone was the Royal Clyde Yacht Club's own cutter, so I got out my Cruise in Company and it's all there on page 62. The Club raised a subscription of 5 per member and bought Alcyone, "a forty tonner built in the South of England" for 850 in 1881. They hired Dan Luke as skipper at 60 per year and ran the yacht successfully, making up to 300 a year profit, until 1910, when they sold her.

There's no indication of who built her, but perhaps someone has access to an archive that will solve that part of the puzzle.

04-01-11, 14:31
Aye, I did get a bit carried away with the old Bloodhound thing.

There were lots of similar boats built I agree, but I should say very few that were the size of Alcyone here, and even fewer yet that went cruising after their racing days were over.

It'll be interesting to find out more about the boat and it's history though, and a prewar copy of Lloyds is probably the only way.

Edit: Looking at Ewan's post above, I was right in it being a 40 tonner at least.

Ewan G Kennedy
04-01-11, 15:08
I'm going to guess she's a Dan Hatcher c1870.

04-01-11, 15:20
Fascadale: Tobermory, Calve island and Rubha nan Gall confirmed yet again. Ditto Duart Castle; the pic below that is also Tobermory, with distillery on left. I've just got back from a good lunch at the pub towards the right! The MacDonald Arms is the three storey building.

ETA: Looks like Iolaire to me, however in 1908 she seems to have been called Amalthaea. I don't know when she was renamed.

Ewan G Kennedy
05-01-11, 10:32
Hi Phil

You are right, it's the Tobermory distillery. It's ten years since I was in the Mishnish, so that's a project for 2011.

That just leaves the other large town.