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Cromarty Image Library

Weymouth Belle aka Souters Lass
The Cromarty Archive
Weymouth Belle aka Souters Lass

Alan says "This photo was kindly given to me by Freda Rapson and it shows Fred Newton's Weymouth Belle before he renamed her Souters Lass circa 1974. Can you tell me where this is? I was also wondering why she became Souters and not Sutors Lass"

The Souters Lass carried workers from Cromarty to Nigg in the late 70s, early 80s. picture #53 shows her in the harbour.
Picture added on 31 July 2006
Comments:
This looks like the Town Quay at Poole in Dorset.
Added by Arthur Bird on 31 July 2006
picture #53 is actually the Coral Star III. Good to see Souters Lass in her prime though. She doesn't look that good today, I think she has had some poor modifications done.
Added by Ronald Young on 01 August 2006
I have to agree with Arther on this one. It certainly looks very much like Poole Quay to me although I know that there is an area to the rear of Weymouth that looks a little like this as well!
Added by David Newman on 01 August 2006
Souters Lass was sold in 1976 to Thomas and Bews for the John O'Groats-Burwick ferry service and served there until 1987 when bought by Ewan McKinnon at Ft William. He in turn sold to the Crannog restaurant owners at Ft William where she has served ever since. Not bad for a vessel built in 1948
I still wonder why she was called Souters and not Sutors Lass. I understand a souter is a cobbler so maybe thats what it was named after
Added by Alan Gilston on 01 August 2006
Alan if you ever get to see the Cromarty video in the Cromarty Courthouse, there is a piece in it that says the SUTORS as we call them were actually according to the myth sleeping giants who were SOUTERS (COBBLERS) to trade who guarded the entrance to the firth and shared the tools in their work.
Added by Ronald Young on 02 August 2006
Thanks very much for that information Ronald. Obviously Fred Newton had that in mind when he named her Souters Lass. I was told that he had a naming ceremony at Cromarty when he brought her up from Weymouth. Does anyone remember the date circa 1974 that this naming ceremony took place
Added by Alan Gilston on 02 August 2006
Dave, this is not Poole, it is The Customs Quay at Weymouth, the building in the centre is the Old Custom House, it is now the H.M, Coastguard offices and control centre. The picture is taken from the Weymouth Lifeboat House which is immediately opposite.across the harbour. Perhaps the clue was in the name Weymouth Belle. We sailed into Weymouth this weekend and there it all was. Well spotted. In my defence it does look similar to Poole.
Added by Arthur Bird on 06 August 2006
il second arthur on this one, it is indeed sunny weymouth, i know this because i stay right opposite where this picture was taken! Not as nice as cromarty harbour though!!!! i do miss crom!
Added by Ella Macleman on 06 August 2006
Thanks for that Arthur. I must admit that looking at it again, I'm quite sure that the warehouses along Poole harbour are much bigger, around seven or eight floors in fact.

Dave
Added by David Newman on 07 August 2006
The Weymouth Bell ran trips in the late 1960s/early 70s from Weymouth with the normal programme being a morning trip out to Portland Lighthouse, then an early afternoon trip to Portland Harbour, then a trip departing at about 2.30pm to Lullworth Cove. I was on many of her trips, then a young teenage lad.
I last saw her in Fort William giving Seal trips.
Added by Geoffrey Vickery on 24 September 2008
The photo is in Weymouth, right next to the railway tracks for the Sealink channel ferry, the white building is the Sea Cow bistro, the tall building is now Sharky's museum. I went on the Weymouth Belle in the early 70s. Shame the trains don't run anymore and Sealinks are gone.
Added by Richard Lloyd on 22 January 2010
It is definitely Weymouth Harbour Customs House, I know it well as my sister lives in Weymouth. I too went on the Belle to Lulworth Cover in the seventies, very memorable. Also the skipper let us board her for a chartered disco in the bay one evening. Laid on for students. Brilliant
Added by Karen on 24 November 2010
As part owner and skipper of the Weymouth Belle I can confirm this is Weymouth harbour. Many parties and a wedding was had aboard.
Added by Colin Horne Skipper. on 20 July 2014
My dad, Colin Horne, was the skipper and part owner of the belle in the 60's and this is definitely weymouth, he used to run out to shambles lightship to take the morning papers, as well as lulworth etc. we have some great photos of her. She carried 150 passengers
Added by Peter Horne on 20 July 2014
We went on the Weymouth Belle in 1970 with my family I was 8 years old and the first time ever on a boat it holds so many memories all these years later.
Added by Malc Ordish on 08 December 2014
I think this was formally the Bournmouth Belle, and the Weymouth Belle was I think commandeered during the war for use as a fireboat. My late grandfather worked on it then and I have a memo from the newly formed National Fire Service asking him to congratulate the crew on the refit, dating from 1944. If anyone has any more info on this topic I'd be really interested. Note I cannot be completely sure this is the same Weymouth Belle.
Added by Matt G on 07 June 2015
Hello everybody; just to confirm that "Souters Lass" is still in operation running cruises from The Town Pier in Fort William. She is owned by the Finlayson family who also own Crannog restaurant on The Pier. She was overhauled and re-painted during the winter('16-'17)and looks great.
Added by Michael Fairman on 11 May 2017
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