Cromarty Archive

Captain Watson of the Ailsa

Captain Watson of the Ailsa

Date Added: 01 January 2003 Contributor: Clem Watson Year: 1920 Picture No: 136

This is a wonderful picture of Captain Watson of the Ailsa. No date is currently available for this picture.

Albums: People

Groups: Interview with Clem Watson, The Ailsa - the ferry between Cromarty and Invergordon


I have a clipping from "The Nairnshire Telegraph" re John Watsons death in 1944. My fathers folk were Watson and Finalysons. Watsons lived at 70 Big Vennel until the early 1960s. The last one being Annie Fraser, my fathers aunt. Comment left on 06 May 2003 by Min Walker
This is my Great Granda! Does anybody know where the Ailsa is now? Comment left on 20 February 2005 at 16:10 by Craig Simms
Craig - The Ailsa was sold to someone in the Orkney Islands just before the outbreak of WW2. What work she did after leaving Cromarty, I don't know. If any seafaring Orcadian looking at this web site who knows anything of the vessel, in Orkney, after 1939, I'd be pleased to hear from them. Comment left on 01 June 2005 at 11:39 by Clem Watson
Clem, it may be worth posting one of your pictures of the Ailsa on the Orkney Image Library site to see if it stirs any memories. Comment left on 01 June 2005 at 20:23 by Andrew Bathie
Thanks Andrew, I'll do that! Comment left on 02 June 2005 at 10:25 by Clem Watson
From "Days of Orkney Steam" by Alastair & Anne Cormack, we read that Ailsa was purchased in May of 1938 by John Laird of Burray to replace Sutors, a vessel he had bought from Cromarty in 1925. Ailsa was requisitioned on the outbreak of war, but still released for civilian duties on certain days. In 1943 she was completely taken over by the Admiralty and is reported to have been used in the Normandy landings. Her final fate is not recorded. Comment left on 27 April 2007 at 19:53 by Ronald A Stewart
Hey Clem, email me at [email protected] and I'll send you the beginning of the play I started writing about your grandfather and the wreck of the Enterprise Comment left on 06 June 2012 at 23:43 by Joel Mason
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