27th May 1963 Maid of the Loch

Monday 27th May was the first day in service of the 1963 season for Maid of the Loch. She made her usual two round trips of the loch from her base at Balloch, one in the morning and another in the afternoon carrying around 200 passengers on the first and 700 on the second according to "Ship Ahoy".

Three days later on 30th May Mr Alexander Stewart, General Manager of the Caledonian Steam Packet Company from 1955 to 1970 announced that the company had embarked on a very analytical review of its services with a view to cutting out marginal tonnage. He said "Constantly rising costs make the position well nigh impossible. To make them pay the fares you would need to liquidate the losses would not be acceptable. The matter must be reviewed very carefully this year from the point of view of reorientation of the services from next summer. Where we are providing tonnage for pure luxury and speculative services which depend on the weather we cannot afford, with rising costs, to continue them in perpetuity. We would not wish to cause any hardship to the main traffic routes but would require to take a critical view of summer excursion vessels."

As a start to this the turbine steamer Duchess of Montrose and the paddle steamer Jeanie Deans were withdrawn at the end of the 1964 season with basing an excursion steamer at Ayr discontinued the following summer.

John Megoran

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