-> 2009 -> Duncan's Islay Puffer

Wednesday, 13/May/2009

Duncan's Islay Puffer

Picture of the stern of a puffer under restoration

Well, I have to admit the headline is slightly incorrect. Strictly speaking it's not Duncan's puffer, it also isn't (to my knowledge) going to be an Islay puffer. But then again Duncan is very much involved in the restoration of the puffer in question and hopefully it will visit Islay at some point. The Duncan I'm talking about is Duncan McGillivray of Bruichladdich and there's a reason for posting this entry today:

In tomorrow evenings 4th episode of 'S Ann An Ile on BBC Alba we (well, those of us in the UK able to see it) can see how ‘Duncan's childhood dreams come true as he begins to restore a traditional 'Para Handy' puffer.’ I wrote about it in the Islay and Puffers entry in January and in the entry about the Crinan Canal said I hoped to take a look at it.

Picture of an old puffer from the bow

On the way to Islay for my recent visit in April I did manage a short visit to Crinan at the western end of the Crinan Canal. The puffer is a very short walk up the canal, just past the lock. If you compare it to the pictures from the The Vital Spark's last journey up the Crinan Canal set on Flickr you'll see that progress is being made.

Picture of an old puffer moored next to a lock

More information is available in the What is happening to VIC 27 entry at the MAGGIE (VIC 27) [was Auld Reekie] forum:

I spoke to Para Handy this week and he informs me that work is proceeding well on VIC27. The old boiler has now been taken out, the steam engine has been stripped down and is being rebuilt and she will shortly be taken out of the water for major replating work.

That sounds promising, fingers crossed all the work will go to plan. I think it would be great to see her cruising the waters around Crinan and Islay again. May be with Duncan at the wheel?

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