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December’s Mystery Ship Answer

The December 2013 mystery ship shows Anzac, a Clyde puffer. She was one of many similar small cargo coasters which were once numerous around the Clyde and West Highlands of Scotland.

Anzac was built in 1939 by Scott & Sons of Bowling (so she is another ‘wee Scott’), 13 miles downstream from Glasgow, for the fleet of John Hay, and carried all manner of goods around the Clyde and Highlands before and after World War II. In common with most of her type, she was 66ft in length to allow her to fit into the locks of the Forth and Clyde Canals, and as a result she would probably also have been familiar at some of the east coast ports.

She and her sistership, Lascar, were the last puffers built before World War II and became the prototypes for a large fleet of 54 steam and nine diesel puffers (or VICs – Victualling Inshore Craft) built to her design by the Ministry of War Transport to serve as small cargo carriers and water carriers at allied ports worldwide. After World War II most ended up in commercial service. The picture shows the vessel moored at the Coal Pier at Dunoon on the Firth of Clyde.

Colin J. Smith, Glamis, Angus

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