Pleasure Boat

'Fair Maid'



Jimmy Meikle

Leith, Edinburgh

Jim Meikle, Leith, writes:

'Fair Maid'

"Can anyone give me information on the old 'Fair Maid' pleasure boat that left from Leith Docks to sail up the Forth under the Forth Bridge and back again?

My Dad worked on the boat as steward, which meant my brother, sister and I  did well with free ice cream.

Jimmy Meikle, Leith, Edinburgh:   August 26, 2009




Walter Lyle Hume

Cowes, Isle of Wight. England

Thank you to Walter Lyle Hume, Cowes, Isle of Wight who replied, giving more details about 'Fair Maid'

Walter wrote

On the Clyde

"'FAIR MAID was one of the smallest Clyde boats at 220 tonnes, with a top speed of 16 knots.  She was built in 1886 as the PS Madge Wildfire. Apart from the war years she served the Kilmun and Holy Loch areas."

On the Forth

"FAIR MAID moved to the Forth in 1927.  She was based at Leith, making daily trips to May Island, Bass Rock, North Berwick, Aberdour, Kirkcaldy, Kincardine and Alloa. She also made special excursions such as works outings."

World War II

"FAIR MAID spent World War II back on the Clyde as a tender, after which she was broken up, in December 1945 at Troon."

Walter Lyle Hume, Cowes, Isle of Wight, England:  August 27, 2009


The information about the Forth and Clyde above have been taken from the commentary on the Scran web site, accompanying a photograph of FAIR MAID.

The photo showed a large crowd boarding FAIR MAID at Grangemouth Docks for a special excursion,  around 1930                               Scran ID 000-000-510-866-C.




Andy Hall

Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, England

Thank you to Andy Hall, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, for sending me a link to a page on  a Clyde ship building web site.

Andy wrote:

On the Clyde

"This page on the Clydesite web site contains information about FIR MAID and  a photo of FAIR MAID.

She was only licensed to carry passengers between 1934 and 1941."

Andy Hall, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Northumberland, England




Jimmy Meikle

Leith, Edinburgh

Jim Meikle replied:

Fair Maid

"Many thanks for the information on the 'Fair Maid'.  It's absolutely fantastic to read the history of this boat which has memories for me.

I clicked on to the Clyde site and  viewed the picture of the  Fair Maid, which was wonderful. I can see where my Dad stood on that first day he sailed.  I was very unhappy  as I  was not allowed to go with him that trip."

On the Top Deck

"On the top deck in my dad's days, 1936/37, a  3 piece band played the music of the day on the way up the Forth and people got up to dance on the deck."

Madge Wildfire

"The other interesting news about this old pleasure boat was that it was first named Madge Wildfire.  When I was a young boy, I remember my mother on many occasion looking in the mirror and if she did not look as she would have liked  she would say, 'I look like Madge Wildfire', she would also say that of other women she came across.

I always wondered who this Madge Wildfire was. Then about 4 years ago I decided to start and read some of the classic books I should have read as a youngster.  I began with Sir Walter Scott's ' Heart of Midlothian '  and would you believe there is a character  in the story of dubious deeds, with wild, scary looks frequenting  the High Street called 'MADGE WILDFIRE'.  Now I know what my mother meant."

Jimmy Meikle, Leith, Edinburgh:   August 29, 2009




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