The Red Book, the twice-yearly newsletter, now the Journal of the West Highland Steamer Club, regularly contained a collection of ship photographs of both everyday and special events in the lives of the MacBrayne vessels which plied the waters of the west coast of Scotland, from charters of vessels like the pioneering 1920s turbine steamer King George V and delivery voyages through the Caledonian Canal to regular ferry voyages. These photographs would often be the work of Jim Aikman Smith or Hamish Stewart.
These two gifted photographers produced many topical and beautiful images taken in locations such as Tarbet, Portree, Islay, Coll, Oban, Fort William and Glasgow, and a selection of their work is presented here, along with some images by other photographers, to show the essence of the world of Caledonian MacBrayne and to give a wonderful insight into the lives of their ships.
This book represents pictures taken over the 40 years from 1967 to 2007 by the two photographers. Jim Aikman Smith took his from 1967 to 2005 and Hamish Stewart took his from the nineties till 2006. Jim was always ready to go at short notice to obtain unusual photographs of ships which were likely to be unique. His shots show things that nobody else has and to provide a shot of all the ships over his period they have been augmented by ones which he did not have, particularly those without funnels. Hamish's photographs also include some unusual shots, but they are much more picturesque and depict scenes of the areas at which they are taken.