Darthula

Darthula - named for Deirdre of local legend : Naoise and Deirdre

Loch Etive Ferries who serviced the community along the lochside and into Glen Etive.
Ran from Achnacloich - where the train came in to from the 1880's.

Darthula II was built by Dickies' of Tarbert (Loch Fyne) in 1939.
The ferry brought supplies, post, doctors etc to the farms and townships up to the head of Loch Etive
She also was part of a circular tour from Oban to Glencoe, returning by motor coach via Glen Etive and Glen Coe and then the train from Ballachulish to Connel and Oban.

The tour was advertised in Brtish Railways' 1957 "Circular Tours in Scotland" brochure with the Darthula II being described as a yacht.
In 1957, the round trip from Oban was every day (except Sunday, of course) from June to September and cost 19 shillings and threepence (96p) 1st Class or 16 shillings (80p) 2nd Class. You could go either way round but the "anti-clockwise" route involved boarding the train at Oban at 9.18am and alighting at Achnacloich at 9.44am. The Darthula II sailed at 10.15 and, via a call at Taynuilt, took two and a quarter hours to get to the head of Loch Etive arriving there at 12.30pm. 50 minutes later (what did you do at Lochetivehead for 50 minutes if it was pouring?), the coach left for a 2 hour 10 minute drive up Glen Etive and down Glen Coe to Ballachulish. Arriving there at 3.30, it was only 20 minutes till departure of the train back to Oban where it arrived at 5.35pm. The Darthula II continued on Loch Etive until 1963 after which she gave cruises on the Thames for a number of years.1

She has since been spotted in Portsmouth Harbour, current presence unknown.

Darthula II was built in 1939 by Dickie at Tarbert (Loch Fyne) for Alexander Black of Taynuilt for use on Loch Etive between Achnacloich to Lochetivehead. He had previously used the Euglena on the run from 1924.
The Loch Etive Tour had run from Oban since 1877, initially using coach and horses to connect to Achnacloich from Ballachulish which had a steamer service from Oban. In later years the railway reached Oban with connections to Tyndrum and Ballachulish, so the coaches ran to these stations. Boats used on the service before WW1 were Ben Starav (1877-1879), Glenetive (1880-c.1886), Osian (1885-1913). The service ceased in 1913, the provision of the coach and horses links to Ballachulish and Tyndrum stations becoming uneconomic. Boat services resumed in 1922 when motor charabancs were available to replace the coach connections. The boat used was the Jano owned by Scott and Smith. In 1923 she was replaced by the Loch Etive Queen of Donald R.McKay of Taynuilt, which ran until WW2. Rena and Euglena joined her on Loch Etive services in 1924. Darthula II was used by the Admiralty in WW2, returning to Loch Etive service in 1946. She was sold to J.H.Lynn of Dalmally, who continued running her on the same route. From 1962 she was owned by Loch Etive Cruises (Edward T.F.Spence).
Darthula II ran on the Thames from 1964. Ronald Ricketts advertised that Darthula II (65 grt, 120 passengers) would operate cruises from Erith between May and September in 1965. Departing at 9:00, destinations included Kew, Richmond, Tower Bridge, Southend etc.2

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