'Special Excursion'

The board the man in the image holds advertises a 'Special Excursion to Girvan and Round Ailsa Craig' aboard the steamer 'Queen Empress'.    Built by Murdoch & Murray of Port Glasgow in 1912, the paddle steamer Queen Empress was taken from her usual role, working on the Clyde as a pleasure steamer, during both world wars to serve her country.  In WW1 she was used as a troopship and a minesweeper.  She then returned to her role on the Clyde as an excursion vessel working for the Caledonian Steam Packet Co.  She again saw service in  WW2 as a minesweeper.  In 1943 she was involved in an incident with several German Focke Wolfe aircraft.  As the aircraft swooped low to drop their bombs on allied shipping (two of them just missing the Queen Empress), the vessel's gunners opened fire and downed at least two of the attacking planes.  She again returned to the Clyde after the war but was scrapped in 1946.
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glass plate slide
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East Ayrshire Council
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