Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Waterborne Wednesday - VIC 27

Vital spark

From 2005, this photo shows VIC 27 in the guise of the Vital Spark languishing at Ardrishag. It sat there for many years after use in the BBC Para Handy TV series. 

Puffers are the perfect prototype for railway modellers. At 60ft long, they fit into the sort of areas most of us have on our layouts - most other vessels being far too large.They also enjoyed a very long life from the end of the 19th Century with the last commercial boat calling it a day in the 1980s. 

Victualling Inshore Craft (VIC) were built during the war based on Puffer designs to service warships that couldn't berth. The design being a small ship with a large hold and a derrek for unloading proved to be perfect and over 100 were built. 

The good news is that VIC 27 is now being restored. You can read more on their website. 

Years ago, I compiled a list of Puffer models. It's a bit out of date, but have a look.


James Finister said...

Perfect except for having become a cliche, especially when they appear on layouts set many many miles away from their tramping grounds It is a bit like having an SR Schools class running on a layout set in the Scottish highlands

Unknown said...

Is that Ardrishaig? It looks more like Crinan Basin at the other end of the Crinan canal to me.

It's a great place to visit, on our last visit a few years ago VIC 32 was round the corner in the boat yard receiving some attention.

Hopefully back up there this Easter.



Anonymous said...

Nice photo - full of memories of Crinan basin

James Finister has a point - the Puffer is pretty distinctive and geographically limited. However, the most distinctive element is the smokestack in front of the wheelhouse - on some of the models this can be put in the more common place behind (and some of the later Puffers - some of the VICs - had just such an arrangement).
That will kid a few more people perhaps, 'though to the cognoscenti it's still a Puffer!

Thanks for the blog