A fascinating look at how things used to be done.

Driving between Glasgow and Fort William either meant a long drive around Loch Leven, via Kinlochleven, or getting the Ballachulish Ferry.

This video shows the ferry crossing in 1926.



Moving on nearly 50 years, here is the same ferry crossing at Ballachulish. This cine film was taken in 1973.


The ferries from 1926 & 1973 used the same concept of a turntable to make it easier to get vehicles on/off the ferry. Modern day turntable type ferries still exist. Just a few miles north of Ballachulish is the Corran Ferry.


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Sadly, the ferry at Ballachulish no longer exists, as it was replaced by a bridge in 1975. I say sadly for two reasons: the ferry had a lot more romance about it and the bridge has to be one of the ugliest in Scotland. It does have the advantage that the crossing is achieved in a few seconds.

I can't even bring myself to dig out a photo of the Ballachulish bridge, so instead here is one from Wikipedia.

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It's looking likely that we'll be going on that ferry in the next couple of weeks followed by a trip on the Lochaline to Fishnish ferry.

Yes, if we get a decent spell of good weather.

Forecast is good for Friday (to-morrow) to Monday. Are you taking the camper?

Did you ever manage to get that manual fully translated?

We can't get away until after Tuesday.
I got a reasonable amount of the manual translated then a few weeks ago the campervan company emailed us their translated version.
I translated more than they did and it confirmed that a lot of my translation was fairly accurate.

Oh well, not too bad then. I suppose it only matters if there are things you don't know how to operate.

You're right about it being ugly, I might have a picture of it somewhere but only because it happened to be in the background of of something else I was taking a picture of.

I have a few photos of Loch Leven where you can just see the bridge, which is the only way you want to see it.

@fitheach Are you sure it's a turntable ferry? As I remember it, it has those odd-angled on and off ramps but, other than that, it's a normal RORO type.

Have been across on it once, a few years ago. Drove the long way round the coast then got the ferry back.

For the sake of brevity I said turntable type. Strictly speaking the ferry has articulated ends which can swivel round. The main vehicle platform is fixed. Quite different ferry type from the larger ones that operate on, for example, the Mallaig <-> Skye route.

@fitheach Interesting [¹], I didn't realise they were articulated; I assumed it had been built that shape specifically for its route.

[¹] For a rather narrow definition of “interesting” 🙄

I find just about any topic can be interesting once you start researching it.

I once followed a group of people who posted photographs of fence posts. They were mostly photos showing things growing on the top of straining posts. They were beautiful and fascinating.

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