Paddle Steamer Picture Gallery


PS Madge Wildfire (later Isle of Skye, later Fair Maid)

Builders: S McKnight & Co Ayr

Propulsion type: Paddle, Simple Diagonal, later Compound Diagonal

Owners: Robert Campbell, P&A Campbell, Caledonian Steam Packet Co Ltd, A W Cameron, Vale of Clyde Steam Packet Co Ltd, Buchanan Steamers Ltd, Williamson-Buchanan Steamers Ltd, Grangemouth & Forth Towing Co Ltd, Ministry of War Transport.

Service dates: 1886 - 1945

Tonnage: Gross 220 (later 211)


PS Madge Wildfire was a much travelled and long lived steamer. Capable of carrying 983 passengers, she was steel built, saw service in both World Wars and had two sets of engines during her lifetime. She commenced life sailing from Glasgow to Kilmun for Robert Campbell and passed into the ownership of his sons before being sold in 1888 with the goodwill of the company, to the CSP. Re engined and reboilered in 1891, she undertook the railway connections to Kilcreggan, Cove and Blairmore, as well as some trips to Kilmun. In 1911 she moved ownership again, this time to Mr A W Cameron as representative for Buchanan's and she was renamed Isle of Skye. During the Great War she saw service as a tender and minesweeper, being the first steamer sailing from Glasgow to Dunoon and Rothesay after hostilities had ceased. Sold again in 1927 for excursion use on the Firth of Forth, she was named Fair Maid and her colour scheme was also changed. In December 1940 she was purchased by the Ministry of War Transport and she served as a decontamination vessel until 1945, when she was broken up at Troon, thus ending a long and distinguished career.

My thanks go to Frank Lakiere for permission to use this photograph.

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