Yo Ho Ho – On board the good ship Glenlee

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who came to the Ullapool World’s Fundraising Ceilidh in Glasgow last Saturday, and for making it a very sociable and fun evening.

Thanks firstly to Ali for really getting behind the event, pushing us in to going and organising the splendid minibus and driver to get us there and back safely. Her fears that they would send us a clapped out jalopy were unfounded and we were able to spread ourselves out in comfort as they provided a modern 28-seater instead of the 19-seater we had booked.

glenleeSome people gathered in the Espy for a pre-departure drink and/or bite to eat and everyone arrived at the Town Hall in good time to leave around 6.15pm. The journey through was uneventful though there was the usual wet and snowfall around Harthill (is it always raining there?)! We arrived at Riverside on the Clyde and walked along the pathway to the Tall Ship, stopping briefly for a group photo (still waiting to see it Andres!). Our first glimpse of the Glenlee was through the gentle Glasgow rain and sleet: she looked a bit of a lonely spectre with her three masts reaching up and disappearing into the dreich night sky. But it was exciting to cross the gangway and arrive on board this amazing ship that has been around the globe four times in her lifetime

We were greeted by Andrew from Port Seton and made our way down to the ‘Tween’ deck where the Ceilidh was being held. There were Skiffers already making merry from Anstruther, Royal West, Port Seton, North Berwick and others including two members from Troon who have just completed their first boat. As we made our way along the deck to find ourselves a table to gather round, those of us who had already had a drink, and those of us who had not, began to wonder if more drinking and dancing on a ship was a good idea. We all felt a bit giddy and try as we might, couldn’t keep ourselves walking in a straight line! It became apparent very quickly that the flooring on the deck was completely uneven and had a lovely camber that slewed you sideways as you walked its length. Well, nothing for it but to start drinking and dancing!

The Ceilidh Band was great and everyone got into the dancing straight away. As the night went on the dancing got faster and wilder and our steps got shorter and messier! At the interval we had a raffle and there was a game to win a bottle of whisky. Cue the interval ‘disco’ which sounds brought out the inner wannabe dance-floor divas in us all and, just to give us an authentic disco-feel, Barbara kindly provided a group of us lassies with a handbag to dance around!

Glenlee_StramashThe Ceilidh Band returned for the last hour and by now we were all flying round the floor. One of the funniest dances to watch was the Flying Scotsman. I don’t know whether Jude Nixon looked more terrified or Nick Finnis more confused when they had to lead off, but it kept those of us who sat it out in stitches. The Grand Finale was the Orcadian Strip the Willow and I think everyone joined in for this. It was quite a feat to get from one end of the ship to the other, without falling over and manage to stay with your partner — though I think I started off being a laddie and ended up being a lassie!

We had to reach our Carriage before midnight so made a hasty retreat as soon as the last Willow Strippers stopped swirling. A quick count on board to make sure we hadn’t left anyone behind and we were off — well almost. Andres managed to set the alarm off from the back seat — there’s always one isn’t there? Problem sorted in a moment and we headed home. Apart from a diversion for roadworks that took us THROUGH Harthill — those who were asleep — you didn’t miss anything, we had a safe journey back to Porty. A sleepy and tired but happy crew piled out at the Town Hall around 1.30am — glad to have gone and glad to be back.

My prizes for the evening go to Nik Savage (now, even more famous) for some rather slick Michael-Jackson-type dance floor moves; Kay Fairnie for fabulous skirt; MC Somers for groovy and uninhibited dancing, Barbara Middleton for astonishing shoes; Nick Finnis for bewildered expression and Helena Rodnight for getting there :)

We didn’t get a final tally but at the interval we had raised around £500. A very good night!

Margaret

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