Scotch-Irish-L Archives

Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 2005-12 > 1134089420

From: "Edward Andrews" <>
Subject: RE: [Sc-Ir] Irish Sea Channel crossing
Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2005 00:50:20 -0000
In-Reply-To: <005e01c5fc53$614f4fc0$7f34143f@ludiekt>

Puffers are steam lighters. They were pretty well ubiquitous steam lighters
which traded not only in the Scottish Islands but also to Ireland,
especially the smaller harbours.
The definitive thing about the puffers was their size. Less than (I think)
66 feet long so that they could pass through the Crinan Canal. Due to the
Para Handy stories Puffers are much loved, but nearly extinct in Scotland.
The sailing predecessor was a Gabbot.
Under the Basalt which makes up the Antrim Plateau is Chalk. This is a form
of Limestone and has a number of industrial uses. Unfortunately the
Industries which used it have now mainly shut down.
Someone was asking of there was red dust over the Antrim Plateau. Well no.
The Antrim Plateau where the Iron is worked is a bog. However at the oxide
ponds in Larne where the oar was dumped there use to be a lot of dust blown
about. However in the 45 years since I lived in Larne things have been
cleaned up and a dual carriage way road runs over the ponds.
I think that you have a slightly distorted view of how people travelled.
The very poor people would have hitched a lift on a cargo or fishing boat.
To own your own boat meant real wealth.
While we tell stories about people crossing the ditch - and people have swum
it. People regularly rowed it to get the Church, I once had a hugely scary
three days stick in the middle of the Firth of Clyde in a gale in a Yacht,
while in 1953 the Stranrear Larne Ferry the Princess Victoria foundered in a
gale with the loss of about 130 passengers.
Edward Andrews

-----Original Message-----
From: Loudene Tollar [mailto:]
Sent: Thursday, December 08, 2005 11:59 PM
Subject: Re: [Sc-Ir] Irish Sea Channel crossing

I apparently created some confusion by mentioning my Kirks after asking the

I was primarily just curious about the viability of travel between Scotland
and Ireland at the place of shortest distance. Outside of the obvious
sparsely settled area of Scotland I wondered if there was bad currents, etc
that might have prevented it. Especially for small boats that presumably
the average poor people would have had to use. And the knowledge that many
people traveled to and from the two countries at will.

A family history stated that our ancestor Kirk was born in Scotland and he
is found in County Antrim, Ireland probably at least as early as 1750. I
didn't mean to imply that I was thinking that route was how he came to be in

Ireland though it could have been.

I just wanted to have some knowledge of the area. And speaking of.
What do you mean by the puffers (the steam ships?)? And what is the

I don't want to paint with a broad stroke when I say not many today in Texas

(let's not even mention other southern states) that have much knowledge
about Texas history much less early US history and even less about Ireland,
Scotland and England. We're kind of late getting into it. So what may seem
common information to many is Greek to me. And I do appreciate it.


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