R.M.S. Columba 1978-1935

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Quality print of a painting by N. Whitla on semi-gloss card 298mm x 224mm showing the legendary Clyd padde steamer R.M.S. Columba at speed on her daily return-journey from Glasgow to Ardrishaig.

Columba was built by J & G Thomson of Clydebank, for David Hutcheson & Co. (later David MacBrayne Ltd). She was the flagship of the MacBrayne fleet from 1879 to 1935 and is often considered the finest Clyde steamer of all time.[ She brought new elegance and comfort to Scottish travel, and typified the mid-Victorian tourist steamer at its best.

All of Columba's distinguished career was on the first leg of "The Royal Route" from Glasgow to Ardrishaig, calling at Rothesay and the Kyles of Bute. The route, so named after Queen Victoria sailed from the Clyde in 1847, was used by the cream of Victorian and Edwardian society to reach estates in the Highlands. Columba visited Ardrishaig over 5600 times in her 58-year career. Other vessels took the continuation of the Royal Route through the Crinan Canal to Oban, Fort William and Inverness.