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THE SCOTSMAN – Wednesday 23 April 1902 – “LAUNCH AT LEITH.- Yesterday there was launched from the shipbuilding yard of Messrs. Ramage & Ferguson (Limited), Leith, a screw steam yacht of about 550 tons y.m. The yacht, which has been built to the order of Mr. Valentine Smith, from designs by Messrs. Cox & King, London, will be very handsomely fitted. The dining-room, drawing-room, and smoking-room are on the main deck, with a long shade deck above, on which are the boats, charthouse, &c., while on the lower deck fore and aft of the machinery space are a number of handsomely fitted sleeping cabins. The yacht has a steam windlass, steam steering-gear, complete electric light installation, and a system of hot-water heating throughout all the saloons and cabins. As she left the ways the yacht was named Rannoch by Mrs. Haig. Triple expansion engines to give a high rate of speed will be fitted by the builders.”


YACHTING WORLD - 16 October 1902 - "BRIGHTLINGSEA. Steam yacht Rannoch, Mr. Valentine Smith, arrived here on Sunday, and will go up to Wivenhoe to lay up as soon as tides permit."

LAKE’S FALMOUTH PACKET – Saturday 11 July 1903 -“YACHTING:- The following yachts have arrived during the week:- Rannoch, s.s., Mr. T.V. Smith….”

GREENOCK TELEGRAPH AND CLYDE SHIPPING GAZETTE – Friday 10 August 1906 – GOUROCK – DEATH ON BOARD A YACHT. The death of Mr. T.V. Smith, owner of the large steam yacht Rannoch, is reported to have occurred on board the yacht while lying in Gourock Bay on Tuesday evening. Mr. Smith is said to have been connected with a large distillery firm and to have been very wealthy.”

MORNING POST – Monday 13 August 1906 – “Mr. Thomas Valentine Smith, of Ardtornish, Morven, Argyllshire, and Thames Bank, Grosvenor-road, has died on board the steam yacht Rannoch at Gourock, at the age of eighty-one. The eldest son of the late Mr. O. Henry Smith, of Ardtornish, by his marriage with Jane Gaches, daughter of Mr. Thomas Valentine Cooke, of Bracknell, he was born in 1825, and was in the Commission of the Peace for Argyllshire. Mr. Smith was a director of Smith, Garrett, and Co., the Bow Brewery, of the Callender and Oban Railway Company, and of the Guard-Bridge Paper Company.”

Other newspapers noted that he was a famous breeder of Highland cattle and owner of the Ardtornish herd, and that he left property to the gross value of £1,932,139, of which the net personalty was sworn at £1,837,865. His sister Mrs. Gertrude Joanna Sellar inherited the bulk of his property but he left many bequests to family, friends, staff and servants.

Thomas Valentine Smith’s father, Octavius, was a successful distiller whose father made a fortune from grocery wholesaling. Octavius Smith died in London in 1871, not on board the s.y. Rannoch.

Valentine left his estate to his sister Gertrude who married Alexander Sellar. Gertrude passed on the running of the family estate Ardtornish, Morven, Lochaber, to their son Gerald who also seems to have inherited s.y. Rannoch. Gerald was unmarried and mother and son died within weeks of each other in 1929.

HAMPSHIRE ADVERTISER – Saturday 18 August 1906 – “The steam yacht Rannoch arrived off Hythe on Saturday afternoon with her ensign at half-mast, she having on board the remains of her owner (Mr. T. Valentine Smith), who died at Gourock on the previous Wednesday. On Tuesday the remains of the deceased were sent on shore, and forwarded by rail to London, where the funeral took place. Mr. Smith formerly owned Dobhran, s.s., [sold in 1900] and his yachts generally made Hythe their rendezvous. The deceased was a member of several of the Clyde Yacht Clubs.”

THE SCOTSMAN – Friday 18 October 1907 – “FROM LLOYD’S – PAWLE POINT [Devon], October 17.- Passed, Rannoch, steam yacht, of Leith.”

LONDON EVENING STANDARD – Saturday 2 May 1908 – “Lord Monk Bretton is yachting in the Mediterranean as the guest of Mr. Craig Sellar, on board the Rannoch, but is expected to return to Conyboro, his place near Lewes, shortly.”

Example of a crew list for Rannoch


G.R. & R.O. Received 5 NOV. 1913

Name of Yacht; RANNOCH

Official Number; 115655

Port of Registry; Leith

Port No. And Date of Register; 8/1902. 21/6/1902

Registered Tonnage - Gross; 479.10, Net; 198.47

Nominal Horse Power of Engines (if any); 123

Registered Managing Owner; Gerald Craig Sellar

Address of Owner; 75 Cromwell Road, London. S.W.

The several persons whose names are hereto subscribed, and whose descriptions are contained below, and of whom – blank – are engaged as Sailors, hereby agree to serve on board the said Yacht, in the several capacities expressed against their respective Names, until the said Yacht shall be paid off. Upon a voyage or voyages to any Port or Ports in the continent of Europe, voyage not to exceed six months.

And the said Crew agree to conduct themselves in an orderly, faithful, honest and sober manner, and to be at all times diligent in their respective duties, and to be obedient to the lawful commands of the said Master, or of any person who shall lawfully succeed him, and of their Superior Officers, in everything relating to the said Yacht, and the stores thereof, whether on board, in boats, or on shore: in consideration of which Services to be duly performed, the said Master hereby agrees to pay to the said Crew as Wages the sums against their names respectively expressed. And it is hereby agreed, That any Embezzlement, or wilful or negligent destruction of any part of the Yacht’s Stores, shall be made good to the Owner out of the Wages of the person guilty of the same. And it is further agreed, that if any Seaman enters himself in a capacity for which he is incompetent, he is liable to be disrated. And it is also agreed, That if any member of the Crew considers himself to be aggrieved by any breach of the Agreement or otherwise, he shall represent the same to the Master or Officer in charge of the Yacht in a quiet and orderly manner, who shall thereupon take such steps as the case may require: And it is also agreed, that any man guilty of misconduct shall be liable to be discharged by the Master at any port in Great Britain or Ireland; and that the voyage shall be considered as terminated when the Yacht is paid off. And it is also agreed, that all clothing supplied by the Owner is and shall be considered Yacht Stores and is to be worn as the Master shall direct, upon the termination of the voyage the said clothing will become the property of the individual wearers providing they have behaved themselves to the Master’s satisfaction. Any member of the crew being paid off before the termination of the voyage by reason of misconduct or otherwise, shall forfeit all claim to the said clothing. No member of the crew allowed on shore without leave, and no boats belonging to the Yacht to be taken away without the permission of the Master or Officer in charge. Anchor watch to be strictly kept and relieved, the man going off watch to see his relief on deck before going below. Any member of the crew found smuggling shall be liable to instant dismissal and forfeit all wages due. Firemen and Sailors to assist each other if required. One shilling per week will be given to A.B.s and Firemen at the termination of the voyage provided they conduct themselves to the Master’s satisfaction.

In Witness whereof, the said Parties have subscribed their Names herein, on the days mentioned against their respective signatures.

Signed by J. T. Forsgate, Master, on the 4th day of June 1913.


Date of Commencement of Voyage; 4/6/1913

Port at which Voyage commenced; Wivenhoe, Colchester

Date of Termination of Voyage; 17/10/13

Port at which Voyage terminated; Colchester

Date of Delivery of Lists to Superintendent; 17/10/13

I hereby declare to the truth of the entries in this Agreement and Account of Crew, &c. J. T. Forsgate Master.


All men joined Rannoch and signed the Agreement 4/6/13 at Brightlingsea and were discharged at Colchester 17/10/13 when she was laid up. All men are to be on board “At Once”, all received “V.G.” for ability and for general conduct. Each man signed his name for engagement and release.


J.T. Forsgate, 51, of Wivenhoe, Master

G.F. Bush, 37, of Hampshire, Mate

W.T. Forsgate, 58, of Wivenhoe, 2nd Mate

A. Shead, 36, of Wivenhoe, Bosun

C. Carter, 36, of West Mersea, Cater & A.B.

S. Walford, 42, of Rowhedge, A.B.

C.W. Cranfield, 39, born Rowhedge, of Regent Street, Rowhedge, last served in same ship 1913, A.B. Wages per week; £1. 8/-.

E.F. Hillyard, 28, of Rowhedge, A.B.

J. Bell, 20, of Elmstead, A.B.

W. Woodward, 40, of Wivenhoe, A.B.

A. Patrick, 29, of Brightlingsea, A.B.

H. Parker, 29, of Rowhedge, A.B.

Geo. McDougall, 33, of London, Chief Engineer

J. McLaren, 30, of London, 2nd Engineer

C. Goldacre, 34, of Rowhedge, Donkeyman

J. Smith, 25, of Brightlingsea, Fireman

G. Margerum, 31, of St. Osyth, Fireman

W. Sands, 29, of Maldon, Fireman

G.H. Woodward, 37, of Wivenhoe, Steward

W. Wringe, 29, of Brightlingsea, 2nd Steward

H.J. Sainty, 34, of Wivenhoe, 3rd Steward

James Cole, 36, of Wivenhoe, Chef

W. Blackwood, 23, of Wivenhoe, Assistant

W. Collison, 45, of Wivenhoe, Fore Cook

E. Percival, 21, of Wivenhoe, Mess Steward


["The "Donkeyman" is the crew member whose job is to deal with the operation and maintenance of any and all assorted machinery other than the ship's main engines. Other information says his duties would include assisting with the main engines.

While at sea donkey engines could be used to operate the anchor windlass and bilge pumps. He could also be called on to perform the duties of Fireman or Greaser, and it was not unusual for the Donkeyman to do watch duties. On some ships the "Donkey engine/boiler" could be used to supply emergency propulsion. Running steam engines was a dangerous job and that is where his real knowledge and skills was of great importance.]

Rannoch's registry was closed in 1914

This photo of Rannoch crewmen is from one of the Wivenhoe heritage sites... not sure which one.... please check them out

Rannoch moored opposite Wivenhoe

Rannoch being repainted

Unknown Rannoch crewman

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