What nice replies. Thank you. I saw the change from steam to oil on the Renfrew Ferry and I'm sure it was much appreciated by the poor stoker! Through the 40s and 50s when we had a merchant navy to speak of, my brother and I could tell you all the shipping companies and the colour of the funnels of their ships, all spotted from the upper deck of the ferry - below was for Jessies! Except when you got down to see those big wheels picking up the chains and watch the huge flywheels and conrods thrashing around and that gorgeous smell of steam coal and oil. Many years later I used to sail over to the Isle of Wight, and I took every opportunity to travel from East to West Cowes on an almost identical chain ferry (which is still running) to remind me of my 'sailing' youth. A few years ago, I 'met' an old Renfrew neighbour on the internet. He had 'rescued' the 'Engine Room' nameplate from the old ferry which sunk at the wharf. He promised it to me for my present boat but I am still waiting for this great souvenir!
The most exciting day I remember was when the ferry skipper misjudged the speed of an approaching ship and this vessel sliced through the chains, leaving the ferry adrift. Fortunately, it went alongside the Ferry Green where it was made fast and the fire brigade got all the passengers off to much typically Clydeside humour!.
Evan. I'm now in Uckfield. Previously, Crowborough, Frant, Arundel, Horsham.