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Cargo & Salvage Vessels

The Vital Spark  - Small steam cargo boat (Clyde Puffer) on the maritime comedy PARA HANDY: MASTER MARINER/BBC/1959-60. Para Handy (Duncan Macrae) skippered The Vital Spark, as it puffed its way through the coastal waters along the West Coast of Scotland. It crew members included John Grieve as Macphail; Roddy McMillan as Dougie, and Angus Lennie as Sunny Jim.

Crew of the 'Vital Spark'- Para Handy (Roddy McMillan), the engineer Dan McPhail (John Grieve) Dougie the mate (Walter Carr) and Sunny Jim (Alex McAvoy), the cook and deck hand

The revival series THE VITAL SPARK/BBC/1966-67 & 1974 carried on the maritime tradition with Roddy McMillan as Para Handy, the boat's skipper; Walter Carr as Dougie the mate; John Grieve as Dan McPhail, the engineer; and Alex McAvoy as Sunny Jim, the cook and deck hand.

Both series were based on the 1905 Glasgow Evening News series written by Neil Munro (1863-1930). His pen name was Hugh Foulis. The Vital Spark is now moored on the Crinnan Canal in Argyllshire.

Para Handy's Scotland: In the Wake of the Vital Spark by Stuart Donald

The Vital Spark: The Illustrated Para Handy - Illustrated by Hamish Haswell-Smith

Books about Neil Munro's & his Para Handy stories.


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