THIS is the 125th anniversary of the formation of the Caledonian Steam Packet Company and a new book looks at company’s background.

‘The Caledonian Steam Packet Company — An Illustrated History’ has been written by Paisley author Alistair Deayton, who has penned a number of books about the steamers that once regularly plied the Clyde and West Highland waters.

Following the opening of the Greenock Central to Gourock rail link on 6 January 1889, the Caledonian Railway formed the CSPC. Its steamers started sailing from Gourock on 1 June 1889.

In addition to looking at steamer concerns before the company came into being, Alistair’s new book examines the CSPC’s operations while controlled by the Caledonian Railway (1889-1922), the London Midland and Scottish railway (1923-47), British Railways (1948-68) and the Scottish Transport Group (1969-72). It also includes chapters on Kyle-Kyleakin ferries and the Caledonian Steam Packet (Irish Services) Ltd.

The 128-page publication includes around 200 illustrations, with a variety of images covering Gourock, Wemyss Bay, Dunoon, Cumbrae and the Isle of Bute.

Two are reproduced here today. One shows the Duchess of Fife at Wemyss Bay before 1914 and the other is of the Waverley at Millport’s Keppel Pier on 4 September 1971.

The fleets of the Caledonian Steam Packet Company and David MacBrayne came together in 1973 to operate as Caledonian MacBrayne.

Alistair Deayton’s CSPC history costs £19.99 and is published by Amberley Publishing of Stroud, Gloucestershire.

Also available in Kindle, Kobo and iBook formats, its ISBN number is 978-1-4456-3920-8.