Golden Cross: Unanswered questions

Related to the Golden Cross mooring incident reported earlier this week, we received the following email for publication from Mr. D. Symon which is reproduced here with his permission.

Just a short note to let people know the facts about the mooring of the Golden Cross. The tug did not break or wear through her mooring chains. After consultation with an expert (of) 30 years experience the mooring had been tampered with. The Queens Harbour Master had inspected the mooring when it was laid and he was happy with it. So myself and other parties involved along with a mooring expert have come to the conclusion that one or more persons tampered with the mooring. We thank for their unbiased report.

D. Symon.

Personnel from Clyde Admiralty pilot boat SD Clyde Racer photograph the mooring earlier today.
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10 years ago

Please see the attached article for background on the fabrications that the self-promoting “captain” of a “search and rescue” tug now expounds upon.
Is it a private vessel or is it commercially registered?
If private then I am also a captain and should wear epaulettes and a peaked hat whenever I am away from my kayak.
If commercial then does it carry the appropriate MCA Coding?
It claims to have MCA Certification but this is easy to achieve when it’s actually not the commercial vessel that it’s made out to be.

A catalogue of lies, a comedy of errors and an aged “captian” who will try and promote his own self importance and eventually will put others at risk if he ever tries to use this vessel in anger.

Full and all encompassing public enquiry required… Of the vessel AND Captain Mitty

Keith Lawrence
10 years ago

Good luck with the project Stuart & Suzie. I served as engineer on Golden Cross when you took her from Harwich to Weymouth, picking her up at Dover. Happy days.

10 years ago

Oh dear, I’ve upset someone else now. Look Jonathan, I’m trying not to be personal, I’m expressing an opinion, which I believe in a democratic society I’m entitled to do. If you don’t like it that’s tough, but veiled threats of “get out of town” don’t bother me. I may well be the only person in Ardentinny that has this opinion; if I am, so be it…..although if, as is said, someone tampered with the mooring (which I don’t approve of incidentally), maybe I’m not! Perhaps just one of a silent majority.

10 years ago

As far as I am aware, Sea Captains are Captains for life, retired or otherwise and boats ‘belong’ wherever they are permitted. I gather you don’t like the boat but, if that dislike becomes unbearable, I fear the one that has to move might be you.

10 years ago

It appears my views on Ardentinny’s rusting hulk have ruffled someone’s feathers, but rather than resort, as ex-captain White (retired) has, to personal comments, I prefer just to re-iterate my original thoughts that the “Rusting Cross” should be moved somewhere more fitting it’s appearance, perhaps some old shipyard where ex-captain White (retired) can play boats with it to his heart’s content. When it’s been restored to it’s former “glory” move it to the Marina where people can board her and admire her from close quarters; the Marina would keep a close eye on her too so that ex-captain White (retired) doesn’t lose her again. I’m sure the Scottish Government and the 50+ companies both at home and overseas would be happy to help fund a berth there (I understand their rates are quite reasonable).

Ex-captain White’s (retired) intentions are laudable, but his boat just does not belong here.

10 years ago

As a retired ship’s captain assisting in the project to save the Golden Cross tugboat which, thankfully, is now safely back on her mooring opposite the Ardentinny Hotel (that’s the rusting hulk referred to in the August 31 comment by ‘winners’ as a monstrosity), I would like to point out that most historic ships look rather sad if they have been left to decay. Unfortunately, most of Scotland’s heritage ships have been scrapped, abandoned or sold abroad. Few original heritage ships from the Clyde remain operational. On reflection though, perhaps they too were assisted in slipping their 15 ton moorings.
Regardless of short sighted people such as ‘winners’, it is our group’s intention to restore the Golden Cross so that future young generations can actually experience their past. For without reference to the past – there is no guide to the future.

When the tug returns from dry-dock next year, she should be looking brand new and be a unique example of 1950’s Clyde ship-building expertise: certainly up to ‘winners’ standard. The person in question can then complain that we are going to use the vessel to highlight safety at sea procedures to commercial and leisure craft users on the Clyde (especially important now the local Coastguard station is to close), use the craft wherever possible to encourage marine companies to offer employment opportunities to injured and ex-servicemen & women and also assist young Scottish guys & girls training in the maritime industry : so providing a famous Scottish heritage ship with a useful role in the community.

Now with the support of the Scottish Government and over 50 companies at home and overseas, this non-profit making, totally volunteer exercise stands a good chance of success.

‘Winners’ might be interested in the fact that the Golden Cross tugboat – apart from being the ex-escort vessel of the Royal Yacht Britannia – has carried out many rescues many over the past 57 years and has saved many lives. It would seem to me that she deserves a little more respect as good Ardentinny and Argyll folk try to rescue her.

You can check out the full story at

Personally, I’m all for free speech and with that in mind might I respectively suggest that ‘winners’ changes the call sign to ‘losers’: far more appropriate!

In closing, may I take this opportunity to thank the many residents in Ardentinny and local businessmen & women who have given this project their time, assistance and donations to and to the hundreds of people who have sent messages of support for our project.
Captain Stuart White

10 years ago

Whilst sympathising with the owners for their little mishap I did rather hope last Monday that we’d seen the back of this rusting hulk. Sadly this was not to be and it was soon back on it’s mooring. Why does a pretty village like Ardentinny have to have it’s shoreline cluttered with this monstrosity! If someone were to suggest that something like it should be constructed here I bet the whole of the village would be against it, and yet we had absolutely no opportunity to object to it being dumped on our shoreline as it has.

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