|Picture credit Blackislebennet|
This postcard is a case in point and the coincidence of the two ferries you can see berthed at Mallaig allows this photo to be dated quite precisely to between 6 May and 18 July 1979.
The reason is that the ship on the right is the MV Pioneer. Entering service in 1974 between West Loch Tarbert and Port Ellen on Islay as a stern loading car ferry, she was altered in 1979 by being equipped with a vehicle loading hoist to enable her to take up the Mallaig to Armadale service. This is because there were no linkspans (ramps adjustable to the level of the tide) at Mallaig or Armadale in the 70s to allow vehicles to drive on by the ramp at the stern of the ship. Hence she had to have the hoist added - this is basically a sort of "dumb waiter" to move vehicles between the level of the pier and the ship's car deck. You can see the hoist on the Pioneer in this picture and the seasonal Mallaig-Armadale service opened on 6 May in 1979 so that fixes the earliest date.
|The Pioneer arriving at Mallaig in 1988 - the hoist is clearly visible immediately aft of the red and black funnel|
|Picture credit mona's isle|
All of which is a lot of rather useless knowledge devoted to a rather pointless end! Although in my defence, it enables me to search out smashing archive pics such as the one I leave you with below of the Arran at Port Askaig on Islay (before she had been converted from hoist loading)
|Picture credit beaches|