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June 12th 1873

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Shipwrecked in Bank Street

The steamship Alma, built for the Earl of Breadalbane and named after his wife, seemed to be one of those boats cursed with bad luck.

It was constructed in the Isle of Wight and brought by sea to Glasgow where it was loaded on to a steam driven tractor and trailer. It made its way slowly to Aberfeldy and having reached there, stayed overnight in the town square. It was proposed that on the following day the yacht would be taken to Kenmore and launched on Loch Tay. But disaster struck in Bank Street when the combined weight of the yacht and the carrier caused the road to collapse and the vessel sank into the lade which ran beneath the road.

Here it lay for more than a week. Eventually lifting tackle was employed to raise the Alma, but there were still troubles to come. One of the three tree trunks, lashed together in the form of a tripod to carry the lifting tackle, snapped under the strain. The trunk shot across the road and went through the window of the shop opposite. Fortunately, the owner Mr Alexander Robertson, was stooping down at the time and escaped injury as the trunk passed over his head.

Eventually the Alma was launched at Kenmore but the Earl and his family seemed unwilling to venture out on to the loch and it was seldom used. It was left moored in lonely isolation in the area to the west of the bridge at Kenmore.

Gradually it deteriorated and eventually sank below the surface of the water where it presumably still remains.

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