CalMac honours cruise 40 years after cancellation

Marlene Gullon with family friend Colin MacPherson and Sean Lafferty of Calmac . Photograph: Moira Kerr

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CalMac has honoured an offer of a free trip to Oban, Iona and Staffa that it made to a couple from Newcastle in 1977 after their original trip was cancelled.

Mrs Marlene Gullon of Gosforth, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and her husband Laurence were due to take a day cruise on the MV Columba in September 1977, but the trip was cancelled when the ship had to be deployed to pick up livestock from Lochboisdale.

Then area manager Mr John Mackenzie wrote to the couple apologising for the cancellation but inviting them to take the day trip as guests of the company next time they were in the area.

The Gullons kept the letter as a memento for nearly 40 years until Mrs Gullon, who was a planning a trip to Oban, contacted CalMac to see if the offer would still be honoured.

Robert Morrison, CalMac’s head of service delivery north, said even though it was now a different company ‘we were delighted to be able to honour this 40-year-old commitment, and have booked Mrs Gullon and a friend, as her husband sadly cannot make the trip due to ill health, onto the popular ‘Three Isles Tour’ which we operate jointly with West Coast Motors and Staffa Tours.

‘I am sure that Mrs Gullon will find the 40-year wait was worth it and that the trip is every bit as enjoyable as it would have been in 1977.’