The jolly boat “Mary Chalmers” is named after the daughter of Jock Chalmers, who had been a foreman plater in Caird’s yard in Greenock. Leisure and industry were closely linked on the Clyde, with teams of sportsmen from various trades competing to see who was best.
Travelling by rowing boat was a necessary form of transport for those living in waterside communities. As other forms developed, people started to take to the water for fun. Rowing clubs were established, and “Mary Chalmers” originally belonged to the Ladyburn Trades Amateur Rowing Club in Greenock. She was built in 1953 by McAllister of Dumbarton, who also built collapsible lifeboats for Titanic.
Jolly boats were fast, shallow draft racing gigs, and “Mary Chalmers” was one of the last of her class built.