Para Handy is not just our boat for a fortnight. Para Handy is the nickname of character Peter Macfarlane, skipper of the “Clyde Puffer” Vital Spark. The name is an anglicisation of  the Gaelic "Para Shandaidh", meaning "Paddy son of Sandy".

Para Handy was created by the journalist and writer Neil Munro  (under pseudonymn).

The Clyde Puffers - not to be confused with Clyde Steamers -delivered goods from Glasgow to the Hebrides islands and the west coast highlands of Scotland in the early 20th century. A small number still exist today, with only one still equiped with a coal fired steam engine.

From Munro's short stories about Para Handy, the BBC created a 9 episode television series “The Tales of Para Handy“ between 1959 and 1995; including genuine Scottisch accent. Some episodes are on YouTube.

The official Neil Munro website features the text of 25 Para Handy short stories:

Like me, Para Handy is very fond of his pint.
Contrary to Para Handy, we've got no lazy deck hand.
But we do have "the smertest boat in the coastin' tred"....

posted on Sunday, August 24, 2008 9:33 PM