Para Handy, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (1 rating)


Para Handy has been sailing his way into the affections of generations of Scots since he first weighed anchor in the pages of the Glasgow Evening News nearly a hundred years ago.

The Master Mariner and his crew - Dougie the Mate, Macphail the Engineer, Sunny Jim and The Tar - all play their part in evoking the irresistible atmosphere of a bygone age when puffers sailed between West Highland ports and the great city of Glasgow.

This definitive edition contains all three collections published in the author's lifetime, as well as a new story never previously published.

Extensive notes accompany each story, providing fascinating insights into colloquialisms, place-names and historical events.

This volume also includes a wealth of contemporary photographs, depicting the harbours, steamers and puffers from the age of the Vital Spark.

This edition includes one further story, which was discovered in 2001.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 462 pages
  • Publisher: Birlinn General
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Classic fiction (pre c 1945)
  • ISBN: 9781841582276

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Captain Peter Macfarlane (aka Para Handy) and his ship SS Vital Spark (smertest ship in the tred) have been making Scots laugh for almost a hundred years, and it's about time the rest of us caught on. Shrewdly observed character humour (leavened with topical gags that may need footnotes nowadays) are the staple of these classic short stories by Neil Munro. They evoke the long-gone world of the Clyde steamers and the men who sailed them. The humour is wry rather than laugh out loud, but the cumulative effect is most enjoyable. "We put into Greenock for marmalade, and did we no stay three days?"

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