VISITORS to the Helensburgh and Lomond Civic Centre last week enjoyed an interesting and informative evening at Helensburgh Heritage Trust's latest open meeting.

Canoeing on Loch Lomond provided a fascinating talk and great pictures for guests on Wednesday, February 27.

The well attended meeting in the East Clyde Street premises featured a presentation given by Trust director Robert Ryan and his canoeing partner, Richie Forrester.

They spoke about the history and topography of the twelve islands between Duck Bay and just north of Luss, starting with the largest, Inchmurrin.

The loch is 72 square kilometres in area, the largest in Britain, and is over 22 miles long. At its deepest point it is 190 metres deep, which is deeper than the North Sea. In all it has 22 islands and 27 islets.

As the Highland Boundary Fault crosses it, on one side it is in the Highlands, and the other the Lowlands.

Inchmurrin, which has a hotel run by the Scott family, is the nearest to Duck Bay and is the largest inland island in the British Isles. On two days a year it is the home of a nudist colony.

Some of the smaller islands contain the ruined castle and homes of Scottish clans, and it is thought that by 1816 the illegal stills on the islands were producing 100 gallons a day for consumption in Glasgow.

Robert and Richie, who have been canoeing on the loch for 10 years, were introduced by Trust chairman the Rev David Clark, and the vote of thanks was given by Trust director Stewart Noble who is also an expert on the loch and once skated across it.

The final meeting of the 2018-19 winter season of open meetings is on Wednesday, March 27 in the Civic Centre at 7.30pm, when Jon Reid will speak about the history of the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club at Rhu.