Kirky sails into the heart of a major film festival!

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A KIRKINTILLOCH institution has a starring role in one of the UK’s top film festivals.

The 11th Glasgow Film Festival, which takes place from February 16-26, features a gala screening of the classic 1954 BAFTA-nominated Ealing comedy ‘The Maggie’.

The film, which will be shown in the cargo hold of the Tall Ship at Glasgow Harbour, tells the story of an American airline executive tricked into hiring a ramshackle old puffer to transport furniture to his new holiday home in the Scottish Islands.

The Maggie of the title refers to the boat which was ‘played’ by two puffers made by Kirkintilloch boat builders J and J Hay - the SS Inca, which was built in 1938 and the SS Boer, built in 1941.

Just a few years later another Hay’s puffer, the SS Saxon, also became famous after being used in the 1959 BBC series ‘The Vital Spark’, which was based on the same books following the adventures of roguish skipper Para Handy.

Prior to filming the 72-ton boats were mainly used to transport supplies from the mainland to island communities.

Tragically, following the closure of the Kirkintilloch boatyard in 1963, the puffers were broken up for scrap.

Tickets for the screening on Tuesday, February 21, or for any of the other 238 films and events on at the festival, can be purchased at