Help Maid sail again in 2018

Maid in waiting? If £17m can be raised by this autumn, the paddler could sail by summer 2018. PHOTO: HUGH DOUGHERTY

AN URGENT plea has gone out from the Loch Lomond Steamship Company for steam ship lovers to dig deep to help the company raise £1.7m by the autumn. Achieving that sum, said chairman, Robin Naysmith, would release double that amount in lottery funding and allow the final preparation of the 1953-built PS Maid of the Loch, to sail again.

Restorers say that major items such as replacement boilers are necessary to make the vessel ship-shape again, but heritage restoration consultant who is advising LLSC, said that, because the Maid was built and then dismantled to be transported to Balloch and reassembled, the company has a full set of drawings which even include steam pipe runs for the engine room. Engineers from PS Waverley are also sharing their expertise with MOTL’s restoration team and Scottish national tourism body, Visit Scotland, is supporting the project.

Robin Naysmith said: “If we can raise £1.7m by the autumn, we will be able to unlock £3.8m worth of heritage lottery money which would enable us to sail in the late summer of 2018. It’s an exciting prospect to be so near completion and we’re asking everyone who can help us achieve our autumn target with contributions large and small to donate now.”

Full details of donating are at www.maidoftheloch.org

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