Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

£4.9 million appeal launched on 60th birthday of the Maid of the Loch

The Maid of the Loch took to the water back in March 1953, and sailed on Loch Lomond until financial problems saw her service come to an end in 1981.

Laid up on the water’s edge near Balloch, she was prey to the elements and the attentions of any passing vandals, who slowly destroyed her interior and stripped anything of value from her structure.

Dumbarton council bought the remains in 1992, and through the course of the remaining 1990s, enthusiasts and volunteers came together to restore her to something resembling her former glory. Such was her popularity that is seems even appeals for the return of souvenirs looted from her over the previous years when she had lain derelict were heard, and a number of items that had ‘disappeared’ were returned to those working on the vessel.

Although the work has attracted limited funding over the years, it never seems to have attracted enough money to secure completion of the work, and restore the Maid to steam and have her sailing on the loch.

In my memory, this was always going to be delivered “In the next few years”, with the steamer’s own web site proclaiming that she would return to steam in 2013, her 60th birthday.

Alas, this will not be the case, although I hasten to add that I say that not as any sort of criticism of those who have worked hard to save her, and must be admired for their perseverance in the face of insufficient funds for such a task. It would have been all too easy to have given up in despair in recent years, especially the more recent of those, when cash has become even tighter than before.

See the Maid’s own web site at:

Maid Of The Loch, Loch Lomond, Scotland,

Renewed appeal for fund in 2013

The occasion of her 60th birthday has seen a renewed appeal for significant funds launched:

An appeal to raise £4.9m to restore the ravaged Maid of the Loch has been launched as she celebrates 60 years on Loch Lomond.

The vessel, which was launched on March 5, 1953, last sailed in 1981 and is currently docked in Balloch in West Dunbartonshire.

Charitable organisation Loch Lomond Steamship Company owns the Maid, which is the last paddle steamer built in a Clyde shipyard.

The group is hopeful of raising the cash for extensive restoration work as well as improving infrastructure at the Pier Road site where the steamer is currently docked.

While in operation, the Maid of the Loch would run a service from Balloch pier, initially to Ardlui and then to Inversnaid.

Jean Inglis, of A&J Inglis Shipyard where the Maid was built, was among those present to launch the fundraising campaign on Tuesday.

Via: Appeal to raise £4.9m to restore Maid of the Loch as she turns 60 | News | Glasgow | STV

This short video shows the Maid in her original white livery (she has since been repainted in colours different to the original scheme), and is described as having been shot in 1979, at Rowardennan, one of the piers she operated from on Loch Lomond.

I may have been ‘little’ when I travelled on board the Maid, but at least I manage at least one day’s sailing before the fun came to an end.

It would be nice to have another…

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March 6, 2013 - Posted by | Appeal, Maritime, Transport | , ,

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