A new campaign dedicated to restoring the paddles of the much loved Clyde-built paddle steamer, Maid of the Loch has been launched. The Maid of the Loch needs public support to raise funds for purchasing essential materials and equipment required to restore both port and starboard paddles. The monies raised with help procure new paddle floats, bearings and bushes as well as overhaul of the jenny nettles structure and painting of the interior of the paddle boxes. The ‘Jenny Nettles’ is the arrangement that makes the paddles feather resulting in more efficient propulsion. On the port side this is misaligned and requires significant refurbishment.
Replacement of the spring beams and the addition of ending/paddle turning gear are also required and are included in the restoration campaign aspirations. The current slipping will probably be of the longest duration on the journey to the ship sailing, so it is vital that the paddle work should be done now. Repairing the paddles is one of the most challenging jobs of the restoration process, however since most of the work is being undertaken by the dedicated team of volunteers involved at the ship it is possible to keep the costs at a much more manageable level.
Clyde-built ship engineering
Jim Mitchell, Industrial Heritage Director: “These funds will allow us to take the paddles to ‘as-new’ condition. The plan is for the ship to be returned to the Loch with all underwater work completed. This, along with the hull work will be a major leap forward towards the Maid sailing once more.”
The Maid is a magnificent example of Clyde-built ship engineering. Already a much-loved feature on the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, she attracts thousands of visitors every year and, over the last 25 years, a loyal band of volunteers has focused every available hour on her recovery and conservation. With public support the Loch Lomond Steamship charity hope to safely steer the Maid to a new phase of her life, relaunching her as a fully operational paddle steamer on Loch Lomond. If we can show public support for the paddle refurbishment then we have a pledge from a benefactor to a generous amount of £15,000. All those who contribute to the appeal will be given exclusive access to a new online virtual tour of the entire ship.
The Maid of Loch is the last paddle steamer to be built in the UK and on the Clyde, it is also the largest to be built for an inland waterway.
Crowdfunder campaign link and video: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/maid-of-the-loch—paddle-restoration-campaign Donations to return the Maid to sailing can also be made through their dedicated website, www.maidoftheloch.org/donate